Sherath sighed to herself as she peered down at Nivok. His pale face was drenched with sweat, and his eyes were pinched closed in a desperate effort to thwart any oncoming seasickness. The silver haired girl tilted her head to one side and reached down, smoothing his black hair out of his face. The black dragon's face momentarily flickered with relief at her touch, but he made no other attempts at moving.
A rustling from the doorway caught her attention and she lifted her chin to see who was entering. The redhead smirked and leaned against the door frame, rather than entering all the way.
Sherath grinned teasingly up at her, though she was glad to have some company in the stuffy cabin.
"Finished with Darst?"
Anarth laughed and waved the jest off with a flick of her wrist. "Really Sherath, you must get out of this cabin once in a while. You haven't been out since we got rid of that monster."
"You know I would if I could Anarth.." Began the white.
Anarth rolled her eyes and grinned, moving to stand in the center of the small space. Sherath sat on the edge of Nivok's hammock, peering up at her.
"I heard the crew talking, and we're finally getting close to land. Please at least come up and see the night sky over the waters once before we dock."
The red noted the quick flicker of excitement on Sherath's face before she shook her head.
"Come on, Sherath. It's not like the corpse here will notice." She snorted down towards Nivok's still body.
"Anarth.." Sherath frowned at the comment the red had made.
She merely shrugged in response and crouched down to be on eyelevel with the white. The redhead pressed her forehead to her friend's and smiled. "Sherath, love, if you don't come, I shall carry you out there myself."
Sherath's slitted eyes glimmered slightly at Anarth's sudden show of emotion. She really preferred when the red was herself, even if it was only in intimate privacy.
Anarth frowned when Sherath still made no attempt to move. She sighed and rose back to her feet, shrugging her slender shoulders. With a sudden sweep of movement, she caught Sherath within her arms. The white emitted a quiet gasp at the white's audacity.
"Put me down, Anarth!"
Anarth threw her head back and laughed, her grip tightening as her friend began to squirm.
Finally Sherath sighed and gave up, relaxing in the red's embrace. Anarth grinned and headed towards the doorway, murmuring half to herself as she went.
"You know, I always did want to rescue and carry you away from Nivok.."

Darst arched an eyebrow as he saw the two's approach. Sherath had managed to scowl, though she still appeared to be thoroughly amused at the fact that Anarth was carrying her.
Tilting his chin up, he laughed and called out to the duo. "You two going to fly away together?"
Sherath grinned widely, but Anarth rolled her eyes and scowled in disgust. When she finally got close enough to Darst and the ship's railing, she set Sherath down on her own two feet.
Sherath offer Darst another sly smile and stooped a bit to dust her dress off. The blue shrugged lightly and winked at Anarth, who merely snorted and folded her arms over her chest in an impatient manner.
When the white rose back to her full height, she turned and moved toward the banister, smiling out at the night waves.
"So, what's the topic of conversation tonight?"
Darst eyed Anarth, who merely continued staring out at the sea in silence. He shrugged and turned to speak with Sherath.
Before he could open his mouth, she whirled on her feet and looked up at him, an oddly thoughtful expression on her face.
"Hey Darst?"
"Hm?" He arched an eyebrow at her.
"I've always wondered. What's your past been like?"
Anarth coughed slightly and shook her head, obviously not willing to re-live the emotions that she had felt when Darst initially told her his story.
He eyed Sherath warily and shook his head, his voice soft and his tone low. "Sherath, you know my past. I told it to you when we first met."
She laughed and shook her head, throwing her hands up in defense. "No no! Not that past! I meant your days as a hatchling and a dragonet!"
Darst blinked in surprise, staring back at his friend, a bit aghast. "Why would you want to know that?"
Anarth hummed quietly and tugged at her earlobe. It was incredibly uncommon amongst their kind to even speak about hatchling days, as most dragons prided themselves on their age and wisdom. Then again, she knew that she and her companions had become closer than most others of their races.
Sherath shook her head at Anarth and smiled back at the two. "No, you don't understand. I just never really had time around my family to be, you know.." She sighed and trailed off, frustrated at her wording.
The blue nodded in sudden understand, "Oh! That's nothing to be ashamed of, Sherath, but if you'd like me to tell you, I will."
She nodded back at him and he grinned, launching into his story.
"In my clan the hatchlings and dragonets were cared for more as a communal society, though I did see my parents the most."
Sherath suddenly gasped and tugged on his arm, "Please tell me what your parents were like!"
He flushed slightly at how engaged in his past she was becoming. "Well, my mother and father were much the same. As you know, all blue dragons appear to be carefree, though we guard most of the secrets and history of all dragonkind." She nodded and he continued, "I barely remember the day I hatched. Just that all eyes were on me, and my brothers and sisters. Something innate allowed me to pick my parents from the crowd, and then I recall being tired and drifting into sleep."
Sherath flushed slightly and nodded, "Yes! I remember sleeping a lot as a hatchling too!"
He grinned down at her enthusiasm, noting to himself the blank look that had managed to lodge itself on Anarth's face as she listened.
"I was the oldest, and I can vividly remember playing around on the beach when I was old enough to walk. I know my parents were the two watching me as I pounced around sniffing at all the shells and whatnot. They told me a few stories about our kind, that I obviously can't tell you. But as a blue dragonet, your duty is to seek out the rest of the members of the clan and hear what wisdom they are allotted to give."
The white nodded once more as she learned the new fact.
"That was how I spent most of my time then. Learning things that all blue dragons are required to learn. Then came the time when they taught us how to fly." He paused to chuckle, "We knew how to swim long before we knew how to fly, though. That was normally how I spent the rest of my time. In the ocean, there is always something new to explore." The blue paused and turned for a moment to smile fondly out at the water. "Flying came naturally, as to us it and swimming were much alike. And after I was old enough to become bored, and I had learned all I could from the rest of my clan, that was when I went into the human city. I just felt an unquenched desire to learn all that I could about everything.."
Anarth snorted, which caused Sherath to whirl angrily on her.
"All right impatient one! If you're so bored with Darst's story, why don't you tell us yours, hm?!"
The red scowled and folded her arms over her chest, leaning heavily against a nearby railing. Darst moved to stand beside her, but he knew when to keep his distance from her moods. Sherath also moved closer to Anarth, her voice softening as she spoke once more.
"Please tell us about your younger days Anarth. It's not as if you know you can't trust us."
The red sighed quietly, and her shoulders began to sag as she submitted to her companions' desire.
"I was hatched as the only dragonet to my parents, who were a pair of prominent elders."
Sherath gasped quietly in astonishment, "Oh Anarth, I didn't know that."
Darst nodded his agreement, his eyes wide.
Anarth sighed and closed her eyes as she continued. "I remember everything about my hatching, and the times I spent with my parents afterwards. Since they were stronger, they had more territory to live on. I remember opening my eyes to see the two of them peering down at me." She paused for a moment and swallowed, "Neither could take their eyes off me. My mother reached down to help break away the rest of my shell, but my father stopped her because he knew that I would need the strength to get free."
Sherath nodded slowly and murmured, half to herself, "They were brave to have a child on their own land before such a war."
Anarth shrugged, "Some would have called them foolish."
Darst shook his head, "Don't say such things, Anarth."
"Well." The red blinked her eyes open once more, to stare at the sea. "Those must have been the best years of my life. As short as they were, and as young as I was. All I could do was follow my parents around on all fours, mewling for their attention, which they were all too happy to give." Her face flickered with a brief look of warmth, which quickly faded to one of pained loss and deep seeded anger. "Before I was even old enough to fly, he came."
Sherath emitted a quiet, strangled noise. Anarth nodded and continued, "Moving past that, I wandered the land alone, for gods only know how long. The war ended while I traveled, though I hadn't gotten a chance to fight. I taught myself how to fly and fight." She shrugged as if this meant nothing, which made both Darst and Sherath grimace.
Darst sighed and reached out to rest an arm on his friend's shoulder. She growled and shrugged it off.
"Fate happens." Was all she replied with.
Sherath nodded, her silver hair falling over her shoulders, "It does. I remember when I hatched."
Darst smiled softly and turned his attention to her as she continued, though Anarth still stared out over the ocean.
"I had brothers and sisters like you too, Darst." She smiled happily, "And I remember that my parents called me the little puffball of the group, because my wings and mane always seemed to look as though they were exploding in a disheveled mess." She giggled fondly at the memory, "My memory is still a bit cloudy about most of it, but I do remember that I learned to fly with the others. I may have been a runt, but I could do anything they could, and my parents loved me all the same."
Darst burst into sudden laughter, startling Sherath a bit. He grinned apologetically down at her. "I'm sorry! It's just I remember when I was hatched, how fascinated I was with my entire body. My arms and legs were a given, but how shocked I was when I found out my tail and wings moved too!"
Sherath flushed a bit and nodded, and even Anarth allowed a small smile to spread over her face.
"I remember that too." Continued Sherath, "And the rest of what I can recall from that time is my parents ushering we dragonets from the caves. When I refused to go, they put me under a sleep spell. I woke up on a stretch of beach on the main continent. Naturally I was dazed and confused. I wandered past a small fisherman's home and," She bit her lip and smiled before speaking again, "I was so shocked the first time I saw humans. The first one I met was the younger daughter, who was instantly fascinated by me. She decided that I was to be her loyal pet, and tried to hide me away. She brought me food and made a rather good attempt at keeping me a secret, but eventually her parents found out. Needless to say, not only was I fascinated by them, but they were fascinated by me and I developed my healing skills while helping them. I think I stayed with that family for the rest of my dragonet days, until I had matured to the point of not being satisfied staying in such an isolated place, not to mention the fact that I wished to find more of my own kind. When I had wandered a bit, I happened upon Nivok, near death on the ground."
Darst tilted his head in thought as she finished, "I always had wondered how you warded off human attackers for so long, Sherath."
She grinned mischievously over at him, "How many times have I explained to you that not all humans are bad?"
Suddenly Anarth spoke up, her tone harsh, "I want to know about Nivok's past now."
The white turned and cast her a weary look, shocked at the sudden demand. "I'm afraid I can't tell you."
Anarth stepped closer, her eyes narrowed to slits, "Why? Do you not know it, Sherath?"
She shook her head, visibly shaken and nervous, "It's not that. I just told him that I would never tell anyone."
"I have a right to know!" Anarth was all but shouting.
Sherath cast a pleading glance at Darst, who merely threw up his hands and shook his head.
"You told me yourself Sherath that it's not as if you know you can't trust us, and we've dealt with Nivok for years! He'd never tell us, and we have a right to know!"
The white was flustered, nervously fidgeting in front of her two friends, "Well. I suppose you do."
Both Darst and Anarth nodded in encouragement.
Sherath sighed and submitted to their demands, "Well, I'm sure Darst knows where black dragons live, but Anarth doesn't. Black dragons live in the caves, deep beneath the ground, even deeper than the caves the drow and nahga inhabit."
Anarth shrugged lightly but allowed her friend to continue, "Their society is vastly different from all other dragon's. Black dragonkind was literally created to be embodiments of power, and they know this, yet they choose to bide their time beneath the rest of the world. Nobody is quite sure, as it may have originally been a command from their god, but it can't be known for sure as their pillar died killing the red pillar in the great war."
Anarth suddenly blurted out, "You mean when the red pillar killed the black pillar."
Sherath shrugged and continued, undaunted, "The black dragons rarely clutch, as they aren't fond of adding on to their numbers. Two ranking generals named Nia and Vokran mated, resulting in Nivok's hatching and naming by the elders. He told me that his mother was very possessive of his egg, but it's law among their kind to immediately present a hatchling to the ancients and elders in order for them to asses it."
Darst chuckled quietly, "Hard to believe Nivok was born innocent."
Sherath glared over at him, "Everyone is born with the same mindset, even if he did have his instincts! He could have had so much more!"
Anarth rolled her eyes, "Oh please."
Sherath frowned and folded her arms over her chest, "I'm sure he would have begged for either of your dragonet days! Because it's also law that all black dragon hatchlings get thrown into an isolated cave to survive amongst themselves and fight over any food that's brought to them! They can't form bonds amongst themselves, because we all know that when you're a dragonet, all you're concerned about is how much you can eat!"
"What about his parents?" Murmured Darst.
The white shrugged, "He said he never saw them again. When he was finally allowed to emerge from the cave, the elders once more assessed him. They admired his youthful tenacity, and sent him on a few rather distasteful missions. Throughout all his growing, he earned the rank of general, much like his parents. And so, when the war rolled around, he plunged headlong into battle, as he was trained to do. Ironically the one thing on his record of battle that his kind most admired was the fact that he had single handedly battled two elder red dragons and won."
Anarth's lips curled into a fierce snarl, but Sherath held up a hand to silence her.
"It's all he knew to do, Anarth. That's all the black dragons focused on, steadily maintaining their power. That was how they lived, and continue to live. Nivok is probably the only one who has learned that there are other things to life."
Darst nodded and motioned for the white to continue, "How was he injured?"
She tilted her head to one side, "He was driven by his previous accomplishments, and foolishly thought he could take on the ancient red pillar. It made an easy victory of him before taking on the black pillar."
Anarth allowed a smug smirk to cross over her face as her friend finished, "And that was when I found and healed him. At first we didn't get along at all, because he was angry that I had robbed him of the dignity of a fitting death. He followed me around claiming that he needed to make up for it, and of course, you both know how that ended." She grinned at her two friends, though they had grown strangely quiet in the last few minutes. "But all I ask is that you not hint at all that I told you anything about him. He would be mortified if he knew.."
She trailed off as she felt a hand clamp down on her shoulder. Sherath whirled on her feet to face down whoever had startled her.
Much to her dismay, the black haired man that stood behind her did not seem to be intimidated by her.
"Nivok?" Gasped Sherath, shocked that the black was on his feet for the first, (and most inopportune) time since they had set sail.
He scowled in response, his other hand shooting out and wrapping around Sherath's wrist. The white had flushed in embarrassment, and he began to pull her away.
Before he had a chance, Anarth's hand shot out and dug into his wrist. Her fingers curled, pressing harshly against the nerves beneath the flesh. Nivok hissed and pulled his hand away, his other releasing Sherath's shoulder to rub at the offending wound. He glared fiercely into Anarth's eyes, and she remained unwavering.
Nivok paused and returned his steely gazed to Sherath. She colored more as he looked into her eyes, and in a low tone whispered, "I thought better of you."
When he turned and stalked back towards the lower deck, she emitted a quiet whimper and stretched a hand towards his fading form.
Anarth snorted and shook her head, "Just forget about it, Sherath. He'll get over it, and we're almost to land now anyway."