A/N: Yeah, for the kinda slump I've been in, you'd think I'd offer a bit more for the trouble. Still, won't deny that I have a few ideas in the works. Problem is, I don't want to end up in a situation when it takes forever to update, so I'm trying to do as many chapters as possible before I decide to upload anything.


He had always enjoyed the night, even before those twelve long years went by and he had to practically live, eat, and breathe the dark. There were the stars, for one. He also liked the fact that it was quiet, serene in a way. Things always grew calm once the sun set. The nearby townsfolk went to sleep, animals bedded down for the night, and, for a few hours before he turned in as well, he got to soak in the tranquility. It usually was enough to calm even the sourest of moods.

However, even he could get tired of the dark after twelve long years of having to hide like a prey in the face of a predator. Even a creature so closely tied to the night and the stars could miss the sun. Given his reptilian nature, sunlight was something that he had started to crave with increasing fervor after the first few months. But there was the ever mollifying fact that others of his kind were dying, one by one, souls extinguished and gone. The feeling that it could happen to him, never mind that the whole mess was practically his fault, rocked the dragon to the core. Still, if there was one thing that he wanted to do, if he should die without at least correcting his mistake, it was to be out in the sun like he would have before the viciously renewed campaign against dragons broke out.

If he was going to fade forever, he would at least want to walk around in the daytime without worrying himself senseless. The thought of the sunlight outside of his waterfall-cave was enough to drive him mad. Surely it wouldn't be so bad if he just stepped out for a quick hour in the daylight, would it? He would camouflage himself, of course; he was no fool. But the idea of being out, just for one afternoon, was enough to silence the small, paranoid voice that had been governing his actions as of late. Carefully peering out at the riverbanks and forest beyond, he deemed it safe, sliding his body out through the water, scaly skin crackling as he disguised himself as a pile of rocks next to the river.

Almost immediately, the heat from the sun seemed to be soaked up by his scales, making his eyelids grow heavy. He had forgotten, reptiles, or most things of a lizard-like nature, often tended to grow lethargic when out during the midday temperature. Besides, the fact that a traveling trope nearby had kept him awake the whole night didn't help matters.

Slipping into a light doze, the dragon snoozed quietly in the sun, looking for all the world like another part of the stone structure positioned next to the waterfall. The steady, warm heat from the sun seemed to quietly bake the stone, much to the silent delight of the dragon concealed among them. Drifting in and out of daydreams involving flying and the sun, he dozed on into late afternoon, only to be woken when the sounds of a horse reached his ears. And the sound of a person shouting for someone's attention.

Due to the fact that he was still partially asleep, he almost responded himself, before realizing that whoever had called really should not have been there. Nary a second after he processed that fact, someone sat right down on his nose. When had these people gotten here? How long had he been asleep? Chancing a peek, the dragon opened an eye, noticing two things that were wrong right off the bat. One, there was an armed man sitting on a horse, right in front of the waterfall, and the shield he was carrying was adorned with dragon claws. Practically the spitting image of a dragonslayer, and he was outside, thankfully camouflaged, but still vulnerable. And if there was one thing the dragon could say for certain, it's that while he knew his end approached, he wasn't that interested in dying today.

Now, how to get out of this one...?

Well, yeah, you all know the drill. Leave a review at the door, and I'll get the rest of my pet projects up faster.