Ythac leapt into the air. He circled the lot a few times, shapeshifting a touch — putting on his prettiest barbels and spikes, his most gleaming scales. Then he flew for Port-of-Zom. Arilash and I took to the air, Tarcuna on my back, but to watch from quite a distance. The Vlechinse soldiers were getting a bit frisky with their artillery.
Ythac circled over the wormhouse where Llredh was trapped, calling out, “Llredh, Llredh.”
Llredh was sitting on the step, in hoven form. He cupped his floppy hoven hands in front of his floppy hoven mouth so he could shout back. “Hi, Ythac. The tempting-back you come here to make again, no? The denial you will have again! A more important thing to do is now the thing I have to do!”
“Llredh, Llredh. I know what has become of you. I know about the little cup and the dripping,” said Ythac.
“And you dare come back? The taunting you will make of me now? The teasing, the mocking? I care nothing! Nothing!” howled Llredh, full of despair and helpless anger.
Ythac stripped off his illusion spells, so that anydragon could see the truth of his words. “No, no, not that, never that. I love you. I’ve loved you from the time we met,” he said. Which is a rather disgusting thing for one drake to say to another, and even more to mean it. He sounded a lot more intense about it than when he had said he loved me, too.
“The sentimental romantic farewell you make on me?” said Llredh. “Fine, fine. My favorite drake, you were he, and my favorite dragoness, you were she, too, more often than not. Those were good fights and good fucks. Now, away with you. This place, I will never leave it, the worms here are more important than any fighting and any fucking.”
Ythac hovered as best he could, all his wings beating. “I don’t want to leave you. Not here, not like this… Come up and mate with me. I’ll be the dragoness for you. Come up. I’ll leave my scutes off. No heavy scales, no apotropaics. Just bare soft skin on my chest. I’ll join you, if that’s how it goes. We’ll protect the wormhouse forever, you and I. Just to be together with you, always.” Every word true. I was absolutely horrified.
“You cannot wish it,” said Llredh. “The worm, she is not so nice.”
“Better sharing the worm with you than leaving you,” said Ythac, truthfully.
Ythac turned female, and shifted away his … her … scales and stripped off her other spells, leaving herself unprotected. Llredh looked up at her, lust and horror and unwanted need burning in his eyes. Ythac called down to him, “Come up, come up here and take me, Llredh.”
“No, no, it is a horror you ask!” howled Llredh from his hoven mouth. But his worm no longer left him the freedom to protest (he told us later). It knew a superb host when it saw one, albeit distored through Llredh’s mind, and it wanted the best for its child. It splashed into Llredh’s psychic cup, as Ythac circled over him and spread her claspers, and in minutes forced him to try to colonize Ythac.
And so Llredh was compelled to put back on his orange and brown scales and take up his wings and claws. And as soon as he did, he howled in fury and pain. The worm’s control must have broken then, and torn Llredh inside then.
And Llredh was deep, deep in his fury. Nothing angers a dragon a twelfth as much as being dominated by a far lesser creature. He cast a simple scrying spell inside himself, to find out where the worm was. And then he went after it. He ripped open his own chest with his claws. He snapped three of his ribs. Ythac flew down and tried to put the Rose Rescaler on him, but he blocked the healing spell with his vô. “The time, the more time you must give me, this enemy I will destroy even if I die from it!” Ythac beat his wings, staying close to Llredh, and let Llredh alone to rip open his left lung and expose the tiny forked-tailed cyoziworm flopping around feebly in there.
And Llredh breathed flame into his own chest, his fiercest flame, so strong and deep that it must have strained his whefô. His flesh seared here and there; his fire was so hot that it overwhelmed his usual immunity to his own breath.
His cyoziworm had no such immunity. It fell away as ashes.
“Not enough revenge, not nearly enough is that. But what can one do to an animal that barely even thinks? Ythac, Ythac, now you may heal me,” said Llredh. And Ythac was more than happy to, with the Rose Rescaler and the Great Titan Sanitarium. And Llredh gave himself the Put-Together-Now, and that seemed to mostly take care of the wound.
“Come back, come back to the mating flight with me,” said Ythac, when Llredh was out of danger.
“The cheating-on-me, already you make her?” warbled Llredh. “You give me my saving, but with the false promise?” He air-danced around Ythac, laughing.
Ythac half-folded her wings in shame, nearly falling out of the sky into the vile streets of Port-of-Zom. “No, Llredh, everything was true … how am I cheating?”
“The fine fuck in the sky, you promise her to me! Now first the flying-away you want to make?” said Llredh, laughing.
”… Oh! …”
“One minute, I give her to you. One minute to put your spells back and your scales back, and all things back,” said Llredh.
Ythac sort of gaped at him. “What?”
“The fine brave boy, he risks his soul to rescue me, this is the boy I will twine in the sky and anyone can see it! This is the boy who offers his life for mine! This is the boy I will give my life to!” shouted Llredh, in Grand Draconic except for the vulgarity. The few trees of Port-of-Zom shook at his voice, and the soldiers got to work with their artillery.
“Oh!” said Ythac, and started putting spells on herself — then himself — in rather a daze. Llredh circled him while he worked, looking rather more excited and eager than any drake had looked for me.
And the two of them coupled in the sky over Port-of-Zom. I don’t know exactly what they did with each other; I couldn’t watch. Arilash was watching, and soon smelling of dragoness lust herself.
I couldn’t bear to see the nastiness that my best friend had chosen for himself. I snatched Tarcuna up and flew away, to fetch Osoth from the Prevalian Catacombs.
Saved by the power of love. In the most horrible way possible.
Better than a cyoziworm for each of them? I don’t know.