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.”