1: The Dragon Man
Jack Walsh aimlessly wandered the streets of San Fransisco, California. He had skipped classes today, trying very hard to fulfill his role as a high school flunkie. He was failing almost all his classes, save for English because he simply loved to read too much and write stories. His favorite subjects for both reading and writing were dragons, the great, majestic beasts of bygone times. His peers mocked him, called him names like 'nerd', 'dweeb', 'geek', 'loser'… but that was only because they didn't understand how much he cared for the mythical serpents. He loved dragons like the star quarterback loved flexing his bulging and slightly repulsive muscles before a mirror until whatever ungodly hour he decided to do something else, or cheerleader loved gossiping with her 'friends' and screwing half the football team.
Jack was rather ordinary for a seventeen year old guy. He had glossy black hair that was always streaked with some outrageous color, like this week he was sporting a bright red supplied by Manic Panic. Just last week it was lime green, but he had run out of dye and decided to purchase a different color. The colored streak was part of his bangs and constantly hung before his piercing blue-green eyes. His standard attire, aside from his private school's stuffy uniform consisting of a deep red blazer, black slacks, a black dress shirt and bright red tie (completed by his favored and well-worn black converse), was typical for a teenager: ripped up and faded band shirts from a concert he had gone to so many years ago, multi-colored skinny jeans, Tripp pants with buckles and zippers everywhere, a screen printed hoodie featuring his favorite childhood hero Optimus Prime, and the converse. Accessories included, but were not limited to, studded belts in varying colors; assorted dog collars, some with tags with things like 'Jack 1254 Kiss My Ass Ave. Up Yours, California' or 'Property of Marvin the Martian' engraved on them; wrist bands, rings, bandanas, earrings (he had pierced his ears back in seventh grade; he was now a junior), a faded Legend of Zelda wallet with a chain, army dog tags that belonged to his great uncle Frederick, who had served in WWII, a souvenir necklace with a shark tooth that he got from one of the shops near Pier 39, a deep red rock he had jacked from Rainforest Café some years ago because he thought it was pretty and had tied a string around to make it a necklace, and countless safety pins.
Basically, he was your typical emo/scene/punk kid. He filled well the stereotype of the 'rebel child from a wealthy family'. His parents owned a law firm that was steadily growing. They had a huge house near Japantown (Jack's favorite hang out sector) and a couple servants. His older sister, Caldonia, was everything she was expected to be: blond-haired, blue-eyed (that annoying twinkly blue that was worthy of being dubbed 'Santa Claus eyes', not Jack's blue-green color), nicely formed and able bodied with boobs verging on being twice the size of her head. She had to be shaped like that: she was head cheerleader for his stupid school, Hayworth Academy. His parents, Tom and Greta, looked down on him for 'not following the family tradition', as the Walsh's had been going to Hayworth since it opened in 1884 and not one had flunked out… yet. They tolerated his 'outlandish' style, claiming it was just a phase he was going through and that he would soon grow out of it.
Jack tilted his head backwards and gazed at the clear sky, watching the occasional puffs of clouds creep across the blue background, pushed by a gentle spring breeze that ruffled his hair and clothes pleasantly. He closed his eyes and let his feet carry him where they pleased. When he returned to his senses, triggered by a big rig's horn blasting at him for veering into the street and nearly becoming the newest species of roadkill, he looked around at his surroundings. His eyes fell upon a favored shop, a musty old building erected when San Fran was first being built. The wooden sign read 'Kollier's Tattoos'. When it was first built, it had been a bookstore, but as time progressed and people found more interest in movies and iPods and cell phones, it changed ownership and became Kollier's shop. He slowly pushed open the bright red door, the welcome bell tinkling friendly at him.
"Hey Jack, back so soon?" a man verging on thirty asked casually. Martin Kollier was one of the best tattoo artists/body peircers in the entire city. He had brown hair that was kept shaved close to his skull, save for a large lock over his right eyes that was dyed a permanent dark green, reminding Jack of a character in an anime he watched a few times but couldn't recall the name of to save his life. He had small, circular spectacles that were tinted dark purple and looked like they belonged to Ozzy Osbourne. Both ears were pierced until there was no room for another stud, he had a ring in his eyebrow and one in the center of his lip.
"Yeah, it's better than sitting in French class," the teen joshed.
"Did you decide on a design yet?" the proprietor asked, flipping idly through a magazine.
"Not yet," Jack sighed. "I don't want just any ol' tattoo, I want something original and unique."
"Yeah, you and everyone else," Kollier joked good naturedly. Jack browsed through the many different designs, hoping to find one that caught his eye. But amidst the tribal patterns, animals, hearts, people, words, and random images, he failed to find something that spoke to him. He was slumping over the counter, smushing his face against the cold glass, when the bell tinkled again.
"Hey, how's it going?" Kollier greeted the customer. Jack looked up and felt his breath catch in his throat.
The man was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. He had long hair that was a brilliant cartoon yellow, tied off in a low ponytail that draped over his left shoulder. A black biker jacket was clenched in his hand, leaving his torso exposed. His porcelain skin was complemented by a solid black tank top that hugged his slight-but-still-noticeable muscles. Black Doc Marten boots and tight black skinny jeans tied the outfit together. He approached the counter and laid a slip of paper in front of Kollier. He brushed by Jack, who felt his heart skip a few beats, and glanced at him with eyes that were so pale grey they appeared to be white. A smile quirked at the stranger's lips ad he returned his attention to Kollier.
"Think you can reproduce this?" he asked. Kollier studied the paper for a moment or two then nodded.
"I can. Why, you want it done?" the artist replied. The stranger shook his head.
"No, not me, but maybe one of your customers would find it… intriguing," he chuckled a bit, his blond hair quivering from the motion. He flicked his eyes to Jack, who was watching them curiously. "Come here and tell me what you think," he said, beckoning Jack closer. The teen obliged, not knowing what else to do.
"It's beautiful…" he breathed. An intricate lacework of Anglo Saxon runes burst forth from a pentacle, interspersed with tribal lines, giving the appearance of reptilian wings. "I want this one!" he said quickly.
"Hang on a sec, sport," Kollier chuckled. "Did you get your parental consent form signed?"
"Yeah…" he brought out his wallet and produced a folded up piece of paper. Actually, he had forged his parent's signatures (how else was he going to get legit sick notes?), but Kollier didn't know that. "I kinda spilled coffee on it, though…" he pointed to the large, pale brown stain in the center of the paper.
"As long as there's a name on there from a legal adult, you can spill whatever you want on it. Besides, I've seen worse. This one girl spilled her Monster on it not two seconds before handing it to me. I had to wash my hands several times before the stickiness went away and I could get to work," he laughed. "Think about where you want it and let me know when you're ready."
"Who knew someone would like it so quickly?" the blond man chuckled softly. "You've got good taste, kid, though I doubt you know that it is."
"Well, it kinda looks alike something I saw a picture of in a book once…" Jack mused. Now that he thought about it, it did look familiar. Where had he seen that design before?
"you look kinda young to be getting a tattoo… how old are you?" the blond asked, sitting on the couch.
"I'm seventeen. My name's Jack Walsh," Jack replied, butterflies churning his stomach. Why was this man so… captivating? He shouldn't be getting butterflies over a guy… he was straight.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Jack. My name is Alfonse Porter," the blond extended a hand. Jack took it uncertainly and returned the handshake. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have other business to attend to."
"Oh, okay. Bye," Jack said hastily.
"I'll see you soon, my friend…" Alfonse murmured in his ear as he stood up to leave. Jack stared after him, his heart beating his ribcage to pieces. There was no way such and enchanting man could possibly exist!
"Ready Jack?" Kollier asked. Jack jumped, blushed, and nodded. He glanced over his shoulder at the front door, hoping Alfonse would come back. He didn't. "Where d'you want it?"
"Umm… my lower back," Jack replied instantly. That was odd; he hadn't thought of where he wanted the peculiar design. He was led into a smaller room and Kollier motioned for him to sit in the chair.
"Take off your shirt and show me where," the artist instructed. Jack obliged and pointed to the area just above the top of his studded belt. "Alright…"
Jack grabbed the small book he kept in his back pocket and opened it to where he last left off. It was a worn, tattered old thing that looked like it had been through both world wars, with pages fraying and dog-eared so often that some corners had been ripped off. After tearing off the tenth corner, Jack had gotten an actual bookmark. He had found the book in the back room of the store, pushed halfway under an old oak desk and covered in twenty-odd years of dust, maybe more. What Jack liked most about the book was that its subject was dragons. But it wasn't the generic 'these are the types of dragons and here's what they eat, let's hope it's not you' babble Jack could recite from memory.
It was about human relationships with dragons.
Jack opened to his favorite section in the book and clamped his bookmark between his teeth. His blue-green eyes slowly scanned the yellowed pages…
'The Dragon's Lover is one of the most sought after positions by humans. It transcends the average concubine or whore and puts both dragon and human on an equal ground, giving the Lover the same amount of power of the dragon as the dragon would a normal human. However, the union can only be broken by the dragon.
As the name would suggest, the Dragon's Lover, in a sense, becomes the dragon's love toy. Both dragon and human find themselves attracted to one another, regardless of age, appearance, personal likes and dislikes, ethnicity, race, and/or sexual orientation.
Most dragons assign some other task to their human, apart from being their Lover, such as guarding their treasure or dwelling.
A Dragon's Lover is not born. While it is true that they themselves are brought into existence, they do not attain the position of Dragon's Lover unless they are marked with the Emblem of the Lover."
Jack's eyes flew open wide when they fell on the image beneath the words: it was exactly the same as the tattoo he was getting right at this moment. For a brief second, his heart sputtered in his chest. Did that mean he was going to become a Lover? He had chosen the tattoo only after seeing Alfonse… could Alfonse be a dragon? He had read that some dragons were able to change shape…
No, he was just being silly. Dragons only existed in fairy tales and stories. ………right?
"Done," Kollier announced a while later. Jack came out of his pointless mind-wandering and rose from the chair. He walked over to the mirror and turned his body so he could see. The tattoo stood out sharply against his pale skin. He felt a smile quirk at his lips.
"It's beautiful…" he breathed.
"I trust you know what to do to care for it?" Kollier asked. Jack nodded mutely, still staring at the ink on his skin. The older man taped a bandage over it so Jack's shirt wouldn't stick to his skin. Jack fished his wallet out of his pocket and made to pay for the ink. Coming from a prestigious family did have its plusses, mainly a large allowance.
After paying, Jack wandered around the town aimlessly. School wouldn't be let out for another hour or so… his parent's wouldn't be back from work until seven that night as they had a conference today… that idiot Caldonia had cheerleading practice until six. The only ones home would be the servants, who might snitch on him for cutting school. He sighed and shoved his hands in his pockets. He picked a direction and started walking.
Was he going to be a Dragon's Lover now? He did get the Emblem tattooed… but he had never seen a dragon before. Wait… no one has seen a dragon. That was stupid… perhaps he was being stupid, getting all worked up because he just so happened to come across his tattoo in a book about dragons… he guessed that showed his level of maturity.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw something glimmer gold in the late afternoon sun. When he fully oriented his head on it, it had vanished into an alley. Feeling like the whole thing was horribly cliché, he followed the golden thing. His eyes widened again when they fell upon a large, quivering mass of golden scales. Ragged breathing reached his ears as massive wings of a similar golden sheen furled and unfurled. Jack took a cautious step forward, absently reaching out a hand to the golden thing. When nothing happened, he took another… and another… and another… soon he found himself mere inches from the thing, crouching down on his knees. Hot breath tickled his legs through his pants, reminding him of summer. Timidly, he reached out a hand to touch the thing.
"Ah!" he gasped when large pale grey eyes shot open, staring directly into his green-blue ones. He tumbled backwards into a large pile of cardboard boxes and hit his head on a dumpster. He thought he saw the thing change its shape, but he blacked out before he could make any sense of it.
"…ack… Jack, are you awake yet?" a masculine voice called.
Jack rubbed his head. Ohh, it was throbbing so much… he blinked stupidly and gazed at his surroundings. The first thing he registered was the face of Alfonse, extremely close to his own. He looked around him. He was still in the alley, though the sun was hidden behind the tops of buildings, indicating the passage of time. He pushed himself up and looked at Alfonse.
"What… where…" he tried. Oddly enough, he could not ask neither what had happened nor where Alfonse had come from. The blond man pressed a finger to the teen's lips, silencing him.
"Do you want the truth, or shall I spin you a lovely tale?" he asked, a smile playing on his lips.
"Truth," Jack replied. It was only natural to want to know exactly what happened.
"If you insist," Alfonse chuckled. "I had spent more than the allotted time in my human form, and thus needed to change into my true form lest I start dying. You hadn't become mine yet, so I needed to change. You found my in my true form and it startled you. You panicked and hit your head," he said smoothly. "And here we are."
"Your true form?" Jack asked, uncertain. Alfonse nodded.
"The great golden beast you stumbled upon half an hour ago. I'm surprised you don't recognize it," Alfonse chuckled. "A European dragon of a lovely golden color. You do know what it means now that you bear the Emblem?"
"But that's just a story! You can't possibly be a dragon!" Jack cried. "And I'm not going to be your Lover!" he added hotly despite the blush rising to his cheeks.
"You'll be eating those words soon, Jack," Alfonse chuckled, running his thumb along Jack's jaw line. Jack leapt to his feet, pushed Alfonse away, and bolted for home.
There was just no way…
A/N: well, I hope you all enjoy it. Read and review and whatnot. If you've been to my account, you should know how I work. Go there if you wanna read a fanfic, as this is an original story.