AN: This is the actually story for the first one-shot I published here. Now that my classes are done hopefully I'll get the chapters up pretty regularly. If you see any grammar or spelling mistakes please tell me; I'm always willing to improve. =) The title will makes sense later. Temeraire books belongs to Naomi Novik.
Levitas landed heavily in the covert, panting. He always aimed to please his Captain so was forever flying as fast as his wings could carry him. Of course this always left Levitas extremely tired and thirsty, but lately his Captain was not telling the ground crew to see to him so he often went without. It was a change in his Captain he didn't like, but continued to progress rapidly, seemingly without an end.
Bending down painfully Levitas let his Captain off his back. His Captain in return patted his shoulder a few times without word, making for the buildings that housed the other Captains. Levitas looked at his retreating back, not sure where the little boy that had spent hours telling him stories had gone. Before he was too far away Levitas chirped out a few threw pants, "May I have some water?"
His Captain stopped for a moment looking back briefly before lazily signaling the ground crew for some water and continuing on without much more of a pause. Levitas was grateful for any kind act his Captain bestowed him recently, there were days his Captain didn't say a word to him, days he didn't show up to greet Levitas at all. It seemed there time together was growing shorter and shorter.
Levitas drank deeply from the trough of water placed before him trying to take in as much as possible, not knowing if he would be lucky enough to have some in the morning. The ground crew rarely attended to him properly as of late. It seemed without constant supervision from a Captain or crew they didn't bother doing regular work. Now that his Captain seemed unwilling to make the ground crew do their job and being too small to have a crew of his own he was rarely if ever taken care of. It was getting to the point that they didn't even bother getting up when he landed in the covert anymore. This was a very unpleasant sign, worrying Levitas to the extreme.
With a sigh Levitas let his legs give out underneath him, water completely gone. He curled his tail around his body and stretched his wings a few times to avoid cramping in the morning. They would nevertheless be stiff the next day; he had flown Courier Duty for almost three years and knew the sourness that awaited him after such a long and fast flight. Being a Courier was hard, and even though there was nothing Levitas loved more than flying it was still a tough job, with little recognition involved. With his Captain pulling away, the job became even worse.
The Winchester looked up at the sky, the stares peaking through the clouds that usually hung over England. When had it gotten so late; he could scarcely recall the sun rising just a few hours ago? Flights seemed to be bleeding into one another, everyone becoming the same as the last. Everything becoming bland without his Captain's kind words for conversation. The thought of another day of the same had never depressed the little dragon so much.
"What's got you so downtrodden?" At first Levitas thought the question was directed at him, swiveling his head to find the speaker. It became quite clear he was mistaken when he caught sight of the two remaining ground crew sitting around a small table dealing out cards. The older of the two was a gruff looking man with a hard face, obviously not the depressed of the two.
"My Father's not well." Levitas turned his attention on the young boy sitting opposite the man. He leaned forward, almost as if falling in on himself. Levitas felt a pang of sadness. The boy couldn't have older than his own Captain who had recently turned fifteen. To have a parent with ailing heath must have been hard on someone so young.
"I'm sorry to hear that, my boy." The older man's voice did seem to portray sympathy. The boy nodded slightly, frowning down at the table full of cards. With a sigh the older man patted the others shoulder. "Look, Hollin, I'll do what I can to get you a week's leave if your father gets any worse."
"Thank you, sir." The boy, Hollin, replied quietly with a small appreciative smile. Letting out a loud forced laugh the man patted Hollin's should again, much hard then the last time.
"Gee, kid, don't call me 'sir'. I'm not nearly well bred enough for that." Hollin smiled a bit wider, sitting up straighter in his chair.
"If you say so, James." Said man nodded in approval, relaxing back in his chair, starting to shuffle the cards. The conversation seemed at an end, moments drifting by as they started to play some unknown card game. Levitas crossed his front legs, tucking his head under his wing, ready to sleep.
He was drifting off into the darkness of his mind when he heard the rough voice of the older ground crewmen yet again. "You should pray for your father's health. It doesn't always do any good but it never hurts. Who knows maybe Gods listening?"
With that last statement buzzing in his head Levitas fell asleep, dreaming of his Captain by his side.