• Published 19th Feb 2013
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The Lion and the Lamb - CrazyChickenLady

After following a baby griffon into a dangerous situation, Fluttershy finds herself rescued by a kind-hearted dragon and ends up befriending him.

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Chapter Seventeen: Peek-A-Boo!

Chapter Seventeen: Peek-A-Boo!

Fluttershy yawned, now feeling tired after everything that happened. “I don’t know about you… but I’m getting sleepy again.”

Smokey nodded in acknowledgement with a gentle smile. “I think you should eat something and get more fluids in you first.” He broke his eye contact to visually scan his animals and Chenoa. “I believe we all should.”

Arching his neck to nuzzle one of his birds, he jostled the injury in it, reminding him he needed another painkiller. “How is your hoof? Do you need another pain pill? You should probably take more medicine as well. I don’t want that fever to get worse again.”

Fluttershy glanced down at her hoof that was currently curled around Chenoa--it was throbbing, but it wasn’t as excruciating as it had been.

“It doesn’t hurt as badly, but it’s quite tender. I think some pain medicine would be nice to help it further… and some of that other medicine and food would be nice,” she informed, gazing up at him with one of her cute smiles.

“Alright then. Anything in particular you’re craving? If I have the ingredients, I’ll make you anything your heart desires.”

As Smokey’s body shifted in preparation in getting up, his doves fluttered off of him and landed on the stone floor. Ross also moved, leaping out of the dragon’s lap. The rabbit stretched his body out, edging closer to Fluttershy. He wasn’t afraid of her, just cautious over the bouncing baby in her foreleg.

“Oh, I’m fine,” Fluttershy said. “I’m not a picky eater. What ever you have is… fine.” She paused as her stomach rumbled. “Anything simple and easy to fix, really. I don’t really want to bother you for too much. I mean… you’ve done so much for me as it is.”

“Oh, come on, Miss Fluttershy. There must be something specific you want. Really, it’s no bother at all, even if you wanted something fancy,” the dragon insisted with an encouraging smile. “Besides, I enjoy making elaborate meals, and it would make it all the more fun to see you enjoy what I make for you.”

The mare’s stomach rumbled lightly, begging its owner for sustenance.

“Well…” She blushed. “If it’s not too much trouble… could I have a daisy sandwich and some clover chips? I… I’m not sure if I should eat anything solid… but I don’t feel queasy.” The equine looked up at the dragon with adorable wide eyes and a hopeful smile.

Daisies? She wanted daisies? The reptilian’s face fell a little bit at this. He didn’t have any daisies.

“I’m afraid I don’t have any daisies, but I do have clover chips.” Smokey actually appeared embarrassed that he didn’t have any daisies stocked in his inventory of food. It was winter, and flowers--both sold by grocers and florists--were quite expensive during the cold season, and he had to limit his budget in case he would need extra funds for emergencies. And it just so happened, he did. All of his extra funds went to the mare and Chenoa. “I have a few different kinds of cheeses, greens, condiments, and dressings… Or, is there something else you have in mind?”

The pink-maned pony’s smile didn’t falter at all. She had a feeling he might be out, and she knew how expensive flowers were during the winter. They wouldn’t reach normal market prices until after Winter Wrap-Up, and that was still a couple weeks away.

“That’s fine.” She smiled. “You said you had a number of cheeses? … How about a fondue? Some more soup with some cheese fondue and clover chips would be absolutely lovely.”

Cheese fondue? That actually sounded really good! Perhaps he could make a baked potato soup to go along with it. That would compliment the cheesy appetizer quite nicely.

“That sounds delicious. I should ask for your consent on what we eat more often,” he stated in a semi-playful note. “Does baked potato soup sound good?”

“Yes, of course!” A large grin broke out on her face, her mouth already watering. Licking her lips in anticipation, she nodded, hugging Chenoa. “That sounds absolutely scrumptious.”

She suddenly turned her head and sneezed. Shaking her head and giving a goofy grin, she giggled. “In fact, if it wasn’t for my cold, I’d offer to help make it.”

The baby griffon squealed happily in Fluttershy’s hug--sparking an affectionate warmth in both the dragon and pegasus’ hearts--, pawing at the air and wriggling her legs in an effort to get free. After a long nap, her small recharged and hungry body was brimming with energy and the need to run around and play.

Smokey couldn’t help but let out a small laugh at her enthusiasm. She certainly had gotten comfortable here, he noticed. When she had arrived, she was very nervous and shy. Now look at her!

“It’s all right, Miss Fluttershy. You just relax and worry about getting better. Would you like more tea or something else to drink?”

“Oh… um… yes. I’d like some more tea, please.” Fluttershy smiled, picking up the mug again in one hoof while still holding Chenoa in the other. “I would like some of that black chai you mentioned.”

Feeling Chenoa struggle to be let go, she decided to do just that, but made sure to keep a very close eye on her.

Bending over, Smokey reached out to take the empty mug. His eyes lowered to focus his attention on the baby griffon as she was finally freed from Fluttershy’s hold. The first thing she did with her newfound freedom was crawl underneath the blanket then roll onto her back and paw repeatedly at the fabric draped over her with all four feet, evoking a laugh from the dragon.

“Okay. I shall get you and our little darling some water, too. Honey again?”

Fluttershy nodded. “Yes, please. Same amount, if you don’t mind.”

Turning to Chenoa, she smiled with a giggle. Taking a glance over at where the werewolf had come in, she noticed the door was still being held ajar. Biting her lip, she wondered is she should get up and try to right it, but with her illness, it probably would be best if she remained in bed.

“It shall be done… honey.” Smokey chuckled, emphasizing his last word in a playful note. Turning on his heel, he drifted off to the kitchen to prepare Fluttershy’s tea--before realizing he had temporarily forgotten to retrieve a couple of pain pills. Deciding he would get them after putting the kettle back on the stove burner, and poured a glass of water for Fluttershy and wash out and fill up a sippy cup for Chenoa.

The winged equine blushed, laying down and ducking her head between her shoulders for a moment. Gazing over at the lump that was the baby griffon, she moved to shuffle over to her side… and an idea struck her. Reaching out with her hooves, she slowly grasped the edges of the blanket… and pulled them down to reveal Chenoa.

“Peek-a-boo,” she said softly, quickly covering the child up again. She waited a second, before doing it again. “Peek-a-boo.”

Freezing her limbs the very instant Fluttershy dragged the blanket off her, she stared at the mare, unsure of how to react. However, after the quilt draped over her body and the pony repeated the antic, the realization that it was a new game dawned upon the chick. Chenoa beamed with a mirthful squeal that was followed by a laugh.

Fluttershy did this a few more times--even throwing in a silly face. Rolling one eye up and the other eye to the side, she stuck out her tongue as she pulled the blanket away one more time.

“Peek-a-boo.” Holding the blanket up, she leaned in to give Chenoa a kiss on the forehead. “Mommy loves you!”

While the mare’s confession was technically true, she was beginning to tread the surface of the love a parent holds for their child. She did love and care for her animal friends, but this sort of love was different--it was far stronger than any sort of love one could feel, besides romantic love.

The silly faces greatly amused the child--as opposed to the ones given by Pinkie Pie. The baby burst into a mad fit of laughter, her body rendered immobile. She continued cracking up even as her adoptive mother ceased and leaned in to kiss her.

The moment Fluttershy told the baby she loved her, Smokey was kneeling right beside the pegasus. Apparently, he had managed to return to her side with minimal noise, a glass of water in one hand and a painkiller in the other.

Like the winged equine, the dragon, too, was starting to feel the beginnings of a father’s love for his child. “Daddy loves you too, sweetheart!”

The pegasus nearly jumped, and turned to him as her heart thumped against her breast. She let out a short laugh in relief upon realizing it was only her red-scaled friend, her mane coming down to cover her face. “Oh! … Smokey. I’m sorry, you startled me. I didn’t even hear you come in.”

Smokey smirked with a huff of a laugh jumping from his throat. “My apologies, Miss Fluttershy.”

Since a thick lock of mane was obscuring the mare’s face, he craned his neck as he brought his face closer to hers. Utilizing his snout, he brushed away her forelock, nose and lips briefly brushing her face in the process. The pegasus froze, body locking up at the touch. Her eyes, large and nervous, stared up at him. Meeting his gaze, she felt her heartbeat quicken. Realizing that he may have gone too far, even if his hands were currently occupied, he felt his stomach tie itself into a knot as the tension between them thickened.

In an attempt to break it and ease themselves back to a normal level, Smokey opened his closed fist containing the pain pill and held out the glass of water to her. “Uh… Here…”

Fluttershy extended her hooves to take the glass of water from him and set it down between her legs. She then moved to take the painkiller and fumbled for a second, dropping it onto the mattress. Blushing in silence, she quickly snatched it up and foisted it into her mouth before downing almost the entire glass--and spilling a little on her in her haste. Coughing a bit, she put the glass down and thumped her chest.

“Are you all right?” the winged reptilian asked as concern dawned in him, slightly outweighing his nervousness.

Even Chenoa ceased her romp under the blanket to crawl out from underneath it to investigate the source of the coughing. Seeing that it was Fluttershy, the chick toddled up to her to nudge her side with her downy head.

“Yes,” she whispered. “I’m fine. Some water just went down the wrong pipe, that’s all.” She smiled, offering the empty glass back to the dragon. Gazing down at the baby griffon, she moved a hoof to stroke her feathers. “Don’t worry, Chenoa. Mommy’s fine. She just drank some water a little too fast.”

Accepting the glass, relieved that the mare was okay, Smokey got up and returned to the kitchenette to set it down and retrieve the sippy cup of water he prepared for Chenoa. He made sure he washed it thoroughly before using it. Who knows what it had been exposed to during manufacturing and shipping.

Upon his return, he sat back down and beckoned the chick over to him. “Here you are, Chenoa. Daddy got you some water, too.” Noting the look of puzzlement on the child’s face, he chuckled, temporarily forgetting the awkward situation he and Fluttershy experienced a few minutes prior. Drawing the chick closer, the winged reptile held the cup near her face and tipped it enough to allow a few drops to expel from the plastic lips. “See? You drink from there.”

Chenoa smacked her beak in a sign of thirst. Her golden orange eyes focused on the droplets that fell from the foreign device. Scooting closer, she opened her beak wider and closed it down on the lips, her tiny tongue prodding and tracing the slit, and eventually sucking. To her discovery, sucking coaxed water out! She suckled harder, drawing water into her mouth to quench her thirst.

Laying down once again, this time on her stomach, the mare gazed upon her adopted daughter and the dragon. A smile on her face, she sighed wistfully at the scene.

“I kind of wish I had a camera, now that I think about it,” she piped up. “You two are so adorable together.”

Smokey chuckled, lowering his head to plant a kiss on Chenoa’s fluffy head as she continued to drink with audible sucking noises. “I have a camera. I just haven’t unpacked it yet. When I travel, I like to take pictures of some of the flowers and wildlife in the area. Sometimes, I find feathers and pick flowers and stick them in this scrapbook I have.”

“You do?” the pegasus smiled, her eyes lighting up. “That’s nice. I had originally thought of possibly being a camera pony when I was much younger. At least, before I fell from Cloudsdale and found my love for animals.”

She paused as she glanced off. “Looking back, though, I don’t know how I would have done that. I mean, I was so… shy… and… Well, after my time with Photo Finish… If I ever see another camera for photo shoots…” She gave a soft huff.

“The pictures I take aren’t that good. Most of the time, they are blurry, so I need to readjust the settings and shoot several more times. By the way, who is Photo Finish?”

“She’s a photographer from Canterlot,” she answered, turning back to him and blowing a lock of mane out of her face. “She was in Ponyville a few years ago, looking for a new fashion model… and found me, of all ponies.”

“Well… you are beautiful enough to be a model, but I suppose all beauty queens aren’t meant to model.” Smokey felt mildly embarrassed after he had said this, thinking that he might possibly rekindle the awkward moment.

Fluttershy went silent for a good moment, just staring at him. There was a small silence between them, before she turned away with a sigh.

“It was one of the most horrible times in my life,” she admitted. “I didn’t like dressing up. I didn’t like the makeup, or the flashes of cameras… I especially didn’t like the unwanted fame and attention.”

She turned back to him with a smile, and a blush. “… But… I’m glad you think of me as such.”

The dragon smiled back and nodded, happy and relieved he didn’t cause any more tension between them. “That is understandable. I’m used to being so detached from ponies, that I think large hoards hounding me might make me a little uncomfortable. When I perform, it’s usually a small crowd anyway.”

Smokey’s attention was quickly diverted to the chick in his lap as she removed her beak from the cup and let out a large belch.

“Really?” Fluttershy asked, blinking a couple of times. “I would have thought you’d… like to perform.”

Though as she thought about it, it made perfect sense. He was a dragon. While he was a magician, the very fact he was a dragon likely meant he wouldn’t draw a very large crowd. Even if he did, it wouldn’t last for long.

“How do you support yourself?” she queried. “I mean, if you don’t attract big crowds. I know you travel from town to town living minimalist, but… I mean…”

“I travel by foot instead of hiring transportation. That tends to save a lot. It’s been getting harder to scrape by, but somehow we manage to pull through.” Smokey inspected the sippy cup, noting that half of the amount of water he poured into it was already gone. “She sure was thirsty.”

“She certainly was!” She giggled, before looking back up at him silently. “Are you… this place… I mean, is this your real home, or are you just… temporarily staying?”

It was probably a stupid question, she realized, considering Smokey told her he was a traveler.

Smokey stared at Fluttershy, caught a little off guard by the mare’s query. He glanced back down at Chenoa, who proceeded to nuzzle into his abdomen and melting his heart. Setting down the sippy cup, he ran his scaly hand over her cheek and shoulder in long strokes. “I… originally intended on this being a temporary home… but… I have found a reason to stay.”

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