When among Dragons... Chapter 10 Time well spent

When among Dragons... Chapter 10 Time well spent

by Machara and Chryos Stormwing

Special thanks to
my love Chryos who creates this with me,
Gabe as my editor and friend

Garrus deadpanned.

“… right. Dem waffles.“

He couldn’t keep a straight face however and started grinning, his mouth watering.

All hard feelings then seemed forgotten and so they went to the table and ate.

Much was discussed over the course of the belated breakfast. And yet again, both mothers voiced concerns regarding their safety and it was hard to deny that their warnings had some merit. Ultimately, the result - at least for now - seemed to be to only leave the house at night and use sufficiently warm clothing to cover up most of their appearance so that people would not notice them being different, should they be spotted somewhere.

At that point, both women left for work and to buy some supplies for the upcoming winter. Drew’s mother had taken the smaller car to head to work while Garrus’ headed out to apparently buy firewood - which, given their location, was sold in many places, even convenience stores had some in stock in smaller quantities.

Once she was home again the half-siblings helped her with the unloading. As they did, they noticed that while their bodies felt more nimble and agile as they had also seen on their run earlier they were only barely able to lift more than their mother, a sign that their bodies still seemed to be recuperating.

After that she left again with a list of the offices and departments of the municipality where she needed to sign some papers for herself and Garrus, leaving the half-siblings to their own devices.

After seeing Hera drive off, Drew and Garrus entered the living room. Drew had his arms crossed with his fingers under his armpits, shivering slightly.

“I'm feeling chilly. Are you ok with starting a fire and spending a bit of time here?“

Drew pointed to the big couch that was currently standing particularly close to the open fireplace on the far end of the room.

“I would be… delighted.“

Garrus smiled warmly, his belly now full of waffles and happiness as he went towards the fireplace to start it after having collected the necessary items. Almost immediately, the flames came forth and he could feel the warmth radiating outward. Walking over to Drew, he caressed his cheek before wrapping the other arm around his waist, pulling him into a gentle hug.

“Thank you.“ he said, looking deeply into his eyes.

Drew looked at him, watching him do the work and taking control like this. Maybe it was something to get used to, he wondered. He had intended to start the fire, and here he was, watching it being taken care of, even being taken into a hug…

He looked a bit astounded at first but then he settled onto the couch with Garrus who was careful to gently guide him to sit close with him. Drew smiled broader than he may have actually felt.

After the hug he distanced himself just a bit, yet remained still close enough to touch Garrus, and looked back, laying one hand close to one of his thighs.

“Are you used to being the man in the… err… house?“

Garrus was slightly bemused as he listened to Drew, tilting his head a bit.

“What, you mean because of the fire? Yes, ve, ze germahns are used to playing wiz ze fire, ja.“

He dramatized, the humor sparkling in his eyes.

“Chuckle nuts aside, … I'm used to being the only one at home… had been for half a year before moving here, or originally rather back in with my mother. And even then… if I had wanted a housemaid as a wife back then… I must say my choice was wayyyyyy off target. But with you… I do it gladly. Admittedly… I do feel an attraction towards you that goes even as far as being protective of you. I haven't had that before.“

Garrus hummed.

“Maybe it comes with the changes? What about you? Are you used to being the man in the house?“

With his eyebrows raised he paused, but then added.

“If you want to retain that, just say so.“

Drew grinned genuinely.

“You’re funny!“

He chuckled.

“It’s nothing bad, I was just surprised since I usually take care of the fire and similar stuff. Maybe I never was the manliest, but you could still say I was the man in the house, and with my mother being at work all day, a larger part of the housework - including what some may call female work - fell to me.“

Remembering Garrus’ previous beau, he frowned exasperatedly.

“I still can't fathom what was up with that… girl of yours. I thought you had lived together until more recently, actually.“

He then paused a bit, wondering how to continue, but with Garrus’ words on his mind, he slipped closer and leaned his own body into his.

“I like you too, Garrus. I'm surprised you expressed your feelings towards me this clearly. Maybe our changes just make it easier for us to express how we feel, but I think that started before we changed.“

He looked into Garrus’ eyes.

“I guess I'm ok with not being the man in the house anymore…

Maybe it's on you to be that now, but you need to be careful not to step on Marian’s feet…“

Somewhat flushed Drew stared into the flames.

“I'm confused about my own feelings on… who I am, or want to be, or am supposed to be.

My … gender … was never really something I worried about. I knew I was not very manly, but I liked it that way. I liked to be closer to girls, yet still be … me?

Now I worry. Will I be a girl? And I don't just mean having the body for it. How I feel is changing too. I've not told this to anybody… but my … um … crotch looks more like that of a girl now, at least it’s general outline does.

It’s strange though, my …“

He blushed even more now.

“… willy has not really shrunk, but things are changing… it’s mostly on the inside now and only comes out if I need it. If I still have … testis… then they are not on the outside anymore, either.“

Blushing because of the sudden change of subject, Garrus turned his head a little to look out of the only window towards the front of the house, seeing a car pass by slowly and pull up on the driveway of another house on the opposite side of the road.

“Errm… yeah, I was kinda wondering if I was the only one with those changes. Though I still somehow feel my balls they're now on the inside. It's weird and I guess I’ll need some time to adjust to it, just as much as you do.“

He grinned shyly.

“About the other stuff you mentioned before though… what was it? Ah yes. I don't plan on … stepping on her feet or something like that. She is the mistress of the house, after all. That's not to say that I won't help when it's welcomed or required. I could never prepare such a wonderful dinner like last night…“

Garrus changed the subject.

“You're right though…“

Garrus’ mood changed slowly to something more calm, almost somber.

“My feelings started even before you… we… started changing.

I’ve never had these kinds of feelings before towards a … uhm… male. Then again, maybe you're just that girly.“

He smirked teasingly. Sighing softly, Garrus leaned back, his head half sunken into one of the bigger pillows of the couch.

“So what if I have a thing for men… or at least… girly men? The one thing I do have, is for you…“

He blushed.

“… that came out wrong.“

With a frustrated look, he tilted his head away from Drew that feigned depressiveness. There was, however, some earnestness in those feelings since he had tried to say something nice and moving. But felt he had botched that, now.

Drew turned his head closer towards him, having just leaned side by side before, and gave him a peck on the cheek.

“You said it yourself… ‘so what’. You may not be feeling relaxed about it yet, but I'm sure you will. It's something I went through when I started puberty.

I noticed both girls and boys. It took a year until I even understood what I felt. You hear about being gay, but nobody tells you it can be much more complicated. I only 'liked' some girls, and maybe even fewer boys, but for most there was nothing.

It took another year until I could associate names with what I felt and knew how some people could feel. There were so many terms. Straight, gay, bi, asexual, demi, trans… just to name the more important ones. Well, at least for me.“

He then hugged Garrus affectionately.

“I can give you one piece of advice… don't worry about how it usually works, or what people expect. Just give your feelings room and live out what your gut tells you.“

He smiled and teased.

“Not that you're doing a bad job at it.“

Drew blushed and stopped for a moment.

“Um… I must be coming across like a know-it-all. I think I should have rather just asked…

How did people that mattered to you feel about such subjects? And how do you?“

Garrus grumbled, more to himself. Drew heard a silently mumbled “Fewer.“

He nodded at his remarks as he took them in slowly and finally chuckled as Drew finished.

“Just teasing you…“

He changed to a more serious tone.

“Hrmm… feelings.

Towards most people, I was required - both externally and by myself … I mean my personal standards - to keep it professionally. To exactly not let feelings break through the proverbial ice.“

As Garrus talked, he caressed Drew’s back while looking into the distance and towards the flames that were dancing almost silently on the firewood.

“I don't care for these labels. In some cases, they help you distinguish but I feel most of them do little more than trying to make people feel special about something… well… something wonderful… but still mundane. Love doesn't decide. Love just happens. No sense in bickering over it, neither for nor against. The only thing one can do is to choose to follow those feelings… or not. With you, I’ve chosen to follow them. Because it feels right.“

Garrus was astounded by his own straightforwardness and growled silently.

“I’m sorry. Too serious, I guess…“

“My peers were… a mixed bag actually. Quite a few of them - other policemen that is - had seen enough… sorry… shit in their lives to know it doesn't mean anything to care so deeply about arbitrary dividing lines. A few were still far stricter with their own set of rules than others of course. I’m not blaming them if that works for them, though. As for my ex… she was rather… outspoken about it all, so I see no problem in divulging that info… she was adamantly against men even so much as kissing but was lukewarm towards lesbians. ‘Said stuff like she'd sick old friends on them if she found gay men in her circle of acquaintances. I never gave it too much thought or worry as, frankly speaking, her old friends were either in prison - and thus out of the way - or too drugged up to even know up from down.

Yeah, I know… writing on the wall… should’ve seen it. Guess I was kind of blind.“

With a well-meant smirk, Garrus added.

“Not that I’m much more clairvoyant now given that I’ve fallen for someone again, so quickly.“

Drew had listened to every word and taken Garrus’ hand in his own, holding it firmly.

“You amaze me. Here I thought I was open, yet I still cling to labels because it makes me feel … safer. Because you can define yourself. Because it helps to put yourself and others into… boxes.

Maybe you can be the teacher instead. I'm curious where our journey will lead…“

Drew let go of Garrus’ hand and pulled one leg up and grabbed the foot absentmindedly, kneading it.

“Oww…“

Garrus watched Drew and noticed him staring into the fire, probably somewhere else entirely.

The profile of his face really looked different to what he remembered and he didn’t know what stood out to him more - the more feminine curves or that they were not really human anymore. He noticed that the mouth stretched out more, the nose was flatter and broader, and the skin's scaly look was more pronounced.

That, however, was still not something that struck him as much as the shape of his feet. The toes and footpads were bigger and broader and the nails looked more like claws. The heel was further away from the footpads and the foot’s instep was more slender. The overall shape from the feet up to the ankles had changed and reminded him more of the digitigrade stance of the cat he had as a child.

Watching him silently as he gazed, Garrus’ hand caressed his cheek softly.

“Mhh… I still use labels. Under some circumstances, especially when things get more stressful, it's hard to avoid doing it. It is a very… aloof and idealistic way of looking at it… that labels don't matter. Society as a whole doesn't work that way and there's literally no way around it short of moving into another society. Though there is none that I’m aware of that wouldn't use labels at least to some extent.
Our entire perception is based on labeling stuff. Without labels, we cannot even fully function as a biological species - however broad the term species would need to be defined nowadays, with mutants and so forth. Those sexualities that you mentioned earlier… that is just an area of life where I’ve decided, for me at least, that labels are irrelevant. Aside from ‘legal’ and ‘not legal’ of course.“

Garrus then sat silently, a silent “mmmh“ suggesting the thoughts still mulled around in his head.

Somewhat suddenly he lunged closer to Drew, burying his head near Drew’s neck to nuzzle and nibble at him.

Drew squeaked.

“You're tickling me!“

He pushed Garrus back and he landed, lying on the couch. Drew dropped onto him.

“Ha, you're mine now!“

He licked the tip of his nose and also grazed over a lip since the nose had become less pronounced, following similar changes as Drew’s.

Drew hugged Garrus, first in a playful manner. Then, as he felt the warmth of Garrus’ body and he still felt chilly, he grasped the blanket that laid along the edge of the sofa’s rest. He pulled it over them both and laid down on him, being a bit surprised about certain protrusions on his chest that had a cushioning effect.

“Ouch…“

Drew tried to lie on him a bit softer to reduce the slight pinching that he felt. As he got more comfortable, he smiled down at him.

“Of course, losing labels would be rather sad… I couldn’t call you adorable, otherwise.“

He grinned broadly, revealing more pronounced canines.

They continued playing and teasing each other, eliciting a few giggles and chuckles from each other before Garrus once again continued on with more gentle caressing, Drew’s back now being the prime target for his hands while he, too, felt the softness of Drew’s chest, which apparently quite pleased Garrus.

Garrus chuckled.

“Me? Adorable? And then you'd be the queen of cute?“

He pouted but then smiled mockingly. In a more thoughtful “Hrrrmmm“, he continued.

“If you're still cold though, maybe I should add some more wood to the fire. It will probably still take quite a while until the whole fireplace starts radiating enough heat, but still… Also… you on top of me?
When did that happen?“

Gently slapping Drew’s butt, Garrus murmured up at his face, before suddenly, quite delicately kissing him, if only briefly.

First Drew chuckled, then sighed, relaxing his back to Garrus’ ministrations.

“Aww, am I bad for taking charge? I just want you …“

Now crouching, Drew rubbed himself against and alongside Garrus, allowing him to look down straight into his eyes.

“It's hard to decide between you and …“

Drew was interrupted by Garrus’ lips brushing against his, in a kiss.

“… mmm fire.“

He savored the aftertaste.

“I'd like both, actually.

Maybe you can take that choice away from me, hmm?“



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