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 two of my OC's. Side-fic to my story "Dragonheart: A New Age", hope you enjoy enough to read more!


Chapter Five

Friendly Aid and Final Moments

xxx

Draco awoke just after Bowen the next morning, and winced suddenly as he twitched his tail and the singed scales hit the rough ground. The dragon jerking to his feet, recoiling away from the knight as Bowen turned, his tail held close to his body and eyes shut against the agony.

"Draco?"

The dragon only winced again, a low whine sliding from his lips as he reflexively backed away from Bowen.

"Draco."

Again Draco backed away, ignoring the trees as he only comprehended the sharp, stinging pain making it hard for him to move.

"Draco, stop."

He understood the order, freezing and leaning against the trees nudging his spine a little as footsteps approached.

He heard the hand extend towards his tail and he involuntarily hissed a warning.

"Easy," A voice murmured, the hand retreating then appearing on his lowered cheek, his eyes fluttered a little as his entire head dropped several inches so it was closer to Bowen's, his breath slowing and tense muscles relaxing.

"Why didn't you tell me you were hurt?"

"You were too drunk then ill."

Bowen sighed faintly, his own stupidity had caused the dragon harm.

"Will you let me see? I swear I won't touch unless you permit."

He nodded, slowly easing back onto the ground and resting his tail on his forelegs, ironically much like a cat, the singed scales faced upwards, unable to handle any pressure.

"Yeowch." Bowen murmured as he crouched down, eyes critically examining the blackened scales that were cracked and breaking.

Draco moaned a faint agreement, head dropping to the forest floor with a thud.

Bowen stood and moved away, his silence made Draco shift his head to watch him grab his water skin, then hiss as Bowen tenderly dribbled the water over the scales until they were soaked, letting the water seep in before doing it again.

"Shhh, easy Draco, it's alright."

"Easy *grunt* for you to say *moan*...*hiss*...oohhh..."

"Is it just me or are the two of you accident prone?"

Draco opened his eyes again to find Arianna astride her palomino mare, the horse snorting a bit but otherwise completely calm with being only a yard or so away from the dragon.

Bowen didn't turn, just continued applying water to the burn.

Arianna sighed, swinging off her horse and tying it with Bowen's before grabbing her own waterskin.

"Here brother, let me, you go fill these while I work."

Bowen nodded, taking off into the woods towards the creek while Arianna grabbed handfuls of herbs from her bag on her shoulder, tearing them as she occasionally poured water on Draco's tail, the dragon hissing in response.

xxx

Bowen returned to find a slightly filthy Arianna and a dragon who'd drastically changed in the span of half an hour, the creek was a little farther on foot than he'd though.

Draco lay nearly completely relaxed, eyes half shut and barely registering Bowen's return until the knight companionably stroked his nose.

"Feelin' better?"

"Mmm."

Arianna stood from whatever she'd been doing, a smile on her face that suited her much better than the scowl usually directed at Bowen.

"The burn had blistered almost instantly and was infected, pretty much as bad as those bright red sun burns you were so fond of getting as a child."

Bowen smirked, "And yet you always came home with frostbitten toes and fingers."

"Touche."

Draco hummed a little then eased back up until he was on his stomach again, tail twitching a little, Bowen looked down to see strips of cloth holding the poultice on that was most likely finishing the job the sweet smelling salves had started.

"Remind me why you two are doing this charade?"

"Got a better idea?"

"Horse Breeding?"

Draco just snorted while Bowen shook his head, leaning to stand mostly with his weight on one leg, his hands went to his hips.

"That's only half the bargain."

"Oh?"

"His being with me keeps his head on his neck. And not as some clot-head's trophy. Or in boredom of the constant attacks."

Arianna shook her head, "Waste of arrows in my opinion." She remarked glancing to Bowen's half empty quiver that held the arrows custom for his Yew Bow.

Bowen threw his hands in the air, giving up the argument he hadn't meant to slip into before turning away.

"*Ahem*"

With a sigh and a roll of his eyes, Bowen turned to see a handful of arrows being offered to him, just the right length and resiliency for his bow.

"How did you-"

Arianna shrugged it off, "We Ballards stick out for each other."

"Quiad."

"Ballard."

"Quiad."

"Ballard."

"Qu-aid."

"Ball-ard."

"Quiad!"

"Ballard!"

Draco groaned loudly, falling back to lay on his side, a paw running down his face. No wonder Boromir grew fed up with those two, five minutes in to see them together "normally" and even Draco's patience was wearing thin.

Maybe he could find a way to shut them up that didn't involve too much noise...nah, wasn't worth the effort.

xxx

Arianna was still rubbing her temples at midday as Bowen growled faintly from his headache.

"Damn, Draco could you have gotten any louder?"

"Yes."

Bowen groaned, not wanting to imagine the sheer volume the dragon could reach let alone what he'd already done.

"Hey Bowen?"

"Yes Arianna?"

"It's Ballard."

A low growl.

"Arianna?"

"Bowen?"

"No, it's Quiad."

Draco stuck his head between the two, snarling a little. "Do either of you mind telling me what this petty argument is about and what it's worth?"

Arianna looked around Draco's head to Bowen, "Pick one half of that and I'll take the other."

"And why am I choosing?"

"Cause I'm being generous."

"Arianna..."

Draco groaned, rolling his eyes, "Enough."

"Sorry."

"Sorry."

Bowen let gaze drop to the ground, his mind piecing long dead memories together into a somewhat comprehensible order.

"Our...parents were from two completely different words, our father the aristocratic life of a knight under the king..."

"And our mother from the pagan beliefs founded by the Old Ways."

"Arianna, let me speak."

"Sorry."

"They only agreed on upholding the Old Code, even the two of us were to them 'objects' to fight over. When I was knighted I kept my father's name in honor of his memory, and then our mother died when I entered Freyne's Service..."

"And I took her name and headed out."

"It's outta pure habit that we argue, something to remember what names we bear weren't always our original ones."

Draco nodded, leaning back then idly scratched at the poultice on his tail.

"Don't mess with it! Geez, you're as bad as Bowen!"

"Hey!'

"Well you do hate being told not to do something."

"Don't push it sister."

"And why not brother?"

Draco shook his head, watching the two banter briefly before they all tensed at the sound of hunting horns farther off.

"Looks like it's time for you to get going."

"Yeah..."

"Sorry."

"Mmm..."

Arianna helped Bowen pack up the small camp quickly, securing the blankets to the saddle, armor onto Bowen, and checking over the stallion personally before holding the reins as Bowen swung up with ease and Draco stood.

Handing her brother his water skin and the reins Arianna kept her silence as she mounted her own mare, pulling alongside the knight.

"Be careful."

"As you."

"Like that's worth much, come on, I fell off my own barn!"

Bowen chuckle was a bit strangled, "You know I-"

"Bowen..."

"Will try..."

"Eh, better than nothing."

Bowen gave her a genuine smile, Draco copying when he saw just how relaxed Bowen was.

"Oh, wait another hour and peel that junk off his tail, wash it and any black part that will peel off, it 'll be fine after that."

"Thank you, and I'll try to see you soon."

"I'll be waiting brother."

Draco watched the two for a moment, then stepped away, taking to the air to give them a moment alone.

He was still able to see Bowen yank Arianna out of her saddle and into his lap, hugging her tight before helping her back onto her mare.

Exactly two minutes after they'd parted, Arianna shouted up to the circling dragon, "Hey! If you get bored with his antics do me favor and try to set him up with some lady! My matchmaking skill only extend so far and-"

"Arianna!"

Her laughter echoed in the trees as she spun the horse around, disappearing to the east as Bowen nudged his stallion to the west and the mountains.

xxx

xx

xxx

The next afternoon, Bowen paused at the start of this village, taking a moment to glance over the lakeside dwellings with its own pond in the center. He glanced to the upper clouds, a faint shadow darting behind one, Draco was ready.

Bowen maneuvered in between people on the edge of a mob, listening to the shouts.

"Throw off the yoke of Einon's oppression!"


Yeah! My very first completed story! Hope you enjoy the last chapter!