pixelmayhem: (Bones-Princess)
[personal profile] pixelmayhem
Title: Here There be Dragons (1/5)
Author's Name:
[livejournal.com profile] pixelmayhem 
Pairing: Kirk/McCoy
Fandom: Star Trek AOS AU
Rating: PG
Beta:
[livejournal.com profile] linelenagain 
Word count: 4,198
Warnings: AU-as AU as possible
Disclaimer: I don’t own them. I just like to see them all bendy. I promise to return them.

Summary: Dragon slaying never goes as planned, as both Bones and Jim find out. And leads to an epic adventure.

A/N:
Written for
[livejournal.com profile] jim_and_bones  as a possible entry in [livejournal.com profile] st_respect  ’s prompt #5 Fairytales. But it turned out more like an Epic. I started writing this from beginning to end, and when I got to 4000 words and realized I wasn’t even half-way done, I knew I had to break it up.

I have to profusely thank
[livejournal.com profile] linelenagain  for all her hand-holding and encouragement and last minute beta-ing. Without her this never would have been posted in time.

This can be read as a one-shot, but there is definitely more coming.

================================

It was the screech that woke Jim. Screeches like that, full of fear and frustration, never meant anything good in his life. He tumbled off the mattress, for once grateful that he'd been lazy enough to sleep in his clothes. Cursing, he threw himself wildly down the stairs, ignoring his growing collection of bumps and scrapes

He flung himself out the door and what he saw caused raised goosebumps all over his skin. He sprinted forward as fast as his legs would carry him, flinging his arms out wide to shield his friend. His heart skittered at the sight of the crossbow aimed at his forehead.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing!?” both he and the crossbow wielder yelled at the same time.

They blinked at each other for a moment. Jim brought his hand up to shield his eyes from the morning sun. As his eyes were allowed to focus, he saw a scruffy-looking knight, with a tall goblin behind him holding the reins of a black and a chestnut horse. Both horses were shivering, terrified in the face of his friend.

He could feel Encee rumbling behind him, so he wasn’t surprised when her head nudged him in the back. Jim reached behind him and rubbed her neck. Her scales had been warmed by the morning sun.

The knight seemed to finally notice that his weapon was pointed at Jim’s head and quickly tilted it up and away. He took a step back, his armor rattling like an old bag of bones. The move caused the sun to glint off the surface, blinding Jim again and breaking the stillness that had come over him.

Keeping his eyes on the two of them, he spoke. “Sooo…My name’s Jim. There seems to be some sort of misunderstanding here. Let’s see if we can work this out.”

His voice seemed to snap something loose in the knight, who seemed almost relieved to put his weapon away. “Do you always throw yourself into danger kid?”

Jim could feel Encee chuckle behind him, “I always make a point to look out for my friends.”

The goblin tilted his head “Intriguing. You profess a personal affiliation with this creature?”

“Let him alone Spock.” The knight grumbled, as he began shucking off pieces of his armor.

“I am merely trying to ascertain this human’s relationship with the creature.” The goblin Spock replied as he turned to face the knight. “Prince Leonard, it is inadvisable to renounce the protection of your armor.”

“This tin can’s hot, and if the beast wanted to kill us it would have by now.” The Prince replied

“Your highness, putting aside your history of short-sighted decisions, our short time of acquaintance with the creature is not sufficient evidence of a passive nature.”

“God damn it, Spock! I get it, you think this marriage is a bad idea. If your ‘logical’ arguments didn’t change my mind, your harping sure as hell won’t either.”

Seemingly forgotten, Jim watched the exchanged with amusement, biting his lip to keep his laughter from escaping.

“It is not logical to enter into a matrimonial arrangement that offers no foreseeable benefits.”

Encee made a frustrated noise and walked off into their home.

“Aw, come on,” Jim yelled after her “you have to admit this is hilarious!”

She twitched her tail and threw a plume of dust spiraling up at him. He grinned and looked behind him to see Spock and the Prince staring at him. Faking a cough, he said “Got some, ah, dust in my throat. Hey you guys must have had a long journey. Want to come in for a cup of tea?”

They both raised a single eyebrow at him. Prince Leonard spoke first, “You got anything stronger than tea in there?”

“One not-tea, got it.” Jim replied with a grin.

“I find your offer acceptable.” Spock added.

“Great! Well then, follow me.” Jim said, leading them to the his front door. They went down a long winding series of steps into a cavernous living space below. He gestured to some seats in front of a large hearth. “Sit. I’ll be right back with those drinks.”

He was back in a few moments, handing drinks to the silent duo, and grabbed an adjacent seat.

It was the Prince who spoke first. “So , where’s your beast?”

Jim held out a hand and Encee wrapped her tail around his wrist. He smiled at the shocked expressions on their faces, knowing that she had seemingly materialized behind him, out of nowhere.

“Fascinating.” Spock murmured.

“That’s one way of putting it.” Prince Leonard muttered.

“She can blend in fairly well with her surroundings, depending on the materials.” Jim said proudly, he rubbed his thumb over Encee’s tail before gently removing it from his wrist and leaning forward in his seat. “So, you two don’t look like traditional dragon slayers. Is there a particular reason you two were pointing sharp objects at us today?”

“In order to prove himself worthy of marriage to the Princess of a neighboring kingdom, Prince Leonard is required to slay a dragon, or another large reptilian monster." Spock said as he turned to look at the Prince.

Jim also turned towards the Prince, "That's what she demanded? ‘Go and kill me a dragon’? That seems a little violent.”

Prince Leonard glared at him, "Look kid, it's not my first choice, but it's something I have to do, so can you just let me get on with it?"

"Uh, how about no." Jim said, doing his best not to snort. “I mean what would you say if I walked up to you and asked to just up and kill your gnome?"

"Goblin," Spock said

Jim grimaced, "Semantics, come on Bones. What kind of Princess asks for blood?"

The Prince brought a hand up to rub his eyes. “It’s not like I had much of a choice. Wait a minute…Bones?”

“Of course. Bones— it’s perfect. I mean Prince Leonard? Seriously? That's just wrong. Who yells 'Save me Leonard.' How are the masses supposed to chant your name? I mean, what were your parent's thinking?"

Bones opened his mouth to respond, but they were interrupted by a voice from the top of the stairs.

“I heard you had another run in with some dragonslayers. Are you and Anturiaeth ok?”

“We’re alright, Uhura” Jim shouted up to her. “Come on down and meet them.”

Meet them?” called out her shocked voice before Jim heard her light steps descending the stairs.

Bones and Spock looked at Jim questioningly up until Uhura appeared at the bottom of the stairs. Jim tried to hide his smile at the stunned looks on their faces. Uhura gave them a wary look and a wide berth as she walked over to Jim and Encee. She leaned down to kiss Jim on the cheek and laid a hand on Encee’s back.

“I am glad to see that you are both unharmed and well, Jim, Anturiaeth. Jim would you like to introduce me to your unusual guests?”

Jim jumped up and offered her his seat. He was practically bouncing on his toes. “Nyota Uhura, I give you Prince Leonard and his goblin Spock. Bones, Spock, may I present Nyota Uhura.”

Bones and Spock stood and nodded politely. “Greetings,” “Ma’am.”

Uhura nodded at each of them in turn, then looked back to Jim. “Is this a new reckless habit of yours? Invite those who try to kill you in for tea? It would explain a great deal about your mental state," she said, throwing a wicked grin in Encee’s direction.

Encee chuckled deeply in response. Jim pouted.

Bones grinned as well. “Beggin’ your pardon ma’am. It’s a complicated situation.”

Jim sat down on the arm of the seat. “Yes, his Highness was just explaining to us why I should allow him to kill our friend.”

Uhura raised her eyebrows and fixed her gaze on Bones. “Oh? I’m all ears.”

Bones sighed heavily, but it was Spock who answered. “You see Lady Uhura, Prince Leonard is in a precarious situation. The leader of a rogue populace of goblins has been amassing an army that, spies have informed us, plan to attack the kingdom. As our military forces stand we are unprepared to fend off such an attack.”

Spock paused to make sure that they were following him so far. Seeing that he still had their attention, he continued, “His Highness went looking for aid from the neighboring kingdoms and found an ally willing to help, on the condition that he marry their Princess. The lady in question, however, required the Prince prove his worth by combat and demanded he slay a dragon for her. Prince Leonard agreed, against all logical argument, and we found ourselves here.”

Uhura nodded at the close of the story and Jim jumped right in with a question. “How unprepared is your kingdom?”

“Nero’s forces outnumber us two to one. In addition, it is rumored he has a powerful new weapon at his disposal.”

Jim whistled.

“As you can see, I’m in quite the predicament.” Bones sighed.

There was a pause as they contemplated the gravity of the situation.

We could help.

Jim startled and fell off the arm of the chair into Uhura’s lap. The sudden movement made everyone jump and Uhura promptly shoved him onto the floor. He flailed for a moment before jumping to his feet and rounding on Encee.

“Don’t do that!” He cried out.

“Fascinating.” Spock murmured

“Do what?” Bones asked, “You just flopped around on the floor.”

Uhura chimed in, “I believe that Anturiaeth startled Jim by speaking.”

“Excuse me?” Bones asked her, “Are you telling me that she can talk?”

Jim dusted himself off. “Well she doesn’t talk exactly. It’s sort of her thoughts and my thoughts…together. And yes, yes she did.”

They all stared at him.

“Well?” Uhura said “What did she say?”

“Oh. She offered to help.” Jim said, offhandedly. Then, the meaning of his words sunk in. “Hey!” He exclaimed “That’s a perfect solution! Take us with you. We'll help!"

Bones rolled his eyes. "I think I'd rather kill the dragon. That’s a terrible idea.”

“It’s a terrific idea!” Jim insisted

Uhura chimed in, “I must agree with Jim, Prince Leonard.”

“It is a logical solution.” Spock stood, moving next to Jim to face Bones.

Bones groaned, “I might have known you’d gang up on me.”

Jim grinned and sauntered across the room to sit next to Bones on the arm of Bones' chair. He reached out and gave him a light push on the shoulder. “Is that a yes?”

Bones glanced up at him, eyes lingering on Jim’s smile before he answered. “I know I’m going to regret this, but…yeah, okay. You can come. We really do need all the help we can get, and it’s not like I could kill your friend now anyway.”

Spock nodded at Bones. “As that is the case, I should depart ahead of you to arrange for your arrival. It would be wise to alert the guards so that they do not shoot our new allies.” Spock bowed to them and then turned to face Uhura. “I found our introduction agreeable, Lady Uhura.”

Uhura smiled at him. “As have I. Your alliance with these two will ensure we meet again. I look forward to it.” She turned to look at Jim. “I should take my leave as well. Take care on your journey my friends.”

Jim stood and received a kiss on the forehead. “We’ll see you again soon, Nyota.”

Spock held out his arm, “If I may escort you out?”

She nodded, took his arm, and they started to ascend the stairs.

Once Uhura and Spock had departed, Jim again looked at Bones. “I suppose I should pack up and gather some supplies huh?”

Bones didn't answer, his attention was focused on Encee “She really talks to you?” He asked, softly.

Jim opened his mouth to correct him, but then thought better of it. “Would you like to hear?”

Bones looked at him, startled. “What?”

“Here,” Jim said as he grabbed Bones by the arm and gently pulled him over to Encee. He held one of Bones’ wrists and laid Bones’ palm on Encee’s leg. “Bones. Meet Anturiaeth.”

“Anturiaeth?” Bones asked, awe in his voice.

In your language, it means Enterprise.

Bones sucked in a startled breath. “Jim. She spoke to me.”

Jim grinned and gave the warm skin under his fingers a gentle squeeze.

I would be honored to help you and your Kingdom, Your Majesty.

That seemed to break the trance that had come over Bones and he straightened his spine. “I thank you Anturiaeth, for your alliance. My home will be your home as our paths unite.”

Encee gave a sort of purr in response. That’s when Jim noticed they were standing almost chest to chest.

“How much of a head start do we need to give Spock?” Jim asked, making no move to distance himself from Bones.

Jim felt Bones’ breath on his neck when he responded. “He’s a pain in my backside, but he’s also one of the most competent people I know. He’ll have taken both the horses, and a couple hours for us will be like a day’s head-start for him.”

“Convenient.” Jim replied, crowding in a little closer. “But no matter how competent he is, he'll need more than a few hours to beat us if we're flying on a dragon.”

Bones shivered and stepped back quickly. “Flying? Kid, we’re not flying in.”

“It’s the fastest way for us to travel, and it makes the most sense. I thought speed was an important factor here?”

“There’s no way in hell I’m flying anywhere,” Bones said, firmly.

They glared at each other for a few moments until finally Jim blew a frustrated breath into his hairline.

“Fine. But if we’re walking, we’re going to need more supplies than I thought.” Jim poked Bones in the chest with his finger and marched him backward towards the chair. “So sit yourself down and drink your tea while I get everything together.”

-----------------------------

Jim threw two large bags down at Bones’ feet, then started digging around in a third.

“You bringin’ the whole house?” Bones asked.

“I’m not even going to dignify that with a comment,” Jim said as he placed the bags into a leather harness. “I suppose Spock left your bag up top somewhere? We can throw it in here when we find it.”

Bones looked at the shadows crawling across the floor. “It’s getting pretty late, maybe we should start out in the morning.”

Jim patted Bones on the shoulder. “Some distance is better than no distance, and the sooner we get you home, the sooner we can help you save your kingdom.”

Bones nodded and stood aside while Jim hefted the harness onto Encee’s back so she could meet them topside. As she left, they trudged upstairs. They found Bones’ bag easily. Spock had left it neat and protected by the entrance.

Jim loaded up Bones' bag with the rest ot their supplies, "And you were complaining about me packing the whole house. What have you got in this thing, rocks?"

Bones rolled his eyes, "Armor, weapons, crown jewels. The usual."

Jim gave him a curious look, "Crown jewels, really?"

"No, not really, jackass." Bones said, causing Encee to snort.

Once everything was situated, they set out into the forest.

They walked in silence for a little while, but Jim never could keep quiet for long.

“I’m sorry you couldn’t complete your task.” Jim said, in an attempt to break the ice.

“No, you’re not,” was the abrupt reply.

“Well, no.” Jim said bumping their shoulders together.

“I don’t imagine you’d like your friend dead.” Bones said, with a small smile.

Jim turned around to walk backwards, so he was face to face with Bones. “So were you looking forward to marrying the Princess?”

Bones rolled his eyes, “Do you ever mind your own business?”

“Nope.” Jim said, exaggerating the ‘p.’

“Figures.”

They continued chatting as they walked. Jim explained how Encee was his only family. Bones told Jim that his parents were dead and he would inherit the throne once he was married. It wasn’t long before the sun was setting and they decided to bed down for the night. Jim convinced Bones that they should curl up next to Encee, rather than start a fire. She was warm and would provide a natural camouflage.

Once Bones had drifted off, Jim turned his attention to Encee. So today’s been a strange day.

You have a way with understatement. Came Encee’s dry reply.

So what’s the plan?

You’re the one that’s good at planning, Jim. Even then, you’d rather fly by the seat of your pants.

Jim chuckled out loud at that. He could feel her in his mind, nudging him to look at Bones sleeping next to them.

He’s afraid of flying.

So I gathered.

Hmm…you could ride, you know. It’s not as fast as flying, but it’s still faster than walking.

Why didn’t I think of that? Jim smiled

You’re just not smart enough. She said flipping her tail at him.

Jim laughed and elbowed her gently. They lapsed into silence and Jim found himself drifting when Encee said, You like him.

I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Mmhmm. I think he knows how you feel.

How could he possibly know that?

Well, you’ve been rather loud.

Jim made an indignant noise. Shut up! I’m not listening to you and your attempts to malign me; I’m going to sleep.

And with that Jim shuffled down to get comfortable, curling into her warmth.

Jim was just drifting off when he heard her whisper in the back of his mind. "I think he may feel it too."

-------------------------------------------------


They woke the next morning when Encee rolled away from them and caused them to tumble backwards in a heap.

It’s time to get up. She told Jim We should get going.

“You could have just asked.” Jim grumbled as he made a move to stand.

“Mind getting off me? You’re not exactly light,” Bones said from somewhere under Jim’s leg.

“Sorry, sorry,” Jim said, rolling sideways and standing. He held out a hand to help Bones up.

“What did your overgrown lizard say?” He asked, taking Jim’s hand and rising to his feet.

Jim didn't release his hand immediately. “She said it was time to go. Hey Bones, if time really is of the essence…”

Bones yanked his hand free. “I’m not flying.”

“No, not that. But how do you feel about riding?” Jim asked.

Bones ran his hands through his hair. “What?”

Jim held his hands up in front of him as if to ward him off. “Just walking, I swear, but we could ride Encee. It’d be much faster.”

“You swear no flying?” Bones said, eying Jim warily.

Encee nudged her head between them and startled Bones by nodding.

Bones looked at Jim and sighed. “I know I’m going to regret this, but all right.”

Jim grinned and climbed on top of Encee, then reached down to pull Bones up in front of him.

-----------------------------

The scenery went by them in a blur as Encee carried them.

Jim was having such a good time he had almost forgotten the reason they were on this journey, until they got to the edge of the forest. Through a clearing they could see a small company of fully-armed goblins on the march. Bones stiffened, and Jim cinched his arms around his waist a little tighter, in what he hoped was a comforting squeeze.

Leaning forward a bit, Jim murmured in Bones' ear, "Don't worry, they can't see us."

Bones eyes followed the goblins until they were out of sight. "It's not me I'm worried about."

Jim disengaged one arm from around Bones’ waist and patted Encee. Do you think we could speed it up?

Hold on tight. She replied as they lurched forward.

Bones gave a holler and clutched at Encee’s scales as the trees now streaked by them, and they were soon out of the forest.

The castle gates were coming up too quickly, and Jim hoped someone saw them approaching, or the Prince would get a flying lesson for sure. Jim could heard shouting and other loud noises from behind the walls, and the drawbridge started to lower itself, but it wasn’t going to be fast enough.

It was halfway to the ground when Jim hunched forward, used his legs to clutch at Encee’s hide and his arms to make sure Bones did the same.

“Brace yourself!” He shouted.

He could feel Bones’ shock as Encee’s muscles bunched and she leaped over the gate and inside the castle walls.

----------------------------------

The moment Encee came to a stop Bones scrambled off her and onto the ground.

“You did that on purpose!” He shouted as he landed in a heap and struggled to right himself. “I told you no flying.”

Jim slid down and landed on his feet next to Bones. “That wasn’t flying, that wasn’t even soaring, that was jumping. Or did you want her to crash us into the gate?”

“I wanted my feet planted firmly on the ground!” Bones yelled, trying to dust himself off.

“If I may interrupt, Your Highness? This conversation would be better held in a less public location.” Spock's voice interrupted them.

Jim and the Prince looked up to see that they had drawn quite the crowd with their argument, though Jim suspected that the presence of a Dragon might have helped a bit.

Bones covered his face with his palm and groaned.

Spock merely raised an eyebrow. “If you would follow me.”

---------------------------------

Spock led them to a large stone building at the center of the courtyard, with doors wide enough enough that even Encee could follow. They were led down long corridors and around many corners until they entered a large private-looking room.

Once they were all inside, Spock closed and bolted the large doors and turned to address them. “This room will provide you more privacy to continue your discussion, though I would suggest postponing it until more pressing business has been addressed.”

A banging noise could be heard coming from the next room. Spock raised both his eyebrows at the sound of something breaking. “Mr. Scott, if you would temporarily pause your destruction and come and greet the Prince and his guests?”

“The Prince is back?” An accented voice shouted. There was a sound of metal clanging down on a hard surface, and then footsteps.

The door opened with a flourish and a man stepped through with a beaming smile “Your Highness, it’s good to see ya back again and in one piece.” His eyes widened as he noticed Encee. “Wha’s this then? I thought you were supposed to kill the dragon, not catch it for a pet!”

Bones snorted. “Does she look like the kind of pet I’d bring home?” He stepped forward and clasped the man on shoulder. “Scotty, this is Jim and his dragon, Encee. They’ve come to help us.”

Jim stepped forward to extending a hand. “Well, she’s not really my dragon. But we have come to help.”

“Pleased to me ya. And lad, let me tell you, we’ll take any help you can give,” Scotty said, shaking Jim’s hand and nodding at Encee.

Jim stepped back and looked at the room at large. “So can you tell us the situation? What have you found out about the goblins and their weapons?”

Scotty looked grim for a moment. “It’s probably easier ta show you. Come on.”

Jim followed Scotty out the door and up some stairs until they reached the open air. Below him, he could see the rest of the castle and the land beyond the gates. And in the clearings on all sides around them, he could see movement; Towers and machines of wood and metal, rolled forward on wheels. There were goblins everywhere, and he could see the shadows of hundreds more moving in the trees.

He felt Bones moving to stand behind him. “We’re out numbered. But we already told you that.”

“Aye, and there are more gathering everyday,” Scotty added.

Spock appeared on his other side. “It will not be an easy battle; Nero’s new weapon is said to be formidable.”

Mr. Scott clapped his hands together, and they all jumped. “Well, we're doing no good standing around contemplating our misery. I say we go inside, have a drink, and celebrate new allies and plan for the future. Right?”

And with that, Scotty grabbed Bones and Spock and started to pulling them along, murmuring something that wiped the gloomy look off Bones’ face and made him laugh.

“Come along lad!” Scotty shouted. “I’ll not save you a glass if these two get there first!”

“Be right there!” Jim yelled back, smiling. He gave a last look over the parapets. Even with hoards of goblins surrounding them, and plenty of danger ahead, he felt good—more than good. Maybe I've come home, he thought.

Encee’s head appeared over his shoulder, Maybe we have come home.


Part 2


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