Title: Shadow Dragon (5/5)
Romance/Drama/NC-17 (for oral sex, soloM, and foul language.)
"He was cold, drenched and very tired. He had neither the time nor the desire to chat with men who had been dead for over two and a half millennia." Draca thought his bad day couldn't get any worse. A birth, a tattoo, a mother's pride, and a lover's comforting touch await him.
Time Line:
Mid-April, 2543 A.S. 13 years after Best Laid Plans.
Sin - 543 years; Draca - 188 years; Kira - 76 years; Gwen - 103 years; Kyris - 127 years

Welcome fellow slashers! Wait... you're not a slasher? You... don't even know what that is? The hell are you doing here, then?

Thank you to all who reviewed and favorited. ^ ^ I'm surprised to see so many of you still, given how long it took.

Shadow Dragon - Final Part

The bloodied, distorted faces of his dead parents had long since ceased to disturb him. He'd been having this particular nightmare for years. Draca studied the bodies of his dead mother and father lying at his feet, and shook his head. It no longer affected him. The once vivid surroundings of his mother's Keep had faded to endless black. Only the corpses remained, just as they had always been. Every detail was sharp, as they'd been branded into his subconscious long ago.

On a normal night this image would remain for the duration of his dream. On particularly bad nights, he'd be plagued by Deimos' shouts of "Monster!" and "Murderer!" And on nights where he was meant to go without sleep, this memory would dissolve into the white hell of that Arias winter – where he was trapped in an unforgiving tomb of burning ice. But he was always alone. Alone in a sea of black, or the crushing, blinding white of snow.

Which is why he nearly jumped out of his skin when a hand touched his shoulder. The grip was strong and unrelenting – pulling him away from his routine imaginings. Draca began to resist, but a quiet voice stopped him. "No, no, little serpent. Turn away from these morbid memories. Gaia, is this how to properly greet your mother?"

The Vampyre stopped his weak struggles, and turned without further fuss, wondering what awful trick his own subconscious was playing on him now.

It was indeed his mother standing before him in the blackness – or at least a shade of her. She looked the same as she had been the last time he'd seen her alive. Tall and slim – nearly the same build and height as himself. It was alarming to realize the truth in Rona's words. It was almost like looking into a mirror. Not only was her long hair the exact shade and haphazard nature as his own, but he saw himself in the shape of her keen emerald eyes and – when she grinned at his awe – the quirk of her lips. Her crimson and gold wings fluttered as she laughed, her expression more open than Draca had ever seen it. What kind of dream was this? Was his subconscious mocking him with what he could have had?

Adel sobered, as if sensing her son's thoughts. "Banish these torturous shades, my son. They're nothing but lies."

"But I-" Draca's voice was strained, his throat suddenly tight, "I killed you that night."

"Draca, not even I know exactly what happened that night. I was a single, wounded Dragoness fighting against two Dragons with the distraction of protecting a child on my mind. It was unlikely I would've survived anyway." Her lips pulled into a frown that looked almost petulant. His mother didn't appear to like admitting her own failings in strength.

Apparently, the pride and arrogance was genetic as well.

Adel shook her head and reached out to cup his face in her hands. Her touch was soothing and warm, her face – usually so stern and distant in his memory – held such affection and pride that his heart ached. "It could've been your eruption of power that killed me. It could've been your father. It could even have been Deimos, though I doubt that one."

"Why?" Draca asked lowly, his blood boiling at the mere mention of his uncle.

Adel snorted. "As many crimes as he's committed, killing a relative isn't one of them. And he respected me, to a degree." The Vampyre wasn't too happy to hear it, and growled obstinately. His mother quirked a grin. "At any rate, I don't blame you. For any of it. You are my son, and I'm proud of the man you've become. The only thing I regret is never telling you that."

"T-Thank you," was all he could say. What else could he say? There was so much he wanted to tell her – so many things left unsaid. But the words wouldn't come. The dream-vision of his mother seemed to accept that, for she stepped close and embraced him. Warmth washed over the Vampyre – sweet and gentle warmth. The shock of it overwhelmed him for an instant, before his arms wound around the Dragoness and returned it.

The long forgotten scent of his mother permeated his senses – a smell that was both of strength and softness; of sweet mountain air and a hint of wild flowers.

A mother's embrace. It was something straight from his childhood fantasies.

Adel laughed quietly, her voice warped slightly with an emotion Draca couldn't name. "The last time I held you like this, you were just a baby. You've grown so much…" The blackness around them rippled. She drew back from him sharply, staring off into the void with suddenly annoyed eyes. Draca could only watch silently, overwhelmed by the swelling, tingling heat rising within him – joy on a level that he'd never felt before.

"Ah, damn. Outta time. I swear, this is fucking stupid," Adel growled. Her hands were propped on her hips, her frown exasperated. "You'll get to your destiny just fine, whether I'm there or not."

"What?" Draca blinked dumbly. What had his mind come up with now?

But his mother only huffed. "Nothing. I'm already breaking enough rules already. So, here's your dream advice." She studied him with a look he could only categorize as fond. "Be good," Adel said with matronly authority – but her smile was devious. "Cherish what's in front of you – don't let it go to waste."

And as the vision of his mother began to fade, and the dream void dissolved into the senseless blackness between sleep and waking, he heard her last command.

"Give 'em hell, kid."

The lethargy of waning sleep was cast upon him like an inescapable net. Though he was becoming increasingly aware of his surroundings, Draca had neither the ability nor the inclination to face reality just yet. He had rolled onto his stomach sometime during the night to escape aggravating his new body art – which he could feel was throbbing in the early morning air. His hands twitched of their own accord, curling into the sheets in discomfort.

The next thing the Vampyre became aware over was the shifting of another form; a body leaning cautiously over his. There was a popping sound, as with the lid of a jar. And then something shockingly cool was pressed to the sensitized flesh of his back.

Draca's mind snapped alert so fast that he was left dizzy, his body jolting violently and his arms trying in vain to push his body from the bed. A hiss bordering on a snarl burst from his lips.

"Shhh…" A hand gripped his shoulder, gently forcing him back to the bed. The substance, a gel or salve he realized, was still being massaged into his stinging flesh. After the first few shocks, the thief became accustomed to it. The salve had some kind of cooling agent in it – aloe, perhaps. It sapped away the sting from his inflamed skin. It was incredibly soothing after the initial sensation, and within minutes Draca was arching into those hands with a small sound of contentment. A soft snort of amusement was his reward. Those hands left him – despite his disappointed whine – to balance his lover's weight as he pressed a kiss to Draca's nape. He practically purred.

Weight settled against his side and an arm wrapped around him – careful of the drying salve. Another kiss was laid on his shoulder, and the blond shifted to catch his partner's lips with his own. He held them captive for only a moment. "G'morning," he murmured as he pulled away, "Not that I'm complainin', but what was that for?"

Sin hummed, and Draca had to squash the urge to kiss him again. "It was hurting you. You wouldn't stop squirming."

"Thanks." Draca craned his head up to peer out the window, narrowing his eyes against the sunlight pouring through the crack in the curtains. "What time is it?"

"Not quite midday. We overslept." But despite his words, the seraph refused to move. The thief allowed the contented silence to wash over them. He studied Sin's face in the morning light, expression relaxed and so breathtakingly beautiful.

"Cherish what's in front of you – don't let it go to waste."

His heart constricted at the memory of his mother's – or rather, his dream illusion of her – words. The knowledge he'd learned the night before, of what Sin had been through even if he didn't specifically remember it, came back to him. He reached up to cup Sin's cheek in his palm, caressing the smooth skin beneath his fingertips. 'How could I not cherish this?' he thought as Sin leaned into the touch. Ruby eyes slid open, gazing at him from under dark lashes. The look in those eyes was so akin to wonder that the Vampyre stilled. He was caught in that gaze, silent and scared that if he even breathed the moment would be over.

What was Sin Seeing to cause that?

And then Sin drew close and kissed him with a fervor that startled the Vampyre. He returned the passionate kiss with just as much force without a moment's hesitation. This was a drug with an inescapable addiction. Draca knew he would never tire of this.

'When did I become such a sap?' That needed to be fixed.

He broke from the lip lock with a grin. "How long's it been since we spent a day in bed?" There. That was better.

The seraph glared, but there was a light in his eyes, shining with desire. Draca smirked, and calmly waited for his protest. "We can't."

"And what if I wanted to spend the day with you?"

"One of the girls will come looking for us."

"We can lock the door." Draca wasn't in the mood to go around in circles with his lover on this. He laid all his cards on the table, using his trump tactic. He leaned forward to whisper seductively into his lover's ear: "I want to spend today touching and tasting you, getting reacquainted with every last inch of you. I want to spend hours giving you the greatest of pleasures…"

'Cherish every bit of you…'

'Stop that.'

Sin shivered against him. They both knew who won.

Today was going to be so much better than yesterday.

Adel smiled wryly as she separated herself from the Somnian Sea – the glowing, ever rippling pool of liquid silver dreams. The Dragoness sat back, leaning against the pillows that lined the edge of the shore. She sat in the portion of the Somnaula where the sea trickled into a small scrying pool. The shimmering waters cast an ethereal light over the viewing chamber. It was quite pretty. But it was abandoned. Just like half of the complex, the Somnaula was left empty. There was no Embodiment of Dreams to watch over it. The sea of dreams was left to run free and unchecked.

She wondered how long that would last.

When Adelina had first come to this place, there had only been four of them. And as she'd been told, it had been that way for… ever since the Great War of Adrian's Fall, really. Over two thousand years. There were sixteen different temples in the complex. Room for sixteen Embodiments. Only four had survived the cost of the War. No matter how you looked at it, that fact was frightening.

She had been the fifth. The first to come to them in over two millennia. But it seemed the cosmos was finally righting itself. It'd been just over a century since Adel had come to call the complex home, and they already had found their sixth.

In life, the blonde Dragoness had been a warrior and a rebel. A woman who was by no means meek. In her death, she'd been met by not the grim reaper but by Life. Who, instead of taking her to her eternal resting place, had taken her hear. In death, she had become the patron of Iraula. The Embodiment of Wrath.

Oh yes. Things were certainly looking up. But there were always rules that came with everything. Consequences that must be accepted.

"Can you do anything without breaking the rules?"

Adel's wistful smile died at the sound of that voice. That uptight, bitch-ass voice. With a growl already forming in her throat, the warrior turned to see the bane of her afterlife. (Or… un-life. The Embodiments enjoyed a separate existence from life and death.)

The man standing at the entrance to the chamber was a few inches shorter than she was, a mere six feet (which made it almost laughable that he tried to intimidate her so). His body was lean and slender, and in no way built for physical combat. If it weren't for the fact that he had powers well beyond her own (and oh, it killed her to even admit that to herself), Adel could have easily bested him with strength alone. His simple brown hair fell carelessly into his face and down to his shoulders, but it failed to hide his striking, pale gray eyes. He was as he always was, in fine Sorcerer's garbs, his owl Daemon Athena on his shoulder, and wearing that disdainful sneer.

She wanted to punch him square in the face.

Though he was one of the four elder Embodiments, Tarath, the Embodiment of Fate, was the one she liked least.

"Rules are meant to be broken, Tara." The blonde smirked as the man's brow twitched in annoyance, his jaw clenching as the snow-white owl on his shoulder giggled serenely. "Maybe if you didn't have that stick up your ass, you might see how fun it is."

A blush, unable to hide with how pale Tarath's skin was, flitted over his face, and it made Adel snicker with evil glee. "I gave you a very simple rule," the man snapped, his eyes flashing. "Stay out of your son's life until he's reached his destined form."

"'Destined form?'" Adel scoffed. "You make it sound like he'll be something more than what he is. A Vampyre. That's the form he's meant for."

"Not physical form, lizard," Tarath hissed back. It seemed his eloquent, formal nature was already starting to fail under the force of his ire. Only Adel and Cain were capable of such a thing, and she considered it a mark of pride. "Spiritual form. Your death has shaped him, and will continue to shape him in ways you can't even to begin to comprehend!"

"All right, Mister All-Knowing Bastard. Then how, pray tell, is he going to change even more than he already has?" This was an argument they'd had since the beginning, and not once had the Embodiment answered her question.

True to form, Tarath only glared at her. "You know I can't tell you that, Adelina. Just stay away from him for now. I let you go tonight, because it didn't change anything in the Timeline. But after spending the last century thinking you were dead and gone, you would do him no good by suddenly showing up on his doorstep!"

"You can't deny me my son, Tarath!" Her voice was rising, her need to strike making her claws itch. Tarath must have noticed, for he shifted his stance and his eyes glowed softly with his magic.

"I can, and I will, to keep you from changing his fate! Or do you wish to deny him the future he has earned by catering to your selfishness?"

The arrogant assumption infuriated her to no end, but the logic made her restrain herself. Her son had gone through so much hardship without her. But he'd finally made a good life for himself – a family, a home, fame, comfort. For himself. By his hands, without her aid or anyone else's.

"…Fine," she said at last, and turned to gaze longingly at the silvery waves lapping against the side of the pool. "But only if you promise it will be a good fate."

Tarath frowned reluctantly. "Life is not without hardships. But from what I have seen… he will find it worth it, in the end."

It was as vague as always, but Adel would have to trust in that. It was the only comfort she had until she could see her son again.

She would just have to continue biding her time. For now.

A mother's love for her children is like nothing else in this world. It knows no law, no pity… it dares all things and crushes remorselessly all that stands in its path.

Walk on, Traveler of Worlds.

And that's the end of Shadow Dragon, ladies and gentlemen! ^ ^ Not only have I shoved the two of them closer with this, but I've finally gotten around to hinting at something beyond Sin and Draca's little closed off world. X3 Hope you enjoyed it!

Also, as I am slightly evil, I'm going to get you a teaser for the next fic:

Unplanned Parenthood

Hands groped, tugging and tearing at clothes. Their mouths pressed hungrily, nipping and tasting and caressing. It had been too long. Far, far, far too long. Draca growled in lust, a hand tangling in Sin's hair and jerking his head back so he could close his mouth over that wonderful honeyed arch of neck.

"Ahn... Draca..." Sin's moan was cut off in a similar rumble, his hands all but clawing at his back in an effort to pull him closer. The Vampyre hummed against his throat, letting his fangs nip teasingly. His lover arched under him, legs cinching around his waist and bucking wantonly.

He laughed. "When'd you get so damned needy?"

"Shut up." He didn't need to look to feel the blush spreading over the seraph's face. "Just hurry up and fuck me."

Nothing had ever sounded sweeter.


Both of them froze.

Another shaky, pitiful wail echoed from the bottom of the stairs. "D-Draaaa...!"

As one, they groaned. "Damn it," Draca cursed.

"She's your cousin."

"Rona left her with you."

"Because she knew I was more responsible. But she's calling for you, Vampyre." They glared at each other, annoyed with the sudden turn of events. Kala was still wailing at the bottom of the stairs.

Draca sighed. "This is why we're never having kids."

X3 You have chaos to look forward to.