Second Bond R-155 R-156

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Many months had passed since the two riders had joined one another in an unlikely alliance, initially easing into spending their days together roaming the chronoscape, and eventually, after much mutually destructive pining, some much appreciated nights together. Kadel wasn’t fond of thinking about their first manner of meeting, of being stalked by Lonán and eventually being grievously wounded by the man’s dragon, but he did appreciate the fact that Lonán hadn’t left him to die on the side of some desolate mountainside like he probably deserved. Hell, the time spent bedridden had forced him to socialize with this peculiar birdman and helped to shed his unwarranted skepticism and heavily basely suspicions about the otherwise friendly stranger. Socializing was something he would have avoided at all costs if left to his own devices. Undoubtedly to be chided by his oh so doting emerald scaled dragon, Calanthe, or pestered by his less appealing and much more feisty reptile, Willow Wisp. ‘You should go out and do something-’ Calanthe would undoubtedly press the thought into his head at every single opportunity that presented itself. Constantly testing his mental barriers till she could get her message across, and if even that failed, she would say her thoughts to him verbally. Repeatedly. Loudly. Bothering the ex-assassin till he dragged his old and aching bones out of a bed of leaves and moss.

That's how he’d ended up on the mountain that day. Hunting, supposedly, but he never recalled himself or his two companions returning with anything of substance. What he did know is that he met another dragon that day. A big red fire element brute by the name of Brimstone, who had struck him down with the effortless flick of his massive bladed tail. It wasn’t intended for the lithe body of the human, but he had unfortunately been in its path all the same and suffered greatly for his lack of reaction- at the time he had less control of his bond with Calanthe and Willow and had found himself frozen. Trapped, watching through eyes that didn’t belong to him.

Of course all that was old news, and Kadel did his best to not think of the awful aches and the grim ideas that fluttered through his feverish head at the time.

Just ahead of the musing rogue, the object of his desire and rather poor show of affections was doting on another great winged reptile. Perched atop a sizable boulder just south of Kadel’s hovel. Well within the walls of the camp at least, as he was here to preen one of Kadel’s own dragon’s into something more respectable. Not by the rogues insisting, actually, but he enjoyed the sights from his window enough to trek outside for once. The object of Lonán’s effort this time was a recent addition to the herd…group? Flock? Whatever a group of dragons called themselves. This one was new, hatched from one of the two eggs Kadel had stolen from Aurelia so long ago- he wouldn’t admit that to anyone of course. Clearly he was the intended recipient even if that woman hadn’t known of his selfish pilfering. The shimmering tan dragon had introduced himself as Virvatuli moments after he had hatched,so very tiny initially, but he sprouted up into a big brute of a drake all the same. Looking to be almost an exact clone of Willow even, perhaps her direct sibling considering their stark similarities and how infrequently eggs hatched when they weren’t in the presence of a suitable rider. Lonán had even surmised as much- as he had a penchant for egg-raising and sought to become a breeder of dragons, Kadel would believe his word on the matter.

“He likes you.” Kadel spoke up when he stopped nearby Lon’s perching place, finally free of his own internal thoughts as he watched the bird brushing and combing his hands through Virvatuli’s black mane gingerly. More than a little jealous as he thought of his own untamable mop of gray and brown. Lon wasn’t aware of his feelings at least, busying himself by braiding little bits of the already large dragon’s mane into neat ribbons. To allow him to see better, maybe. Kadel wouldn’t have bothered, especially since the dragon was already much taller than him and climbing atop a rock was too much effort in his mind when he had so little energy to spare.

“Ooh, do you; my wonderful friend?” Lonán replied in his typically singsong voice, hands still twining and twirling the dragon’s mane diligently even as he spoke, unaware of the flutter his voice caused in Kadel’s heart. Virvatuli, unfortunately, seemed to pick up Kadel's personal thoughts easily. His icy eyes slid in the direction of his rider intently. Knowingly. Nose flaring as he exhaled into the feathers that covered the bird’s chest and sent them fluttering in the gust. Another flustered feeling washed into him from the human. He enjoyed the feeling of it.

“Yes. You are nice.” Virvatuli supplied after he inhaled again, dipping his head politely as he felt Lonán lean forward over his snout to reach out for another clump of dark fur. “He likes you too.” The dragon’s voice almost sounded amused. Watching his master as he felt their bond wall off abruptly. If anything, his rider was a secretive one, and tended to keep his mind closed off if he could help it. A little teasing was enough to bring those tentatively lowered walls right back up.

Quietly, Virvatuli snorted again, ruffling Lonán’s’s loose dress so the bird was forced to lower a hand and keep it in place about his hips. “Hey. If anyone’s going to be peeking under my shirt it’s not going to be a big lizard, mind your manners.”

“I did it for him.” The reptile affirmed, unashamed, definitely amused as he watched Kadel’s face quickly flash with fury and then a mingle of flustered emotions. Reddened. The dragon narrowed his eyes in contentment and once again held still so Lonán could finish grooming him.

“Oh, you are a naughty boy then.” Lon paused to turn his eyes from his work and to the  silent human that watched him so intensely, voice feigning indignation at the thought of this other rider trying to peep under the hem of his admittedly scanty clothing, there wasn’t much else he could wear that wouldn’t require a great amount of tailoring to accommodate his feathers, wings and claws. “Do you secretly encourage him through your bond? First I have to worry about stolen kisses from a wounded man! Now you slyly get your dragons to help seduce me. A simple sentence or request for attention would be enough?”

Flustered, Kadel managed to swallow his shame at Lon’s implications that he was being sneaky, collecting himself enough to speak in his usual bland tone, “A sentence? What would I say to you? Stop your work and meet me in my shack so I can bend you over an-” He was interrupted in that stream of consciousness by Lonán being shoved off the rock abruptly by way of Virvatuli headbutting him. Gently, Save for the dragon still having enough mass to him for it to easily move Lonán if he was so inclined, which he was in this situation, hoping his rider and this bird would get a room.

Thankfully Lonán had impeccable reflexes and was rescued by black raven’s wings flicking out to catch the wind. A single flap was all that was needed before he was airborne. A moment or two later he was standing beside the old rogue, landing with a soft click of his taloned toes against mossy stones.

“That’s a start. Your poor Tuli has been telling me all about your secretive longings, my lovely Lovely old rogue. He said you should voice your feelings more often, so he doesn’t have to be the middleman between us.”

When exactly the dragons and Lon had discussed Kadel’s feelings, he didn’t know, but he gave the present drake a steely look all the same. Perhaps it would be best to limit how often he could be alone in the presence of Kadel’s love interest. “Does he now? I should be more careful with what I let them latch on to.”

“Oh stop that!” Lon chirped, a hand slapping at kadel’s shoulder playfully, aware that he caused the man’s frame to stiffen, “He doesn’t tell me anything Calanthe wouldn’t. You know  that. She’s a selfish lizard but she wants the best for you! And gods above, Kadel, she’d skin Vir and I both for discussing your more intimate wants. That's Blatant slander, hmm?”

Kadel couldn’t help but look at his present company wearily as he prattled on about an assassin’s honor and whatever else Lon sought fit to embarrass him with. Those fiery feelings that had snuck into his blood seemed to be snuffed out the longer he was the center of the conversation.

“Please tell me they don’t talk to you about my dreams.” That was an awful thing to say, judging by the suddenly intrigued face of the bird-man, his attempts at ignoring it were painfully futile as Lon took that invitation to lean into him heavily, an arm slung over Kadel’s shoulder to keep him from slipping away at the first opening.

“Ha- your dreams? I sure hope those are fun. Perhaps you’d share a bit of your spice with me?” Like Lon had left for Kadel those many many nights ago in the rogue’s personal diary, which he was adamant about keeping that memory on lockdown lest Willow or Vir catch on and tease his partner for being equally filthy minded. If any of those reptiles were surprised, Kadel would be too.

“No…” Kadel sighed. Wary of Virvatulli who watched the both of them with a gleeful look in his blue eyes. It took the drake a moment to catch on that he should probably excuse himself and give them both a moment of respite from his observations.The dragon gave them an approving snort before he  turned tail and drifted down the hill a ways, searching for his sisters. Virvatulli  headed towards the stone wall where Calanthe and Willow were perched. Kadel could see Calanthe arch her head back his way but let nothing slip through their bond to inform her of any happenings or what he was planning. It was better for everyone if the dragoness kept her focus on the orbs of light she was willing into existence around her, while her sister on the opposite wall practiced her flames. To less success, but there was a glimmer of fire light there all the same. Flickering. He wouldn’t worry about being ambushed while they were out keeping guard, and perhaps, somewhere out in the ancient forest, Lonán’s dragons were doing the same.

Kadel was glad when that green scaled dragon finally turned away from him, affording some privacy. She certainly wasn’t excited about the circumstances but seemed to accept what was happening and didn’t reach through their link towards him. Kadel was relieved, especially as he felt Lonán grasping for his hand to briskly tug him up the hill and to the structure they’d both been calling home as of late.

Inside was certainly private. The walls had been mended enough that the wind no longer chilled Kadel to death in the winter months and his ever present night terrors were lessened enough for him to sleep. Better even, when Lon was nearby to snuggle and keep him company in a bed that was still much too poor for the both of them to share. He wouldn’t admit that he greatly enjoyed the company and ensuing comfort Lon brought him to anyone but his present elven company. Eventually though, he expected Calanthe, Willow and the other dragons bound to Lonán to wise up to their partnership, if they didn’t already know from what he suspected to be an open link between the elf and all of his flock.

There wouldn’t be an exchange of rings or fancy gifts to signify the beginning of something wonderful, but they could share their company and their love with one another freely and in peace among the forest and mountains.

======

Dragons weren't stupid creatures by any means, they picked up on the little affectionate gestures of their riders very easily, all their time spent sneaking away to talk and bond. The dragons felt emotions through the bond even if they were offered no visions or pictures. No matter how well either party tried to hide their decision. Well, no matter how hard Kadel tried to keep his business to himself. Lonán had other plans and was less reserved about which dragons knew about his personal dealings. 

Within a day of the rider's private confessions, others had arrived. Dragons that belonged to Lonán. More than Kadel had by far. More varied than Kadel's dragons even, in both size and element and appearance.

All sat outside of the rogue's den like a great iron scaled army. He easily saw the ridge of Brimstone's crimson back over the rocks. Just past the comparatively tiny wall that surrounded his encampment and normally made him feel safe, the massive creature tried to remain small behind those rocks. Invisible, maybe. It didn't help. Kadel looked at him immediately and felt his stomach sour, threatening to make him Ill if he acknowledged the creature for too long. He was no more at ease despite the presence of his partner bedside him, who seemed just as tense. Tentatively reaching his bandage wrapped hand to his side in search of Lonán's feathery own. He felt a slight squeeze when their fingers met, followed by a look that was both an apology and an assurance from lonán. Just take a deep breath, he thought to himself. Willing himself to be calm. His resolve felt a bit beaten as he slowly took in the rest of the dragons present at his camp, each one pointed at by the avian elf as he Introduced them. 

"Sva. Svarog if he doesn't like you." Lon stated softly as he gestured towards a black scaled thunder dragon. The poor beast donning a helm of metal that didn't do much to make him less… mangled, the gap in the jaws of his golden helm betrayed too many teeth. A crocodile smile, and what thin swatches of skin the human could see past those reddened teeth didn't look healthy. At least the bright pink pulses of color drew Kadel's eyes away from the dragon's warped face. Kadel eyed those random jolting lines for a moment before his attention was redirected by another flipping gesture of Lonán's scaled fingers. This time finding himself appreciating a dragon that definitely had some light element in its bloodline somewhere. Equine in form, mostly, like his own dragons, but with a stockier build and the colors of an earth dragon mingled with the colors of a rainbow. "Almast." Lonán supplied helpfully as Kadel caught sight of her, "She's a bit stubborn but I think you'll get along with her." 

Next, he found himself regrettably eyeing up Brimstone, who needed no Introductions. He had lifted his head upwards past the rock so Kadel could involuntarily shiver at the sight of him. Calanthe was quick to flag her raptor-like tail at the drake, to speak some choice words that the rogue could not hear but feel from his bond with her. Brimstone gave a gusty sigh and ducked back behind the boulders. 

"Kadel, easy.." Lonán whispered to him, wiggling his caught fingers so his partner would loosen his grip a tad. 

"Sorry." He supplied flatly, looking on to the next creature he was supposed to make friends with by any means. Some tradition, as Lonán had explained to him the night prior. Dragons had to accept their riders being in a relationship before… they could do so? It seemed stupid to him. What was it called?

 'Second Bond'  He was reminded, this time from the mental link with Virvatulli. Oh so helpful as he was. Second bond.  

"This one is Yasen." Lon added again after a short pause and some time spent flexing his fingers in Kadel's iron grip, surprised with the strength when his old rogue looked so worse for wear. "Lightning, like Svarog…uh, next is Kvigr. He's a big boy but he won't bother you any. Really good to ask him for help if you need to move some trees or heavy things." 

The amount of dragons was disconcerting no matter how often Lonán had explained the manners, habits and personalities of each and every one of them over their time spent together, and poorly again now, since all were present and silently judging their riders tastes. Whether that last bit was true, Lonan didn’t share with kadel, but the old rogue assumed as much based on their leery gazes and how anxious his usually chipper bird was. Clearly Lonán was just as nervous as Kadel about this whole scenario, being a traveler from the chronoscope himself. Neither of them were used to seeking approval from anyone save themself- At least at the present, Something told Kadel that long ago he did indeed take orders from another person or group. Bloody work. That was from the desert, and that was not here. Regardless of the situation, Kadel's lips were a thin line, parting only for him to ask a hushed question to his fidgeting companion, "And you bonded with so many… why?" How, was actually what he wanted to say, but he swallowed the question and waited for Lon’s eventual reply.

His ears were greeted by a surprisingly gentle chuckle, "I have a big heart, I want to help whoever I can and that includes these cuties." 

Cuties…huh. That’s not the word he would have chosen to describe a dragon with teleportation abilities and the ability to wield the very elements around them.

"Yeah…" Kadel grunted, figuring Lonán had some other reason for attracting so many creatures, marveling that he even had the mental capacity to handle the burden left by that many links. He was reminded of his own inability to function in the same regard. Too much emotional or visual input from even his two dragons clogged his own senses and left him paralyzed. He hadn't experienced what three would be like, not one to let his guard down for the trio or for that matter, all four.  Not again, at least. "That must be hard to manage. What do they think about us?" 

"Most are indifferent, Svarog and Yasen think it could be a good match, beneficial… um, for us, for them somehow?" Lonán hesitated for a moment. Either busy communicating through his own links or doing some mental gymnastics as he tried to word a less than savory opinion into something that could be safely shared with his prickly human. "Brimstone hopes you two can get along. He never…” lonán's words trailed off, emerald eyes falling to Kadel's covered midsection. Both knew where that was going, "Kvigr and Almast are curious about you, so that's good right? That’s not an outright no to us being together." 


Again, all Kadel could supply was a sigh, reaching his hand out to grab the claws of the raven man’s hand again, “I suppose it is. I’m sure you’ve heard time and time again, but my dragon’s claim to have no strong feelings about you. Save Vir and Midas.”

“The friendly ones.” Lon interjected, a bit of his overabundant and oh so optimistic cheer overtaking his anxieties. Kadel wished he could flip his emotions like a light switch.

“Yes, the friendly ones.” He confirmed dryly, letting go of their hand so he could turn and seek out the shimmering green scales of his primary dragon, Calanthe, and by association, Willow who would always be nearby. Unsurprisingly, he found all four of his own dragons grouped together, for safety presumably as they were outnumbered and outclassed in size.

'Worried?' the man inquired about each of them. Calanthe replied with a firm and resolved 'No.' while the other three offered him only trickles of mixed emotions. Uncertainty, first and foremost, some excitement from Vir, and intrigue from the quiet Midas. He was more surprised about Willow's feelings than her brother's and Midas. 

'Do I...' Kadel pressed, faltering before he could completely form the question. Do I need permission? He would have asked if he didn’t think it was a stupid endeavor. Regardless, he looked at each of them expectantly.

He was immediately assaulted by Virvatulli pressing into his head, flashes of bright colors, maybe it was pictures or emotions in color form, but he seemed excited. As if he already knew what Kadel was going to ask without it being said. 

Audibly, the ever quiet Midas spoke, inclining his white maned neck towards Lonán, blue eyes narrowed slyly and lips almost pulled back into some manner of amused smirk, showing off pointy teeth characteristic of all of his dragons, "He wants to know when you'll kiss." 

Vir looked to the other gilded light dragon beside himself, gave an affirming snort and swung his head towards Willow and Calanthe to get their opinions. "I think you two should go along with this. That Birdy has very soft hands, Kadel could enjoy himself for once and relax and we'd get the bonus of being groomed properly once in a while." Was that an insult? They were grown, they didn’t need a human grooming their feathers or scales.

"Ooh~ haha! Does he need a massage to relax?" Lon chirped enthusiastically, nudging the dusty cloak that hung over Kadel's ribs with a feathery elbow, clearly saving that idea for later when he could pester the rogue in private. 

None of the dragons replied, but Kadel knew from their individual expression that they were either entirely on board with the second bond, or, in the case of Calanthe, skeptical but allowing it, if only for her precious rider's sake. 

Behind the two riders, the other dragons stirred from their resting places, prompted by Lonán to socialize with Kadel's flock. Excluding Brimstone, who kept himself still and remained with the company of Kvigr, his hatch mate and Lonán's second hatched dragon. Lonán’s pair of wyrms writhed their long bodies till they were suspended in the air upon unmoving but extended wings, wriggling  like serpents as they circled closer and over the heads of Kadel's own dragons. Voices raised in conversations that only the dragons spoke. He wondered what was being said, but turned from them as no tempers seemed to flair up.

Almast was next to approach the dragons of Kadel to mingle, her stocky head swiveling towards Calanthe to speak with her in soft rumbling tones, the pair eyeing the other dragons with some level of personal judgment before they moved off on their own to discuss.

Besides Kadel, Lonán released a long held breath, turning his masked face to offer a pleased smile at his companion. "That went well, huh? I think I was worried about nothing." 

"We were both worried." Kadel added, frowning as he usually did. Truth be told, he was also relieved that nothing had gone south and neither of them was presently being mauled by an angry and very powerful reptile.  

“Aha- very true, but again, it went well.” No one was fighting, so Lon gave Kadel a moment of silence to observe the interactions, knowing his partner had a thing for being attentive and aware of his surroundings. 

Second Bond R-155 R-156
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In Displays, Courtships, and Bondings ・ By foxdog2

Second bond for Kadel and Lonan! Featuring Empi's rider Hiekka Leija and dragon Aurag

Part 1
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part 2
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Submitted By foxdog2
Submitted: 1 month agoLast Updated: 4 weeks ago

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