Not a Princess Ficbit – Unfamiliar Ceilings

Still slowly working on Track battle, so… have a bit of something I’m working on in tiny scribbles at wee hours of the morning.

A/N: AU where Private John William Bancroft did not disperse with the Incarnate Unit just because Cain said so; not with their captain and doctor both missing. It’s amazing what a dragon can overhear from tired medics, even when he’s not trying to be stealthy.

…Time for a dragon-napping.

Hell, Hank Henriette thought blearily, looked an awful lot like a worn wooden ceiling. Sounded like summer birdsong and cicadas, and smelled like tea, sun-dried cotton, and the warm breath of a sleeping girl.


His side and arm both twinged as Hank started. The arm was almost expected, the tug of a medical drip – if he could expect anything, past Cain went mad, he shot her, he went mad and we never knew-!

The side was surprising. It hurt. Like a… healed bullet wound.

He’d been shot since the transformation. It’d always healed in days, or less. This hurt like it’d been healing a while. Like he’d been made a frail, vulnerable human again.

Worse. Even the worst gut-shot still let you move. What did Elaine put in those bullets?

He’d dipped the bed, trying to sit up. The girl slumped in a simple wood chair at his bedside leaned further onto her arms, pink lips pursed in sleepy annoyance as her headrest moved.

Not Elaine.

No. Too young, and Elaine had never worn dark hair in a tight, no-nonsense braid. Not to mention after years of war, Elaine hadn’t had the sheer joy it would take to wear that brilliant blue butterfly clip.

Elaine. Elaine is… gone.

And I’m alive.

Hank drew in another breath, trying to tease as much information from the scents as he could. This didn’t make sense. He ought to be in a military hospital, or under guard, or – if Elaine had told their superiors what she suspected – not waking up at all. If all the Incarnates would eventually go mad….

Cotton. Bread baking somewhere not too far away. Children; boys and girls, he thought, all younger than his exhausted nurse. Green growing things on the breeze from the sunny window, a scent of scales and smoke that said dragon

A massive blue eye peered through the open window. Blinked. Huffed, with just the faintest trace of smoke.

“Will?” The sight of brown scales was enough to get Hank moving, a little more gingerly this time. Ow. “What’s going on?”

Oh hell, why was he even asking, William couldn’t speak anymore-

A claw lifted a chalkboard into view, chalk a bright white line where someone had harnessed a piece onto one massive talon.

“Take it easy, Captain. You’ve been out cold two months.”


15 thoughts on “Not a Princess Ficbit – Unfamiliar Ceilings

  1. Ok…
    That throws a wonderful wrench to the begining of the plot! I like it very much.
    If this also manages to help William to either keep it together or be calmer that would throw things around even more.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. /A claw lifted a chalkboard into view, chalk a bright white line where someone had harnessed a piece onto one massive talon./
    It’s those little workarounds that make so much of a difference. Though William being able to write and read goes back to a point that’s been circling in my brain for a while.

    Namely just who is/was John William Bancroft?

    Aside from the way he was portrayed, several facts just don’t add up. From what I can tell he and Schaal moved to Rivulet Wood where he opened an orphanage apparently on his own dime. Along with the high-quality rifle he gave to Schaal, the locket he had and the very well-crafted tea-set, etc it’s obvious they weren’t really hurting for money before the war broke out and things got messed up.

    All this says to me is that he/his wife were middle or upper middle class and then he decided to move to the proverbial middle of nowhere frontier town. Not in the sense of ‘I want to get back to simple country life’ but more like ‘I want to vanish/be forgotten’.

    Makes me wonder if A: he’ll recognize Liza when she swings by to grab her bloodhound/werewolf and B: he writes down a code-phrase that is relevant to her job.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Given what we can find from manga canon, Rivulet Wood was actually a prosperous town pre-war, as it was a common jumping-off point for people going out West. Then the war hit and people found other routes. So it’s hard to say if he moved for prosperity or anonymity.


    1. WordPress. If COQ neglects to put a title in the right little box, the post does not publish correctly. You see it on the front page, but the link provided does not travel to the full post.

      I can sometimes make the post temporarily load for me by commenting on a different post.

      I don’t know any way for me to get comments to reliably go through on the post before COQ fixes things.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is fun.

    It kind of makes me long for an AU where the regiment never went mad, and people just had to deal with the fact that their war heroes were permanently snakeboys and minotaurs and dragons and stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

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