When among Dragons... Chapter 4 Out for a stroll

When among Dragons... Chapter 4 Out for a stroll

by Machara and Chryos Stormwing

Special thanks to
my love Chryos who creates this with me,
Gabe as my editor and friend
as well as Sammi for ideas

It was now mostly night, even though a slight glow in the west still reminded them of the sun that had set a while ago. The air was humid and somewhat warm, though a slight chill seemed to creep in. It was silent, only distant street sounds could be heard, along with a very slight wind blowing.

Drew headed towards the street.

Garrus was curious where Drew was headed and followed along, trying to pick up the conversation from earlier.

“So… Drew… you mentioned you had things on your mind. Would it be too nosy of me to ask you about what those things were… or are? I don't mean to pry of course. That much you know, already.”

He tried to sound lighthearted and had a wink in his eyes.

“But I’m curious, it seems to be the only sign of even a hint of tension between you and your mother. How you mentioned her ‘dominating’ the conversation, just before.”

As they continued walking along the street Drew looked to his side watching Garrus finishing his question. Drew then continued looking forward, guiding both of their direction and pondered an answer.

“It's hard to describe. She recently got a promotion and now oversees a whole wing in her hospital. She is happy with that, but it also means more work and responsibility. We've always been quite close, and now that she has less time I miss that. I think she may have also become a bit more intense and … dominating … as you say because of that. Maybe out of necessity.

The other part, the more pensive one, is all these new impressions and the full day we had. It's been busy, and I enjoyed our previous conversation… and I'm also annoyed about that shop owner. It feels discriminating, and I'm particularly sensitive about that lately.

I'm now in my fourth semester at Capilano University, attending to become a Healthcare Assistant. We got new courses this semester, and I took two specializing in the treatment of Mutants.

I don't know what I'd do if it happened to me. I don't want to bore you with the details, though…"

Drew guided him along the sidewalk of the road and then turned into another sidewalk, which they finally left after a short while, and after going through some bushes, they entered a footpath off the beaten track which lead into a much greener area.

“This is just a shortcut that I always take when I want to go for a stroll in Everett Crowley Park. We'll come to a small road just around the corner.

What about you, Garrus? You did not seem very talkative either, during dinner.”

Listening intently, Garrus didn't even notice the change of scenery until then but opened his eyes wide in surprise.

”Whoa… nice park. Tell me next time we come here. I want to remember the way.”

Chuckling a bit at that moment, Drew then continued listening to Garrus.

”Ah, well… it's true I didn't say much during dinner… but I had the best of reasons: Dinner.”

Chuckling even more now, he watched the last vestiges of sunlight disappear.

”You know, this place is roughly the same… latitude as where I came from; I had kinda hoped to see exceptionally long sunsets, but honestly, now that I have this conversation with you and being in this bit of nature and such… guess that makes up for it.”

“Wow, you are a charmer! Hmm… maybe that came out wrong.

I guess I'd need to visit Germany to have a comparison. The weather is ok, but it feels a bit unpredictable at times… On and off it rains so much that you feel like this must be England, and at other times it’s hot and even dry.

You know, I have not always lived here. We originally came from Whistler, well that's how I remember it, anyway. I miss the mountains, it's so flat here. Not that it's all bad.”

Drew looked and smiled at Garrus, then took him along the gravel and dirt road. Occasionally Garrus could get a peek of the city around, mostly though just as the distant lights shone through the undergrowth. After some time, they got to a place that was a few meters up on a partial clearing, with a few benches.

Drew took a seat and waited for Garrus to do the same, enjoying the outlook over the area that was much more impressive and serene here but still seemed much to flat for him.

“So, what do you think of Vancouver so far, and… well, everything. New family… well… what it may become sometime…"

”Whistler… that's some town nearby, right? My mother told me about it briefly. Much more … mountainous than around here? You miss it?”

As Garrus sat down, he spread out his arms on the bench rest, almost like he was offering Drew to snuggle up.

“I miss the country, and I do miss some friends, but it seems so long ago now. It was a small city in comparison, and Vancouver may be a bit big…"

Drew sat beside Garrus, barely any space left between them.

“But you deflect my questions.”

”You mean about dinner?”

Garrus felt Drew’s warmth and simply enjoyed the moment, not needing to get physical for now but almost feeling confident enough that Drew wouldn't outright dismiss the option.

“I’m sorry, it was mostly really just the hunger after that long flight. We did get something to eat up there but it was… well… airplane food. And not business class, at that. That aside, I was just reliving the past few weeks. All that changed on such short notice and with so little hesitation. It might not make any difference to the world at large but… to me; to have met y… I mean… your family, to have been basically thrown out of my old life. It widens my horizons, at least potentially.”

Drew chuckled.

“I actually was wondering about your impressions of Vancouver and … well… us, but I think I get a bit of the gist.”

Drew shuddered as the wind blew stronger now and it was getting colder. He snuggled up to Garrus, leaning against his body.

“I hope you don't mind… it's getting chilly.”

Watching Drew’s lithe body get so close until he finally touched him, left Garrus with shivers going down his spine as well, although not from the cold.

“I… am a bit surprised to say that but… not in the slightest, Drew. As a matter of fact, thank you.”

Slowly Garrus pulled his arm a bit closer around Drew, for some reason finding the feeling and even the thought of Drew hugging him very comforting.

Drew turned to Garrus, curiously studying his expression. There was something in Garrus’ eyes and that smile… Drew moved up to Garrus and their lips almost met…

Suddenly, Garrus heard rustling below, followed by a sharp pain in his ankle, a grip around it, tugging on it.

Garrus cried out.

He was startled, and stood straight up, looking down below the bench. There was a figure moving on the ground below the bench they sat on, partly hidden, and in the dim light, not clearly visible.

It tugged at Garrus again and then pulled, knocking him down partially but still laying on the bench.

Drew shouted, and then moved forward and kicked with his foot on what he could see of the… creature. Drew’s foot connected, and the thing let loose of Garrus’ ankle, only to lash out against Drew with its snout and bit him.

Drew fell down on his back and after a moment, raised his head to look down along his body to the attacker. The creature was still there, gripping his leg. Drew stumped with his other foot as hard as he could, and it connected directly with its snout.

It let go, hissed, and quickly slithered away, soon being lost in the underbrush.

Drew let out a breath and lay with his feet on the ground, groaning.

Garrus only saw part of the confrontation, and soon felt exhausted, without energy, and dizzy.

Aside from the wind that now only blew very lightly, it was silent, again.

It was dark all around the half-brothers as their consciousness faded…

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