The mystery of a name

“What’s the dragon’s name?” Ling asked Kun one day. Kun chuckled, but before he could say anything Jin spoke up.

“Idiot. You don’t name a dragon.”

Ling pat the dragon on the head. No one told him to stop and the dragon appeared to like it, so he kept going. “Why not?”

“Because.”

As usual, Jin was very helpful. Kun looked up from the dragon’s scales as he cleaned them. “There is much power within a name. A type of magic that dragons are more close to than the rest of us.”

Ling frowned. “Don’t dragons get names?”

“Of course they do,” Jin said. “So why give them another one?”

Something about that didn’t seem right to Ling, who thought names were important. “Can you tell us your name?” he asked the dragon.

“Idiot!” Ling winced, almost as though Jin’s words actually slapped him. “You don’t ask a dragon for their name.”

Ling looked over at Kun, who smiled at him. “I don’t doubt that one day the dragon will tell you, Ling.”

Something about that didn’t make sense to Ling, who thought the dragon should tell him now. Or at least Kun.

Then Shui showed up. “Hey guys, I-”

The dragon closed the barn door. Kun stifled a laugh. Even Jin smirked.

“What the hell, man!” Shui shouted from outside.

If there was one person the dragon wouldn’t tell, Ling decided, it was probably Shui.

I want to spell unfazed with a “ph”

“Why do I have to wait with the ride?”

Shui should have been the last option, if just for the sake of his traveling companions. They had to know how annoying he’d become when he didn’t have a chance to blow off some steam. Which literally had nothing to do with the smoke he was blowing out from his cigarette.

“It’s not as if we’re worried about someone messing with it. You’re a fucking dragon. Who’s going to mess with that?”

The dragon stared down at him, likely unfazed. Then, with a single snort, the cigarette was ripped from his fingers and hit the floor.

“Goddamn it.” Kun would tell him he deserved that and that dragons had an odd way of deciding when they should be insulted. “You should agree. You’d totally prefer anyone else to wait with you. We barely get along.”

The dragon began to groom a wing. Shui was being ignored. He grit his teeth, picking his cigarette back up. He looked out into society, aware of everyone who looked over to see a dragon. That actually garnered him a lot of attention for doing nothing. He picked out quite a few attractive ladies – and some of them weren’t even nervous because of the dragon.

Though someone could change that at any moment. “Look, I’ll make you a deal,” Shui said. “We’ll go and get an entire… what do you want? Some cattle? A fat, tender piece of…” Now he was hungry. “We’ll do that, if you behave. I don’t even want you to do anything you wouldn’t normally do. Just pretend I’m Kun and behave for me, okay?”

He wished he could tell if the dragon had agreed with him. Smoothing back his hair, he got ready. As long as nothing too crazy happened, he could handle this.

Then, after a loud yawn, the dragon laid down on top of him.

“Oh, come on!”

But it was where he would be pinned until the other three returned.

Doesn’t count, she’s a dragon

Ling could smell it. Whatever it was, it smelled delicious. The dragon agreed with him, though remained outside without moving a muscle. He entered the building and gravitated to the kitchen on light feet and reached out for it, wanting to satiate his hunger now.

“I don’t think so.”

There was no accompanying touch with those words, like some others might do to ward him away from something Ling wasn’t supposed to have, but it had an even stronger effect. The voice was calm, but firm. Kind, yet unquestionable. Kun was the nice one, but for some reason Ling felt less like pressing him when he said otherwise. He swallowed.

“How much longer?”

“Ten more minutes. You can speed up the process if you set up the table.”

Ling thought about that. “The others won’t eat at the table! Is Shui even here?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Kun replied vaguely. But he didn’t take back his request and Ling knew that meant he might have to wait longer if Kun had to set the table himself.

Ling rushed off to set the table and Kun threw some scraps out the window, where the dragon snatched it up.