A Moment In Hoax

Author's Note: Hello fellow Dragoons and dragon enthusiasts! How are you doing? It has been quite some time since I've dabbled in the Legend of Dragoon fandom, but I've been thinking a lot about it these past few days and now I've got some ideas that just won't leave me alone. So here I am! This one-shot fic is just a little piece to help get the Dragoon juices flowing. There might be more little ones (but best not to hold your breath) to come before I start working on the large story, but for now, I really hope you enjoy this moment in Hoax. ^_^

(Start)

Rose had allowed sufficient time for Dart to get himself clean and dressed, and marched purposefully into the small stone room where he had been resting the night before. She found him there, clean and dressed, with a large amount of supplies strewn out across the bed.

"Good, you're packing. I was worried you'd still be licking your wounds," Rose said as she entered the room.

"Look, I admit you beat me. But it wasn't that bad," Dart replied defensively (though with a smirk) in remark to the training Rose had given him earlier. She admitted that Dart held his own well enough for a man his age, but nothing prepares a man for wielding the power of a dragon within the Dragoon Spirit. And it was only his second time, the first being the night before when he narrowly escaped being crushed by the Gigantos that came along with the Sandorans to assault the small fort-town of Hoax. By time she was done giving him some elementary schooling on unlocking the power and maneuvering, his muscles were aching and his brow was dripping with sweat. Leaning against the door frame, Rose's eyes followed Dart as he went to a dresser to pulled out some clothes.

"You did well enough for a beginner, I'll admit," Rose responded, her tone even and cool. "But you've got a lot to learn and you've barely tapped the surface." Dart stopped stuffing his pack full of things to look Rose in the eye for a moment. She could tell that he was debating on asking her for the 8th time how she knew so much about being a Dragoon. He had striking blue eyes and Rose didn't like the feelings of familiarity that they stirred within her. But she hid those feelings well and met Dart's gave with a face like a still pool of water.

"Well its a good thing that I've got such a great teacher," he said with a broad grin, lifting a pair of red gloves off the bed and stuffing them in his pack.

"Lucky you," Rose answered. She even allowed half a smirk to cross her face. Looking down at the things yet to be packed lying on the bed, she thought to help. The least she could do was be helpfully since she was going to be following him and his knight friend Lavitz around. Normally, she'd consider traveling to aid in the fight against a destructive dragon more than helpful, but there was something very different about this young man that she'd met. Aside from being the first Dragoon to arise in 11,000 years, she couldn't deny (much as she wanted to) a connection she felt to him.

"Would you like some help with that?" Rose asked as she moved from her perch on the door frame and further entered the room.

"Yeah, thanks," Dart said sincerely. Rose scooped up a second pack that was lying empty on the floor at the foot of the bad, and moved to the side of the bed beside Dart. After quickly looking over the things lying there, she picked a coiled and tied rope and pushed it into the pack.

"So, the soldiers here don't have that many supplies as it," Dart began after a few moments of packing in silence. "So they really couldn't part with much for our trip, least of all food. So we'll have to do some hunting on the way to the dragons nest. Are you any good at hunting?"

Rose couldn't resist the haughty snort at the remark, fixing Dart with a look of indignation. "I'm sure I could teach you a few things if you need lessons in tracking as well. Or perhaps you need me to show you how to string a bow?" Rose asked as she pushed a lock of her waist long black hair behind an ear and out of her eyes.

"Oh, I know how to track," Dart defended with a short laugh. "I've lived all my life in the wilds. I could track an ant up a tree." Rose raised a slender eye brow, preparing to reply, but stopped when she heard hurried foot steps coming this way.

"Hey Dart!" came the sound of Shana's voice, the young almost girlish brunette who traveled with Dart. "Did you need some help..." Shana's voice cut off as she finally came into view in the doorway and Rose watched as the smile visibly dissolved on her face. "Did you some help packing?" Shana asked in a smaller voice. Rose only looked up at the girl for a moment before going back to packing, not letting herself be bothered by the other woman's presence. But Rose quickly saw how uncomfortable the sight of her made Shana, and how the young girl's hand involuntarily came up to her heart as if to still herself.

"No, but thanks," Dart answered her, clearly not seeing how crestfallen Shana had quickly become at the sight of Dart 'bonding' with this new strange woman. "Go see if maybe Lavitz needs some help."

"Oh...okay," Shana said. She took a step back and gave Rose a lingering look, before turning and running off. Dart went back to finding any more space in his pack for just a few more things.

"Dart," Rose began after a moment of silence, "are you sure bringing your sister along is the best idea? A dragon's nest isn't exactly a playground for children."

"Yeah I know," Dart said with sigh and nod, as if not having heard this for the first time. But then he paused, realizing exactly what Rose had just said. "Wait, Shana isn't my sister!" This was a surprise to Rose, though she didn't let it show on her face past the slight arching of her eyebrows.

"She's not? Apologies. I just thought so, what with the way she is with you," Rose explained. "Almost like a worrying mother."

"Yeah," Dart did not deny with a fond smile. "We've kind of always been like that. We've known each other since we were little. She's practically like a sister to me. So I can understand why you thought that." Dart looked up from his pack at Rose and laughed.

"Do I amuse you in some way?" she asked as she crossed her arms.

"No, it's just that Lavitz thought the same thing too," Dart confessed. "But you don't have to worry about Shana. She's been through a lot and she can take care of herself." Rose didn't reply, but fixed Dart with a look that said she knew he didn't even believe that. Dart held eye contact with Rose's steady violet gaze for all of 3 seconds before caving in. "Okay, maybe not so much," he confessed. "But trust me, you do not want to eat my cooking." Rose laughed on the inside, but all Dart saw was a shrug. The backpack she was filling now pressed full, she bucked it shut and hefted her full pack in Dart's direction. She caught him a bit by surprise, but he caught it all the same.

Rose strode around Dart and the bed, headed for the door. "One your head then. For you sake, I hope she doesn't die."

"Hey Rose!" Dart called to the mysterious woman. She stopped in the doorway, turning her head to look back at him. "I'm going to get the hang of this whole Dragoon thing. So you don't have to worry about me either."

"I'm not." With that she stepped out of the room and into the gray afternoon light.

(End)