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LoneDigger

How to Tame Your Dragon

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LoneDigger

"I swear he's really a monster! Go on you bastard, show them!"

 

In the crowded auction there seemed to be a bit of commotion over an older man claiming the slave he was selling was not really a male, but some kind of shifter with the form of a beast.

He was going on about how he found the monster in the mountains capturing him after a battle that lasted for days.

 

If Alphonsus could have told his side of the story he would have pointed out the only fact that the other had won in the end was thanks to a torrential downpour that had extinguished any of his fire abilities.

But seeing as he didn't really want to be sold as some freak show, he decided to feign ignorance.

It seemed the crowd was either starting to walk past with a snicker or mutter that the old guy was just crazy or desperate, making up such stories to get a quick buck.

It wasn't like dragons didn't exist, everyone knew that they did, but dragons couldn't be human and vice versa. Or so it was thought.

 

Alphonsus was already tired of this, but he could exactly complain. The way he was binded down made sure of that. His eyes soon grew weary of searching the crowd, no one would be fooled by some crazy old bastard and that's exactly how it was going to stay... Besides he wouldn't even make a decent slave judging from his smaller built. He was a bit scrawny with messy black hair that fell into his face, covering his emerald eyes.

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StarGazer

Torin was shopping for his weekly supplies in the marketplace when he noticed the all the people crowded around an older man who was shouting about a monster. It peaked his interest so he made his way through the crowd to the front only to find a weak looking man bound in enough chains to hold ten men. Just like everyone else, he did not believe that this person could possibly be a monster. In fact he thought the older man to be the monster for chaining him up so tightly.

 

At first all he did was stand there, but then he noticed that despite the crowd no one seemed interested in buying this slave. He didn't have much money, but he didn't want to leave the man with his current owner. If given much more time, he was sure the older man would begin beating the slave just to try to get a reaction from him. Knowing he would have to haggle just to get the price low enough to to reach his price range, he decided to act disgusted by the sight of the man so as not to seem too eager.

 

Even though he felt sorry for the other, he kept a blank face. "If you are looking to sell him, you should have cleaned him up a bit first." he spoke to the older man, but kept his eyes on the one in chains. He leaned closer to further inspect the man. "He looks rather passive to me. Nothing like the monster you are claiming him to be. In fact he looks so poorly, you might have to pay someone just to take him off your hands. However, I am feeling generous today so I will offer you half what the going rate is for a slave these days." He was sure the older man would object so he quickly kept talking. "That's more than what you'll get from anyone here. Look around." He motioned towards the crowd of snickering and sneering onlookers. "No one here believes you and that man looks so scrawny that he would be of no use to most anyone. I bet he isn't even capable of chopping firewood."

 

A bead of sweat rolled down his cheek as turned to look at the older man, trying to gauge his reaction. He knew he was offering far lower than what the older man was looking for, but it was all he could afford if he was going to finish the rest of his shopping. "So what will your answer be?"

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LoneDigger

Just as the other had predicted, the lack of positive reaction from the crowd combined with those who were calling him crazy or a charlatan was only increasing the old man's frustration. He hadn't gone up into those cursed mountains to track down a dragon for weeks and then battle it for days only to be told that he was some quack trying to run a quick scam.

Now if he had stayed a dragon... even the old man had scarcely believed it when he first saw the creature laying bleeding in the rain and mud, slowly shift into the form of a human. But it had solved one big problem. After all that he was running low on supplies and spark, imagine having to drag the beast from the mountain top all the way down. He had thought he was going to have to call upon others to assist in that task, but then the monster went and made things easier for him. -Even if it had almost given him a heart attack, thinking he had lost his mind from being out in the unknown for too long-.

 

All that said, the man suddenly kicked Alphonsus with a force, trying to get some kind of reaction out of him. It wasn't like he hadn't already tried punishing the creature before to get a change, but nothing worked. If anything it only seemed to make him shut in even more. What a waste that such a frightening beast when changed into human was such a pathetic looking man. The dragon he fought was not small or scrawny. But perhaps he was forgetting by the end of the hunt had pushed the creature to it's limits, though starvation and fatigue showed less on a beast than a man.

 

Though even as he was beat not a sound left the slave, it seemed that his mouth was gagged. But not simply by a cloth, instead whatever the device used looked something either meant to muzzle an animal or a torture device. Of course the old man wasn't taking any chances when the dammed thing did finally decide to show his true form then he would be secured.

 

The old man turned to Torin and spat on the ground, but he was paying attention and mulling it all over in his mind. Dragon or not, if this thing died on him which it was frankly started to act like, it would be worth nothing. He wanted to wait until someone finally believed his story and paid in full, but here was someone offering him half up front. It was better than zero, and he was starting to get sick of looking at the chained male. Let it be his problem when the beast finally came out.

 

"Taking advantage of the crazy old bastard? Fine. But don't say I didn't warn you about him... He's a monster. Don't let him out of your sight and do not remove the muzzle. Hell, what am I saying... You don't even believe me. Do whatever the fuck you want with him. I couldn't give a damn anymore."

 

He replied gruffly, taking the payment even if it was a swindle for him. Though obviously the crowd saw it the other way around. Feeling sorry for Torin more than the lying old fuck.

The man unlocked the chains, but he didn't dare remove them not wanting the thing to turn on him as he handed the heavy cables to Torin.

 

"He's your fucking problem now... God help you when he decides to change."

 

But of course that wasn't spoken out loud, and the slave still seemed lethargic and harmless. Honestly for what he appeared the payment of half the asking price was astronomical for such a sickly looking male. Yet he seemed eager enough to get away from the old man and the market atmosphere that he trudged along to follow his new keeper... Though Alphonsus would never be owned by anyone, he was wild and untamed. That would never change.

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StarGazer

Seeing the man kick the other was almost too much to bare. He did not condone hurting any defenseless creature, be it animal or human. With teeth gritted and fists clenched, he tried to remain calm, but it was proving to be rather difficult. How could that man be so cruel? Even so, he had to keep quiet. He knew that it would be a difficult negotiation if he got on the man's bad side.

 

When the old man finally relented, Torin let out a breath. He hadn't even realized that he was holding his breath, but he was relieved things had gone his way. Quickly he pulled out the money and handed it to the other. He didn't want to give him a chance to change his mine. "Yeah yeah, whatever you say old man." he finally spoke once the cable was in his own hands.

 

"Can you walk alright?" He asked in a hushed tone as he looked at the slave with compassion for the first time. "My home is quite far out of town. I know you are tired but I must get supplies before leaving." Feeling guilty, he quickly tried to finis up his shopping.

 

Much to his dismay, prices had gone up and he would not be able to afford everything he had come for. Normally he would try to haggle with the different merchants, but he was worried about the man. He wasn't sure just how much longer he could walk, so he just got what little supplies he could afford and shoved them into a brown travel pack. Inwardly he groaned. He knew this wouldn't be enough food to last the week, especially now since there was two of them. 'What have I gotten myself into? I just hope I can catch an animal for supper tonight otherwise I'll have to go hungry. He needs the food more than I do.' he thought.

 

"Not much longer now. Please try to keep up." As he made his way to the end of town, he was very careful to move slowly so the exhausted looking man would be able to match his steps. At the edge of town, he stopped at a horse and gave it some oats. "Normally I would ride, but you look like you need to sit much more than I do. So up.. you.. go." He said as he hefted the man up onto the horse. "Now that's better isn't it? If you will bare with this just a while longer, I will have you out of these chains when we get home." He then took the reigns in hand and started the long trek home. Tonight it would be even longer because he had to walk, but he was happy to since he was able to save the slave from that horrible old man.

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LoneDigger

The slave didn't answer, either he didn't know how to talk or was unable because of the strong muzzle. He stumbled and staggered along trying to keep up with the one who had proved his savior, probably.

Alphonsus knew not to jump to any conclusions since he had seen the cruelty of humans first hand they could not be trusted. Even if this one didn't seem so bad.

The other male did seem genuinely concerned about him.

 

Yet he did not want to become a burden or abuse his kindness so as soon as he was strong enough he would escape back into the wild, traveling even farther than his remote mountain home. Mankind was infringing even closer into the wild leaving no space for the dragons and other mythical creatures.

 

Everything was going realativly smoothly up until the point they met the horse. The animals seem to be spooked by something, and it was clear that it was the slave causing the reaction. Maybe to Torim he would have assumed it was the rattling of the chains scaring the horse, but Alphonsus knew it was because the animal could sende what he was.

Suddenly he locked eyes with the horse and something seemed to pass through them both as he was able to be helped onto the sadle then.

 

Honestly he seemed a bit uncomfortable at first as if he had never rode a horse. It's soon enough emotion seemed to sway him into a comforting lull. He seemed almost asleep, just holding on with his thighs and his bound arms resting on the horse's neck.

Normally it would have eaten a creature like this but now he had a new respect for horses and for the man who had saved him.

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StarGazer

After a while Torin glanced back to see how he was doing. He was glad to see that he was relaxed enough to try to sleep. It made walking worth it to see that he brought some comfort to the other male.

 

He walked in silence all the way home. By the time they arrived at the tiny little cottage the sun had already begun to set. A small sigh escaped his lips. So much for having supper that night. He really was hungry, but the other looked half starved and he would feel bad if he kept the food all to himself.

 

"We are here." He announced as he tied the horse to a post. "How about we get you down from there and take those chains off?" He helped the slave down from the horse and started by removing the muzzle from his face. "I bet that feels better." He continued to speak as he removed the rest of the restraints. "I want you to know that I don't keep slaves. You are free to go whenever you want, but I hope you stay at least until you have recovered."

 

Once the restraints were all removed, he proceeded to take the horse to a fenced in pasture. After he closed the gate, he returned to the front of the house where he left the man standing. "Are you hungry? I have food you can eat if you would like it."

 

He motioned for the man to follow as he walked into the house. "My name is Torin by the way. I figure if we're going to be living together, at least for a time, we should at least know each others names. What should I call you?"

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LoneDigger

Alphonsus groaned softly as he was dismounted from the animal he had groan quite comfortable on, yet at the same time his unused muscles felt sore from sitting so long.

 

Funnily enough the first thing he did when released from his constraints was to thank the horse by gently rubbing the mare's neck before seeing her off into the pasture, it was only after that he turned to face his savior and bowed his head deeply to express gratitude louder than words.

 

"If only I could repay your kindness... But I'm afraid I would likely bring nothing but ill fate. I won't burden you any longer."

 

He couldn't stay here, even if he wanted it was too dangerous and not fair to put Torin at risk having a dragon near his home would be bad luck waiting to happen.

 

"Me? I am the monster in disguise remember?"

 

He hummed, mocking the old man's words while at the same time acknowledging the truth in a snide way.

 

"But if you must know... My real name is Alphonsus."

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StarGazer

Torin let out a long exasperated sigh as he turned to look back at Alphonsus from the doorway of his home. "Alphonsus was it? You don't look like a monster to me. You didn't turn on me the second I took the restraints off you. Even now you are worried that you will bring me trouble and no monster would ever worry about that."

 

He strode over to the man and stepped behind him. "Now you are at least staying the night. I insist." Placing two hands on his back, he quickly pushed him into the house and shut the door.

 

"If you decide to leave in the morning, I will not stop you, but I will not force you to leave either. Now would you like something to eat?" Without waiting for a response, he walked over to his pack and pulled out some food. "It's not much, but it's yours if you want it. Here, some meat, cheese, and bread." He spoke as he handed each item to him. "I'm sorry I don't have a table or chairs for you to sit at. Since I don't have company often, I haven't gotten around to making any yet."

 

When he sat down, his stomach grumbled a bit so he quickly covered it with his arms, trying to quiet it down. He didn't look at the other and went to sharpen a knife to keep his mind off food. It had already gotten dark so he couldn't go hunting now. He would just have to wait until morning to eat.

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LoneDigger

The forcefulness was enough alone to convince the dragon that he should indeed listen to the man that had saved him. One night couldn't hurt... and he was feeling pretty awful to be honest. Even if he hid his pain exceptionally well.

Once inside he felt a bit more comfortable, it reminded him vaguely of a cave or den so maybe they weren't so different... He'd never been in one before, as it was rare for him ever to take a human form. So it was all foreign to him.

 

When he was offered the food he politely declined it, not because he wasn't hungry or being polite, but because he saw something fair more tasty laying at the edge of the fire... Coals, still just a bit hot. He plucked one up and crunched it between his teeth contently, maybe this would help to restore his powers. The warmth of the stove was just too tempting however and he ended up curling up on the floor next to the fire, his eyes watching the flames dance contently as he grew sleepier.

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StarGazer

Torin happened to look up right when he was biting into the coal. "No that... how?" His eyes widened as he stared in shock, finding it hard to believe what he just just saw. It took him a moment before he came to the realization that the man standing before him really was a beast and that the old man hadn't been lying. "What kind of creature are you?"

 

At first he was a little scared from the shock of what he had just eaten and the realization that he wasn't human, but then he seemed to accept it. He moved closer to examine him, reaching out to brush the hair from his face. "How is it that you look so human, but you clearly aren't?"

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LoneDigger

"It doesn't matter... I will be gone before you wake again."

 

Alphonsus promised the other as he stared into his eyes, his own orbs were this unnatural green flecked with bits of golden color. Almost like a cat's eye, but even more striking.

He didn't know why that was exactly, the whole changing thing was a bit unexpected and out of his control these last weeks.

Besides, he really didn't want to burden the man any more than he had done already so he resumed his place on the floor by the fire, but he couldn't help his own curiosity from threatening to spill. There was a lot he wanted to know about Torin, but he knew he shouldn't be asking any more.

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StarGazer

"You are still talking about leaving?" Torin huffed before suddenly laying down right on top of him. "Now you can't leave when I'm asleep. I wish you would reconsider... It is so lonely out here. Do you even know where you will go when you leave? You should just stay here and keep me company."

 

Even though he had only known Alphonsus for a short time, he would hate to have him leave. It had been a long time since he had been in the company of another. He had to admit it was quite nice. He felt safe with the other male which was a feeling he was unused to because he always had to stay sharp for fear of robbers and thugs.

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LoneDigger

Alphonsus let out a heavy sigh, but he didn't protest when he felt the other's weight shifting over him. In fact he seemed pretty content about the extra warmth and pressure, closing his eyes again.

 

"You wouldn't like my company... It will be nothing but more trouble for you."

 

The dragon was a patient creature, he'd just wait until Torin got sick of caring for a firing breathing beast and sent him off. He was giving the other a guess of lasting three days before he couldn't handle him anymore. He smirked slightly to himself. Even if Torin was alright for a human he still hated them, and he didn't want to be a part of their lives if it meant living by their rules. He longed for the silence and solitude of the mountains, but even they were no longer safe so he would have to travel even farther to find someplace untouched by humanity.

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StarGazer

Torin pouted slightly. "Don't just assume things. You won't be trouble. Besides there's bandits everywhere. It's safer together than by yourself." His stomach growled once again and he looked at the food hungrily. He hadn't had a chance to eat all day so food looked really good to him at that moment.

 

"If you really don't want the food then I'll eat it.... What do you eat anyway? Is it just coals?" he asked as he climbed off of him. He nibbled on the cheese as he looked at Alphonsus curiously awaiting his answer.

 

Right now this man was the most interesting thing he had seen in a while. He still found it hard to believe he was a dragon. Although those emerald green and golden eyes were clearly not human.

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LoneDigger

"I'm not making assumptions, I'm stating a fact."

 

The dragon replied calmly, turning his gaze back to the flames to let the colors distract him for a moment.

 

"Not usually. They just looked more tempting."

 

Alphonsus murmured, he wondered if they would help fuel the fire that was still extinguished inside him. But then again, maybe he couldn't make fire in a human body, even if his body wasn't truly human at all even if it looked it.

 

"I eat whatever I manage to catch... mostly deer and the occasional--"

 

He quickly stopped himself wisely before going into that topic and cleared his throat to change the subject.

 

"So there's bandits everywhere?"

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StarGazer

"Oh yeah. Ever since the big nuclear war, people have taken advantage of the fact that there's really no laws anymore and no one to enforce them. It's not uncommon to find that they've raided whole villages even." Torin shrugged. "That's just the way life is now which is why I live way out here. I'm less likely to be a target if they can't find me."

 

He looked down at the ham hock in his hands before offering it to Alphonsus once again. "If you like meat, you should take this. It will help you get your strength back. You look half starved right now."

 

The ham hock looked really tempting. He had wanted to eat it, but he was hoping that if he would feed the male he might just decide to stick around a while longer. After all he still had the cheese and bread so he could just eat that. It was worth it to him if he could gain a companion.

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LoneDigger

Alphonsus licked his lips at the sight of free food right in front of him, and his mouth was already watering. He didn't like accepting anything for humans, and this one had already given him a huge favor so he didn't want to be further in debt to his kindness for setting him free. The other had paid a lot, even in half the asking price.

 

The male stretched out and quite daintily took the piece of ham between his teeth, which did look a little to sharp to belong to a human, even the way he moved seemed more like a beast as he retreated to the corner to eat his prize, hunching over it protectively as he torn the meat from the bone with a content rumble. It didn't take long for the ham to disappear to just the bone, and he worked on picking off the scraps. Teeth making a soft scraping noise followed by the same content groaning.

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StarGazer

Torin smiled when Alphonsus accepted the food. He was glad he seemed to trust him enough to eat it. "Would you like to go hunting with me tomorrow? You said you like deer. There's been a group around here recently, but it we can't get any, what else do you like? You kind of trailed off there before telling me anything else."

 

He returned to his food quickly finishing it off since he had been quite hungry. The fire was starting to go out so he put another log in. He then held his hands close to the fire to warm them a bit.

 

The fire felt so nice and warm. It made him sleepy. He yawned and layed down near it, grabbing a blanket nearby to cover up with.

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LoneDigger

The dragon nodded, keeping the bone clutched between his hands as he spoke.

 

"I'm not too picky. Any animal that runs and has enough meat on it is fair game."

 

He then picked up the bone between his teeth to carry back over the fire, he set it down in exchange for another coal, curling up close to Torin, but not too close. They weren't touching, he just wanted to share the warmth of the fire.

He closed his eyes, but feeling a tad restless he grabbed his bone again to gnaw on to help calm his nerves. He felt weird being this close a human, even if he was a nice one he wanted to keep him around and all the things that could wrong just kept swarming around inside Alphonsus' head like angry bees. Refusing to let him rest.

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StarGazer

Sora watched as he chewed on the bone, thinking he looked rather animal like in that moment. He quite enjoyed watching him. It almost felt as if he had a pet. Hesitantly, he reached over to pet him. He just couldn't resist running his fingers through the shaggy black hair.

 

He really liked the wild looking hair unlike his own which was completely strait and blond. It had grown down lower than his shoulders because he couldn't afford to pay someone for cutting his hair. So he usually kept it in a low ponytail to keep it out of his face.

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LoneDigger

The dragon stiffened up slightly at first when he was touched, but soon he discovered the joys of having his hair played with and relaxed, letting out another deep rumbling sound. It just his way of expressing contentment.

For someone who didn't bother much with appearances, his hair was wild, yet soft to the touch and somehow very clean

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StarGazer

Torin grinned when Alphonsus didn't try to pull away. In fact it looked like he was even enjoying it. "Your hair is soo soft." He continued to pet him and even moved a little closer until he was laying up against him.

 

He yawned sleepily. "You will still be here when I wake up, won't you? If you don't promise me, I won't go to sleep." It was clear he was trying to fight the sleep which was soon to come. He was scared that if he slept, when he would wake he would be alone once more.

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LoneDigger

The other wanted him to make promises, but did he forget this was a dragon he was dealing with? They were not exactly known for being the most trustworthy creatures.

 

"Mnn... I promise."

 

He replied after a bit of thought, he did owe Torin that much. And besides, staying here a little longer would give him more time to figure out a plan of escape.

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StarGazer

"Thanks I'm glad." He truly believed that once a promise was made it would never be broken. True, that was a little naive and he had even been taken advantage of because of that, but he chose to always believe the best in people.

 

Soon he fell asleep with his head resting on Alphonsus's arm, using it as a pillow. As he slept, he pressed against the male for warmth. It was a cool spring evening and even though there was a fire burning, it was a little cool in the cabin.

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LoneDigger

The dragon lay there quietly, there was a chill in the room and he was grateful for a full belly and warm spot by the fire. Why did Torin think so highly of him? To be able to trust someone he just met, and a monster.

 

He chewed on the bone quietly, deep in thought. He should just leave now. Less complicated... But there was a literal weight on his shoulders holding him back. He groaned softly. Still mulling it over

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