Rating: General audiences
Character/s: Kilgharrah and Aithusa
Summary: Kilgharrah didn't sign up for this.
Word Count: 731
Prompt: #127 Protect
Author's Notes: Regrets-his-life-decisions!Kilgharrah - what more could you want? :D
He is thunder. He is lightning. He is the tempest across the sea; the gales that howl the storms. Earth shudders beneath the weight of his worth, and the sky bows at his arrival; it rains a million welcomes and blesses him with the smile of a sun. There is naught in the world - Albion and the lands beyond - that does not whisper of his movements. He goes where he pleases but always returns at a call - of magic; liquid gold and a fiery will. The skies are home to his celestial being, but he makes do when he must - in caves of ruin and forests that sing him to sleep - whenever Camelot needs him.
Camelot always seems to need him.
Merlin tries, the great dragon knows, but there are just some things the boy (the fledgling, Kilgharrah sighs only to himself) cannot do by himself.
Raising a gawky, animated pile of thistles with more claws than he knows what to do with and the ability to sneeze scorching smog into his guardian's eyes is one of the many things on such list.
Aithusa is beautiful. Of course he is, he's a rose; tiny and delicate and waiting to bloom, but Avalon help him Kilgharrah should be chasing mortal armies back to their pathetic little castles, not chasing swarms of butterflies through cow fields.
He is not cut out for this. (He was carved from iron and melded with gold, not - not cotton!)
Caring for the hatchling is a privilege. Mothering Aithusa's idiotic tendencies and unstoppable curiosity for the world is not. Why, just yesterday his gangly limbs had propelled him into a farmer's field full of sheep bigger than he (bigger than he!) and Albion's last glimmer of hope had almost been savaged to death by a shaggy livestock guardian dog!
Kilgharrah had been this close to frying them all. Only his promise to Merlin (to Emrys, to Albion) had stopped him.
Look after him where I cannot, Merlin had asked. Keep him safe, Kilgharrah. Protect him.
Protecting Aithusa from tumbling into burrows and drowning in inch deep puddles had not been what the mighty dragon had envisioned.
A bump against his scales disrupts the pensive still to his gigantic body, and Kilgharrah heaves a sigh as he turns to inspect his ward. Eyes blue and hopeful stare back at him, and wings half-bent and flightless flap as the little dragon chirps. Speech is not yet a form of communication that Aithusa can use, and Kilgharrah cannot deny that he is grateful for the quiet when the hatchling is so loud in everything else.
(One day - one day he will not be, but for all his years and knowledge of the world, this is not something in his power to predict).
"I suppose you are hungry, little one," he sighs, noting absent-mindedly that the sun is low across the horizon and the birds of the forest are settling down for rest. Eating often is not something he requires, but for the growing dragonling gurgling next to him it is a necessity that only Kilgharrah can provide.
Aithusa answers with a wobbling nod. He scampers off with his nose in the air, searching for any remains of their previous hunt. Lifting himself to follow, the elder dragon knows Aithusa will find little to eat, so he ponders his next hunting ground as he slips further into the cave, moving with a grace seemingly impossible for his size. He will have to search further out this time, he is sure, though the temptation to return to the farmer's field and devour the yappy mutt is a strong one.
Oh listen to him. Reduced to petty revenge on bothersome non-sentient beings. (Curosity may have killed the cat, but blundering stupidity had killed the dog).
He knows Aithusa would refuse to eat the dog anyway. The hatchling may be little, and he may understand even less, but Kilgharrah can already tell that his heart in is the right place, and his morals - oh his morals are undeniable. Aithusa would not harm someone he considers a friend.
...Even if that friend is a vicious hound that tried to kill him.
(Oh, if Aithusa's first word is anything even relating to a dog, Kilgharrah is going to have words with the Fates. Protect this baby dragon be damned).