meej: (whelps)
[personal profile] meej
I wrote a tiny thing for Cal, who belongs to Niall.







Niall stopped short as he entered the room, mostly because his youngest brother was wearing a dwarf, and this nearly always meant that something inadvisable had come out of the toolshed in the back forty.

"Niall, we've got to talk to you," Burny said, his eyes gleaming above his riotous beard. Viraj nodded in agreement.

"Had I better sit down?" Niall asked, and took a seat anyway, next to the window. A welcome breeze came in, carrying the scent of Pinky's late autumn roses and the malty aroma of hops. There was also the tang of Miss Elizabeth's cooking, but thankfully it was mostly buried under the other two smells of home.

"Yeah, probably," Burny said. "Listen, we have a surprise for you."

"Yes, I thought that might be true," Niall said diplomatically. What Miss Elizabeth's letter had actually said was that Burny was grounded and Mister Viraj had been given a firm talking-to, but he could read between the lines, and knew that some mighty inventing had occurred. The only part he couldn't figure out is what this had to do with him. Usually things like this were Arolaide's bailiwick.

He eyed the mound in the center of the room, buried under one of Miss Elizabeth's blue checked gingham curtains. This had also figured in the letter, as well as Miss Elizabeth's insistence that even if Mister Viraj's succubus could sew adequately she wasn't about to have demonic curtains in the good parlor.

"Right, this is yours," Burny said, correctly following Niall's glance.

"We haven't keyed it to you yet," Viraj corrected, consulting a clipboard. "We asked Miss Aro for her measurements - Missy's aren't very current, she's been going off Miss Elizabeth, and Miss Elizabeth hasn't eaten anything white in a month because of something very unkind that one of the Defias said when he wasn't allowed a second helping of pie - but we haven't gotten yours in this form." He looked up, earnestly. "The literature all agrees that it's very important to get both sets of measurements."

"All the literature's either that crazy cultist stuff or your weird kal'dorei friend," Burny grumbled. "Cultists are total pants at science."

"Miss Lauris's methodology is sound," Viraj said.

"Well, yeah," Burny said. "I just said she was weird, not that she was bad at science. She's no cultist."

Niall tried not to smile - it wasn't that they would mind, but that he was trying to concentrate so he could later tell Arolaide about it. The smile faded as he actually analyzed the back-and-forth. "I'm not sure what you would come up with, that you'd need to consult cultists about it."

Burny turned to him, startled. "Oh, it's fine, it's one of dad's projects, so I thought I should take it and make it - you know - not awful." His tone was level, as was his gaze. Nialgos acknowledged this, and only nodded.

"Okay, so: Viraj?"

Viraj beamed - perhaps only Niall noticed that his hands had been slightly tense on the clipboard as Burny had spoken of Deathwing - and reached out to whip off the coversheet with a flourish. "Tah-dah!"

NIall looked at the contraption of glowing violet haze and darkly gleaming - pewter? No, this looked to be worked elementium, with obsidium chasing and gearwork. "Elegant," he said, finally and honestly. "It's not ballistic, is it?"

"Nah, even better," Burny said. "Since you finally got down to hammer and tongs with Miss Aro - about cracking time, too - we made you two an incubator."

He and Viraj exchanged a slap of palms, high in the air between them, as Niall fought a blush. "An incubator?"

Burny said, impatiently, "Well, I mean, you're going to have sex and all. I know where eggs come from, nobody's saying I don't." He fidgeted a little. "Pinky told me. I have to say it sounds really badly planned, and I'm sure Miss Aro would rather have somewhere else to keep the eggs."

Niall found his voice. "I - " He lost it again, looking from the beaming gnome to the young black dragon. Burny's stance was arrogant, with his thumbs tucked into the top folds of his shop-apron, but his eyes were just a shade nervous, as if he was trying not to care about Niall's acceptance of his gift.

"I think it's very thoughtful of you," Niall said. He held out his hand to Burny, a child of the Blue to a son of Deathwing, and said, "Take what you need."

Burny reddened a little, clay-colored skin going dull bronze like a cooling molten metal, and then held out his own hand, complete with calipers. "Yeah! Yeah, you're welcome," he said gruffly. "... thanks."

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