Ten days. It would be ten days from now that he could have his nest with Lassa. Ten days until they could have children of their own.
Dreamer couldn’t help but feel his cool, calm façade crack under that knowledge. Excitement stirred within. Children of his own to raise and teach and coddle.
Children of his own to fight to live in this world.
Dreamer honestly doubted Safe’s hope of the plague not hitting here in the boneyard. While most of the bones were bleached white and picked clean long ago, there were signs of recent death. The plague itself carried a scent, sickly sweet with death’s poison. The smell permeated this place just as thickly as it had the contagion.
The whole of Plague territory was infected with plague. There was nowhere safe to go…except to leave the territory as a whole.
It had been hard enough to get the clan to leave the lair in the contagion behind, but to uproot them completely to a new flight’s territory? Would any other deity even take them in? Even the Plaguebringer had never shown her face past Safe and Zone’s birth almost a hundred days ago.
Though, unlike Betes, Dreamer didn’t doubt the deity’s existence. She must exist. Though hazy, Dreamer like to faintly think he’d met the Shadowbinder once when he was born, just before being abandoned into the contagion. He’d never seen a deity since, but he was certain they were real. That was his belief.
His gaze cast over the clan exploring their new surroundings. The Abiding Boneyard was vastly different from the gooey, rot-filled Wandering Contagion. There was actual ground here, dirt and rock clean of pulsing rot and stinking decay and hissing green goo. There were trees, leafless and dead but they were there. And, naturally, there were plenty of bones.
Mani and Laria, Remia’s two hatchlings, had fun darting around skulls and ribcages. Perhaps it looked morbid to any other dragon looking at the clan but to Dreamer, who recalled rolling amongst rot and diving into goo as a hatchling, this was relatively normal. Anything else would be foreign. He did not recall common Shadow flight hatchling activities. His life was purely Plague now.
Ieremiya–beautiful Ieremiya–watched the two young Wildclaws wrestle and reenact the great wars described in grandpa Zone’s stories. They were tales the mighty Guardian had picked up from other flights while scavenging or hunting for food. Most were incomplete so the elder filled in the blanks as best he could. The hatchlings were entertained nonetheless.
Dreamer had liked to think he and Ieremiya could have lovely young one day. But his heart was captured by Lassa and Dreamer was anything but disloyal to one he cherished in such a manner. And it was clear that the other Skydancer’s heart was captured by Jakob. Guardians seem to hold a great amount of influence and charm in this clan.
That and Safe’s kin were so full of hope. Hope for survival. Hope for the future. Hope for themselves. Hope for others. It was contagious…in a good way. Far better than the plague.
Dreamer couldn’t wait for their time to come. When he and Lassa would be curled around a nest of their own, waiting those five long days for the goo to split and spill their children into the world. For the moment when they’d see how many survived…and died…
Hopefully, Safe’s own curse would stay her own. As cruel as it sounded, Dreamer did not wish to have the entirety of his nest laying dead on the lair floor. That was a fate Safe could keep.