• Published 5th Jul 2014
  • 2,133 Views, 63 Comments

Her Father's Daughter - Daemon of Decay



A stallion finds an egg. A dragon egg. It will change his life – whether he wants it to or not.

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Chapter 2 - The Cost of Time

Day 4

The sun was barely peeking over the crest of the horizon when Breezy Beach was awoken by cries of anguish and the acrid scent of something burning. Cracking open one blood-shot eye he glanced over at his bedside. His grandfather’s old silver pocket watch sat there, propped up on books to act as an impromptu alarm clock. He groaned at the absurdly small number. For a moment he fantasized about rolling over and trying to get a few more minutes of sleep, but a renewed burst of wailing drilled into his ears like a sadistic carpenter, making sleep impossible.

Like he had every morning that week, he levered himself out of bed and, yawning, plodded down the hall to the bathroom. He sighed at the few strands of acrid smoke leaking from the top of the door frame. He would have to replace the towels soon.

The wailing reached a new crescendo when he finally opened the door, the burst of smoke sending him into a coughing fit. He turned away and held the door open, clearing the room and his lungs of smoke. His ceiling had turned grey from the particles, but he barely noticed it anymore. Only once he could breathe freely did he step inside what had been a pristine (for a bachelor) bathroom.

Now it was a disaster zone. A few large buckets of water were placed strategically around the room, resting against walls bearing claw and fire damage along the lower edge. Everything was covered in a fine layer of soot. Breezy tried to swear, but it only sent him into another round of coughing.

At the sound of his voice the squeals died away, replaced with cheerfully inane babbling. He turned to face the source of the chaos, staring at what had once been his bathtub. Now, it was a monument to fire prevention. The shower curtain had long since been burned away. Dampened towels were nailed into the walls atop one another, each newcomer planted over the scorched remains of its predecessor. Only the freshed claw marks could be seen through the black residue coating the tiles.

There was a hiccup from his tormentor, and a stream of orange fire shot up into the air to engulf one of the towels. It hissed as the last of the water he’d soaked it in the night before was turned into steam, the burst of heat enough to sear the lower, drier portions of the towel, leaving it a half-burnt wreck.

Breezy let out something between a curse and a whimper, rubbing a hoof along the numerous bandages and bald spots along his arms in sympathy. “Don’t let it sense your fear,” he said beneath his breath, repeating it a few times. “If you keep calm, it’s less likely to set you on fire.” Steeling himself, Breezy advanced to the tub and glanced inside at the horrifying bundle of golden scales sitting in the fire-marked tub.

The little dragon released the tail she’d been sucking on and let out a squeal of delight. She reached up with her stubby arms and made a grasping motion. “Dada!”

Breezy shuttered. “I’m not your father, you little fire-belching monstrosity. I’m the poor soul that has to take care of you until I can pawn you off onto that pegasus that runs the animal shelter. Until then I’m stuck feeding and cleaning you and hoping you don’t burn down my apartment and kill me in my sleep. You’re a hideous, selfish beast, I wish I’d never found that stupid egg, and I am not your daddy!”

They stared at one another in silence, the dragon cocking her head to the side as Breezy tried to pour as much of his resentment and frustration into one single gaze, hoping to breach the barrier of age and species and communicate his inner feelings, praying that the dragon might understand just what he was saying. Her expression was serious – far too serious for such a young thing. Eventually she opened her mouth and made her pronouncement.

“Dada.”

Breezy hung his head in defeat. “Fine. If thinking I’m your father makes you less likely to flambé me, then I’ll put up with it for now,” he told her, thankful that the towels he’d placed inside for her to sleep on were still mostly intact. He could hear his mother’s voice chiding him making a baby sleep in a tub. But after his only attempt to create a proper bed for her had ended in a predictably fiery end, he’d decided that he had to be creative until he could get rid of the lizard.

Besides, sleeping in a tub was a blessing when compared to burning to death.

Scooping her up he planted the dragon on his back – and immediately lifted her away again. Stiffly and without a word he turned around and lay the dragon down on the bathroom counter before reaching for a replacement diaper. He could feel his mother smirking at him from beyond the grave. Cursing whatever twist of fate had kept him from being born a unicorn, he took up the well-sanitized tongs in his teeth and set to work.


Breakfast was the most important meal of the day – another bit of wisdom drilled into Breezy’s head by his mother. While no willing companion to early mornings, Breezy had certain enjoyed the satisfaction and well-being that came with enjoying a late breakfast or filling brunch. There was a period of calm and solitude that fed the soul for the labors ahead.

Feeding the little parasite was anything but.

He pulled the bowl of porridge out of the ice box and gave it a sniff. He smiled. Still good. He dropped the bowl on the table before removing the dragon from his back and squeezing her into his home-made foalseat - an old chair, some cinder blocks, and a worn belt to ensure she was kept in place.

The dragon’s babbling came to an end when her eyes eventually found the bowl. Instead, she let out a low hiss, her tail lashing against the chair. Squirming in her seat, the dragon gave him a pleading look.

“No. I don’t want to hear any complaints about breakfast,” Breezy said as he plunged his metal spoon into the bowl and withdrew a sizeable lump. The dragon blanched. “It’s what you’re going to eat, and that’s that.”

Breezy ducked when she scrunched up her face and closed her eyes, but instead of the expected gout of searing flame she let loose with a loud wail, her claws gouging furrows into the chair as she beat her hands against the armrests.

Seizing the opportunity, Breezy lunged forward and forced the overladen spoon into the dragon’s open mouth. The lizard’s eyes popped open and she swallowed reflexively. She licked her lips as she looked up at him, the blessed silence lasting until she remembered that she was supposed to be upset.

Her shrill bellows echoed around the room as Breezy scooped up another spoonful of porridge. It was an endless cycle. Food. Silence. Screaming. Food. Silence. Screaming. His ears were ringing loudly as he scraped the bottom of the bowl and fed her another bite. He feared he might go deaf before he could red rid of the little monster. The howling resumed once the spoon was clear of the dragon’s stubby fangs.

It couldn’t happen fast enough.


After burping the little lizard and putting out the resulting fire, Breezy took the slightly sleepy dragon and set her on his bed, using the pillows to ensure she didn’t roll over onto the floor in her dreams, and rushed to feed and bathe himself before she woke up.

Hot water cascaded off of him, dripping off his muzzle as he stared down at his hooves. Breezy let out the low sigh of a stallion many times his age. The fear of finding a grey-hair in his mane kept him away from the mirror. “All I want is my old life back,” he muttered beneath his breath. Experience had taught him that any loud noise could awaken her, and he needed the moment of solitude like a fish needed the sea.

The promise to avoid thinking about her was broken swiftly, his thoughts always circling back to the free-loading lizard lounging on his bed. No matter how hard he tried – and oh, how he did – he couldn’t bring himself to hate the little parasite. Despite the claws, fangs, and flames, she was still little baby.

“And until the veterinarian Buttersky gets back from wherever she’d gotten off too, I’m stuck up a creek without a paddle.” The words only soured his mood, and he let out a frustrated groan. Why didn’t he do the sensible thing and run away as fast his legs could carry him? What possessed him to take care of a monstrosity instead of just leaving her to her fate?

He lifted his gaze and frowned. “Is this your revenge for not giving you grandchildren before you died?” he asked the ceiling, daring his mother to respond.

There was a loud bang from the bedroom followed by a loud, frightened wailing, and Breezy had his answer.

Breezy raced down the hallway and threw open the door to his bedroom, a trail of soap and water following behind him. He rushed to the side of the bed and glanced around in a panic, trying to see through the painful haze of soap and shampoo that was dripping into his eyes.

She wasn’t on the bed.

He glanced around franticly, following her by hearing alone.

When he found her he almost shouted in relief, but it was short-lived. She had climbed up onto the bedside table and lay there near the edge, crying out and making grasping motions towards the floor. He followed where she was pointing and saw his grandfather’s silver pocket resting on the floor beside the lamp she’d knocked aside.

He wiped some of the soap from his eyes. No, it was only most of his grandpa’s watch. A few obvious bite-marks suggested where the rest of it had ended up.

Her cries became pleading whispers when she noticed him standing there, continuing to make motions towards the watch.

He picked up the remains of the old family heirloom, his father’s words ringing in his ears about the connection with the past and the watch being a sign of his responsibility as an adult. Having gone completely silent, the dragon’s eyes tracked the watch with a disturbing focus. She licked her lips.

After a long silence he dropped the watch into her waiting claws, eliciting a squeal of delight. The sound of eager chomping filled the room as he exited silently. He was too exhausted to be angry. At that moment, all he could hope was that the meal had bought him a little more time alone.

Just a few minutes more solitude and it would almost be worth it.


Day 6

“I’m sorry Mr. Beach, but that’s just not going to happen.”

“What do you mean it’s not going to happen? You’re my insurance agent!”

“And what I’ve got sitting on my desk right now are nine separate claims for smoke and fire damage, six for miscellaneous damages under the label of ‘big dragon claws’, four for lost and destroyed property, three for water damage, a destroyed pocket watch, and… four trips to the hospital for animal-related injuries. I’m sorry to say Mr. Beach but at this point it’s starting to get suspicious.”

“Suspicious? I’ve got a dragon living in my apartment now, and you think fire-damage is suspicious?

“Sir, you can’t still be expecting me to take this whole ‘dragon’ story seriously.”

“Yes of course I expect you to take it seriously! Why don’t you come down to Ponyville and I’ll show you the damned thing. Maybe after she sets your head on fire you’ll believe me.”

“So this isn’t another example of you trying to lie about getting drunk and setting the couch on fire for a pay out, is it?”

“That was never proven in court.”

“Or the time you tried to blame a, and I quote here, ‘shifty looking zebra’ for stealing your radio?”

“I resent the insinuation.”

“Or when all your windows were broken from the inside and you –”

“Yes yes, I get it. Look, if you won’t believe me, then just send someone out to investigate and I’ll show them the dragon.”

“Sir, if you want to continue this, ahem, story about owning a baby dragon and demand payment on these claims, then I feel compelled to remind you that your renter’s policy and your contract with your leasing office doesn’t include a provision for owning any pets.”

“Pets?”

“Yes sir, Mr. Beach. Damages caused by pets are not covered by the terms of your agreement and–”

“She’s not a pet. She’s a wild animal! A wild animal that breathes fire!

“–and as such any investigation that found the damages were caused by your harboring of an animal, wild or not, would not only be dismissed as not covered by your policy, it would also result in penalties and fines for being in breach of contract with your leasing office.”

“Are you telling me that you’re not going to cover any of this because I’m taking care of an animal in need? That’s heartless! What about compassion and charity and basic pony decency? Don’t you have a soul?”

“I work in the insurance industry, Mr. Beach. It’s not my job to have a soul.”

“Oh. Right.”

“Then I think we both are on the same page, sir. I will just discard these claims and… by Celestia’s name, what was that noise?”

That was the sound of a dragon setting fire to the article I've been working on all week. And laughing. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get going.”


Day 9

“Terror-Maw, Destroyer of Ponies?”

Breezy stared down at the dragon as she rested on her back and clasped at her toes, letting out little chirps of nonsense. No reaction. With a methodical motion he picked up the clipboard and crossed out the name.

“Yellow Mountain the Tyrant?”

More chirps, along with a half-hearted dada when she caught his gaze. The pencil made a definitive slash across the paper.

“The Great and Mighty Stoneclaw?”

The dragon rolled over onto her side and began to suckle on the end of her tail noisily. As before, the rejected name was removed from the list.

And so Breezy ran through the list of names until the last – Jormungandr – was ignored like all the rest. He nibbled on the end of his pencil as he stared off into the distance while the dragon focused all of her attention on her tail, gnawing on it with her stubby fangs. The pair of them chewed in silence.

“Come on, you’ve gotta give me something to work with here,” he said with a loud sigh. The dragon looked up at him in mild surprise. “I thought all you dragons are supposed to have big, long, powerful sounding names with some terrifying adjective attached to it. How am I supposed to give you a name you’ll like later in life? I don’t know anything about what makes a tough, intimidating sounding dragon name. My parents were named Rocky and Sandy, for crying out loud!”

Spitting out the pencil, Breezy began pacing around the room. He walked a well known path, the carpet was worn thin from so many nights of writer’s block. Refusing to remove the captured tail from her mouth the dragon simply moved her head a little from side to side to keep the stallion in her sights.

Every now and again he turned to glance over at her while he talked it out to himself. “Well, I can’t just keep calling you dragon. That would be absurd. Ponies would think I was mad if I told them about Dragon the dragon. And that Flustershy pony would probably think I’d been neglecting you if I showed up and told her that’s what I’d named you. I heard she’s a bit… you know, like that.”

Reaching the end of his five-lap circuit he turned around and began walking it in the other direction, the small ritual so ingrained into his subconscious he barely even realized he was doing it. The dragon giggled at the small spin, but he ignored the muffled laugh. “But do I really need to name you at all? I mean, hopefully she’ll be back in a few days and you’ll be some other pony’s problem. She’s good with animals. I bet she knows how to name a dragon perfectly.”

Stop, rotate, walk. The little dragon giggled a little louder, ignoring her tail in favor of the stallion mechanically moving around the room.

“Still, I guess I should at least give her something to take with her. Something I can remember when I look back on this week and… I dunno, weep with joy that it’s over. It doesn’t have to be some grandiose dragon name. Something suitable. Something practical. Something like… Claw? Fire Face? Golden Guts?”

As he completed his third pirouette the little dragon burst out laughing, her face split by a wide grin as she clapped her hands together.

Breezy paused and stared back at her, the rest of his monologue withering on his tongue. “Golden Guts? That’s the name you respond to?” he asked, deadpan.

She reached out for him with her little grasping claws. “Dadada!”

Despite himself he found a slow smile play over his face. “Well… I guess it’s as good a sign as anything,” he said as he walked over to her and scooped her up into his arms. Taking a seat, he rubbed her belly-scales with his hoof, sending her into another fit of laughter. “Okay, I know it’s both fitting and technically accurate, but that’s not a serious name. I was just kidding about it.”

She ignored his rambling as she squirmed and laughing, her claws grasping at his hoof.

“So how about Golden Scales? Golden Fang. Golden… Tail? Golden… Golden… Gold–eiiii!” Breezy’s voice ended in a shriek as the exuberant dragon’s claws grasped his forearm tight enough to dig into his flesh. He shook her claws loose and jerked his hoof away. She chuckled back up at him, her innocent expression melting the angry accusations on his face.

Opening his mouth to tell her off, the words died on his tongue. He blinked in surprise before giving her a thin smile. “You know what? I’m calling you Goldie from now on. You’ve been a monumental pain from day one, so it’s only fitting that your name reflects some of that agony I’ve had to suffer through.”

Goldie just laughed.

Comments ( 26 )

4646619

I'll hold you to that!

4646634

The most disgusting part of any avian, really.

4646914

Indeed! But then, you've already read some of it since you edited it.

4646946

I know where you live, Para. I'll hold you to that!

4647224

Probably a good thing - don't know what trouble it might get up to otherwise...

4647619

She just might - although wouldn't she use a dragon egg to make one heck of a cake?

4647687

Indeed. Although if she's not there - off saving Equestria, perhaps - he might face a bit of trouble.

4649975

Thanks!

4651794

What about the television sitcom Dinosaurs?

s1.hubimg.com/u/7776334_f248.jpg

4651801

Then Christmas comes early (or late) for you!

4654124

Thanks! Glad to have you as a reader!

4655231

Eventually. I can't picture him not showing up.

4655357

It's a great cover, isn't it? And you did some great work!

4659362

Oh it's not terribly original, I'll be the first to admit. But it came out of a completely random RP idea me and Jaestring (the artist and co-writer) had many months ago just to see who could annoy the other more 'in character' without breaking. Still, I'm really happy you enjoyed the first chapter. This is sorta me trying to get back into a regular writing schedule, so I hope it continues to be taken well.

4665044

I can't imagine him being able (or willing) to keep the dragon a secret.

4670565

Happy to have you aboard!

4670843

I bet it will be - but I'm a bit biased...

4674538

*quietly updates and waits for more comments*

4674791

Just for you, baby!

4713858

I think we all should. It's just a prudent act.

4749753

Part of why is because it's a commission - and partly because I wanted the updates to be a bit shorter and more rapidly written. Which... is not something I'm good at doing. Hopefully I can improve!

4781807

Today is your lucky day!

4871747

Your wish is my command!

5319857

Thanks!

5067840
5068235
5247648
5518471

Okay okay, here you guys go. Please, stop sending those death threats, and give me my daughter back! :raritycry:

Jormungandr...Jormungandr where do I know what name from? [one quick look through my mythology collection later]. Oh that's where I know the name from. Knew it was 'dragon' related. Nice one. :pinkiehappy:

Liking the story so far and am looking forward to more.

You’re a hideous, selfish beast, I wish I’d never found that stupid egg, and I am not your daddy!”

Is it just me, or is it rather awkward when the dragons in this show are considered animals? Animals can't talk but dragons can. I know the ponies consider them animals and Hasbro considers them animals, but it's seems really awkward to me.

Wow its been awhile, nice to see an update and thank you for the entertainment.

Its alive! ITS ALIVE! Guys, spread the word its alive! Oh and get some chips for me the way back.

Ah, it's back. :)

Its, ALIIIIIIIIVEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

This is... wow, I'm so glad this isn't dead :pinkiehappy:

Will this be an actual story about how a little innocent monster growing up and becoming endeared to a surrogate father, or is it just a series of "adawables" with just these two being an "unfit bacholer father" and "innocent twoblemaker?"

I denand moar and also do u mean flustershy or is that just an error

5557192 You messed it up.

And he did it intentionally.

In so very glad this isn't dead! Excellent chapter, I love how adorable she is. I know this follows an age old formula so far, but it's a great one, and you're doing it justice.

“Fine. If thinking I’m your father makes you less likely to flamberge me, then I’ll put up with it for now,”

flamberge

You'll have to find another word for flambé. A flamberge is a type of sword.

My parents were named Rocky and Sandy, for crying out loud!”

Amazingly enough, I have an aunt Sandy and uncle Rocky. And, yes, they're married to each other. Thought that was a funny coincidence.

5586436

Now this one is certainly something that happened with GDocs auto correcting me, because I remember specifically having to change that word twice! :facehoof:

Also, I wonder if your aunt and uncles' names played a role in helping them hook up?

5590369 Eeyup, I don't like GDocs for that reason. Of course, I don't use Word either. They both think they're smarter than the user. I use WordPad, myself.

And, as for my aunt and uncle, you never know, lol.

10501273
Sadly but it still is a favorite of mine

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