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Taishiro drew to a halt at the edge of the courtyard and held his push broom upright, surveying the results of his hard work with satisfaction. Planting season had left his garden boxes looking gorgeous - he had Tamaki to thank for that - but he hadn’t had a proper opportunity to clean up the collateral damage for the last week or so, now that folks were flocking to the mountains and nearby resort towns to take advantage of the nice weather.

At long last, he’d been able to sweep up all the loose soil and fallen leaves and scrub the mortar joints. He didn’t mean to toot his own horn, but the bricks were shining brighter than they had for years. He preened for a second, then eyeballed the patio furniture - maybe he could deep clean those while the cleaning bug was still crawling around inside him.

He nodded to himself, having made up his mind, and left the push broom propped against the front wall of the tavern as he lumbered in through the front door, calling a greeting toward the bar where Tamaki was limply washing some dishes. There were only a few people in the downstairs area and Taishiro grinned broadly as he caught sight of a couple of his favorite customers and trotted toward their table.

“Whatever,” muttered Bakugou as he approached, “Just don’t mess it up, I still wanna come here sometimes.”

Taishiro announced his presence with a warm laugh before he clapped Bakugou on the shoulder. “What’s this, I didn’t know ya were stoppin’ by!”

“We arrived late last night!” Kirishima said brightly, leaning around his boyfriend. Well, he thought they were boyfriends; they always got a room with just one bed, but he wasn’t going to pry in case he was wrong. “You were asleep already, I think.”

Taishiro met Kirishima’s gaze readily, feeling his own signature grin falter despite his best efforts. Kirishima was a bright, brilliant kid and Taishiro enjoyed his company in no small amount, but there was always something about him - some hidden feature, some predator lurking behind his eyes - that made Taishiro shiver. Granted, he had a few distinct features that left Taishiro wondering if he had some inhuman blood(Tamaki had his doubts, but he had his money on dire wolf - the kid was pretty doglike in some significant ways), but even with a smile on his face, he couldn’t help but feel like those eyes of his were dissecting him somehow.

It felt odd to him that he thought a guy who made his life in the mountainous wilderness was wilder than he let on. He couldn’t resist it, though, not with those wide red eyes fixated right on him.

“Ah, what brings ya to this neck a’ the woods, then?” he stumbled on, lightly jostling Bakugou with the hand already on his shoulder. “This one feelin’ another night in a proper bed?”

“More like a real fucking shower,” Bakugou grumbled, shrugging Taishiro’s hand off. Taishiro didn’t take offense - he was used to Bakugou’s iciness.

“Meltwater has the river flooding,” Kirishima translated, “We can’t fish or anything because it’s running so fast and we can’t bathe because it’s so cold.”

“Yeesh,” Taishiro replied, wincing in sympathy. “Well, stay here as long as ya want! We’re always happy to have ya.”

He ruffled Bakugou’s hair with an air of finality and snickered when Bakugou swatted his hand away. He started off toward the back room, his mind set on scrub brushes and rust remover when he heard Kirishima call “Wait!” and scamper along after him.

He materialized next to Taishiro fast enough to make him jump a little, then held out a hand. “I, uh,” Kirishima began, fidgeting a little, looking sheepishly downward, “I have something for you, Fat.”

“Eh?” Taishiro stammered, then corrected his course with a smile. “Ah, give it here then!”

He held out his hand and Kirishima beamed, then pulled something out of his pack and dropped it into Taishiro’s palm. “I’ve, well, I’ve been wanting to give you something like this for awhile,” he blustered along, twiddling his thumbs with a shy look, “I guess the opportunity just presented itself…”

Kirishima continued on as Taishiro took a moment to observe the object, fighting down his repulsion at the realization that it was… a tooth. A huge, bloody, dirty, scratched-up tooth, easily the size of his best dagger.

He battled with his emotions, trying his hardest to keep a smile, wondering how best to turn down the gift. He studied it for a moment more as Kirishima finally trailed off, something expectant in his expression, and felt the light of recognition finally click.

“Oh!” he exclaimed, “This is from a dragon?”

“It is!”

“Wow, I - I guess you musta fought hard for it,” he mused, stunned for a moment at the thought of receiving such a valuable, if odious, gift. “Yer sure ya don’t wanna keep it?”

“No! Not at all, it’s for you!” Kirishima said quickly, pushing Taishiro’s large fingers closed over the item.

“Well, they must be hard to come by, eh?” Taishiro replied, holding it up and turning it over. It certainly couldn’t have been from a very young beast - it was sharp, sure, but well-worn. He looked down to see Kirishima scratching his face, looking a little uncomfortable, and offered him a reassuring smile. “Thanks, kiddo. I appreciate it a lot.”

He turned away, nodding to Kirishima over his shoulder as he walked over to the door to the back room. He leaned around the counter and watched him lope back to his table and exchange words with Bakugou. Content that Kirishima’s attention was off of him, he urgently beckoned Tamaki over. His employee pushed himself off from the counter and came to join him behind the two-way door with a curious look.

“Would you… have any use for this?” Taishiro asked quietly, offering him the tooth, and Tamaki’s eyebrows raised with revulsion - and then recognition.

“What…”

“Kirishima - our little wild friend? - he gave it to me just now,” Taishiro mumbled, keeping his voice low. “Woulda washed it first, but… Poachers really get to me,” he explained. “I wouldn’t’a thought those two would stoop like that.”

Tamaki blinked in confusion, then offered a slow nod. “I can take it off your hands,” he said, and Taishiro gratefully gave it to him.

“‘M not gonna tell you what ta do with it,” Taishiro considered, “But if Kirishima asks…”

Tamaki nodded again, looking a little sick. Taishiro went to ruffle his hair, but reconsidered when he realized he hadn’t washed his hands after handling the bloody tooth. Instead, he gave him a reassuring smile as he turned and meandered off to the handwashing station. Tamaki followed him and picked up a rag to wrap the tooth before tucking it in his belt.

As Taishiro bent over the basin and scrubbed the remnants of outdoor grime and dragon’s blood off of his hands, he let out a sigh. Call it overthinking, but he wasn’t so sure it’d be legal for him to allow poachers to stay in his inn.

He’d have to do some investigating.


“Fat? Are you back there?”

“Need some help, kid?” Taishiro called back, resting his elbow on the shelf he was currently hard at work cleaning.

“No, Kirishima is asking for you.”

Taishiro gritted his teeth. Truth be told, he’d been avoiding this interaction for a good few days now - Bakugou and Kirishima had been staying over longer than usual, and in some ways Taishiro had wanted longer to contemplate the implications of his… Relationship? To the two of them. He’d busied himself finding things to clean, loudly proclaiming that the cleaning bug had bitten him harder than it really had and since he was tall enough to reach all the hard-to-reach surfaces, he was perfect for the job.

Well, he couldn’t put it off forever. Maybe he was lucky and Kirishima was bidding him goodbye for the time being.

He extricated himself from his intimate entanglement with the shelving unit and stretched with a groan and an accompaniment of little pops. His shoulders were aching terribly with all the focused, finesse-based cleaning jobs he’d busied himself with in the past few days. Maybe a trip to the springs would do him some good.

He pushed through the two-way door and was immediately confronted with a mass of bright red hair and a toothy grin. “Fat! If Tamaki hadn’t told me you were back there, I woulda thought you’d wandered off into the mountains!” he chirped, ignoring personal space in his typical way and making himself perfectly comfortable leaning casually into Taishiro’s side, never mind that Taishiro was nearly twice his height. “Where the hell have you been?”

“Spring cleanin’, kid!” Taishiro snickered, swept up in Kirishima’s energy for a minute. Really, even with all the doubts in his mind, he could hardly deny the kid had an irresistible charisma. “Been startin’ with the back so I don’t get to trippin’ over nosy redheads.”

He had to force down even more laughter when Kirishima squawked indignantly. “Rude,” he huffed, then took a step back, letting his eyes wander over Taishiro’s anatomy in a way that was so unsubtle he could almost feel their trajectory.

“Is my face really so unpleasant ya can’t look me in the eye, kid?” Taishiro pressed him, raising an eyebrow.

“I’m just curious how you decided to wear my trophy,” Kirishima elaborated, and released a small noise of frustration as alarm lanced through Taishiro’s good mood at the reminder. Wait, trophy? “I can’t find it.”

“‘M not wearin’ it today,” Taishiro said quickly. “I haven’t… had a chance ta do anythin’ with it.”

“Oh,” Kirishima replied, not seeming to make any effort to conceal his disappointment. “Because of spring cleaning? I didn’t realize there was that much to do.”

Dammit. “I didn’t know it meant that much to ya,” Taishiro muttered, trying to think quickly. Kirishima’s description of the gift as a trophy had him rethinking the whole situation; if he really did have wild blood, whether it was dire wolf or something else, then giving him a trophy - and more importantly, something he himself had hunted - must mean… Well, something important. He wasn’t arrogant enough to assume Kirishima was trying to court him, especially since he was already taken, but -

“Don’t worry about it! I’ll see it next time I see you,” Kirishima assured him, not helping in the slightest. Did wild blood excuse him from poaching? What were the rules to this situation? Maybe there was a professional in these matters somewhere in town... “Anyway, that’s not why I’m here - I have something else for you!”

“Eh?” Taishiro blinked.

“Don’t be shy! They’re gonna look - wait -” Kirishima grunted as he shifted his pack around to his front and dug viciously through it for a moment. “Ugh, I should’ve had ‘em out already.”

“Ya really don’t have to - what,” Taishiro cut himself off as Eiijrou pressed something into his hand and returned to digging through his bag. He squinted down at the offering - an earring, a simple one, just a little shining hoop. “Is this gold?!”

“It’s a set!” Kirishima explained, sparing him a glance as he finally fished what must have been a necklace from his bag, glinting with the same shimmering yellow hue as the earring.

Taishiro clapped his hands around the piece and hissed, “Are ya outta yer mind?! Do ya wanna get robbed fer ev’rythin’ yer worth? Why’re these loose in yer bag -”

“I got them for you! Do you like them?”

“I -” Taishiro cut himself off and straightened to survey the tavern; it wasn’t busy, but it wasn’t empty either. “Come to the back,” he muttered, putting a hand between Kirishima’s shoulder blades and ushering him through the door.

“What’s wrong?”

“If some unsavory character sees ya with that kinda loot, we could be both in some hot water, kid,” Taishiro sighed, finally letting himself relax and take a real look at the necklace - or, more accurately, the pendant dangling from the fine gold chain - that Kirishima had given him. What must have been the match to the earring in his hand had hooked itself through the clasp, and without thinking he started trying to remove it.

“Let me,” Kirishima said quickly, mindful of Taishiro’s large, clumsy hands. “Will it be a problem, them being so fine? I could come back with some bigger stuff, but I’d really like it if you would wear these! I think they suit you really nicely.”

Taishiro frowned down at the golden pieces, finally processing the fact that these were intended for him. “Eijirou, I couldn’t possibly,” he said gently. “These musta been ridiculous expensive, ya should wear ‘em yerself. Or give ‘em to Katsuki.”

“I can’t!” Kirishima replied, looking a little smug. “Our life in the mountains is too rough for these kinds of things! That’s why I picked ‘em for you.”

“And ya think squeezin’ my way through a crowded tavern fulla punks from who knows where is a better place for ‘em? Bud, I appreciate the gesture, I really do, but it’d be wasted.”

For the first time, Taishiro saw Kirishima’s certainty falter. He pursed his lips a bit and looked down at the jewelry as Taishiro held it out to him. “Not even for fancy occasions?” he muttered.

Taishiro gave him a rueful little smile. “Me, fancy? I dunno where ya think I’d go in this. I’m flattered, but I don’t think the classy stuff suits me that well. I’d be happier if ya got yer money back - it’s well-earned, and who knows when you’ll need it for yerself, yannow?”

Kirishima’s face fell. It hurt Taishiro to see it happen and he did feel an odd little twinge as Kirishima let the medallion and its matching pieces fall back into the depths of his pack, but it was for the best. He turned to walk back out into the dining room without another word.

Taishiro followed him, and when he saw the dejected slope of his shoulders, he couldn’t help himself. He pulled Kirishima into his side in the closest approximation the two could manage of a respectful hug with their height difference. “Save yer money fer someone yer own age, kiddo,” he sighed, careful not to let his assumptions bleed into his words.

He felt a bit of tension leave him when Kirishima huffed and wriggled indignantly in his hold. “How old do you think I am?”

Despite himself, he chuckled.


 

Taishiro was just adjusting the welcome mat before opening when the door came sailing open. He caught it in one hand on reflex, automatically intoning, “Sorry, we’re not open y - Eijirou?”

“Fat!” Kirishima barked, eyes glittering with excitement and ducking around the door and into Taishiro’s space, “Come out here, I got something you can’t refuse!”

“I coulda sworn I locked this door,” Taishiro mused teasingly as Kirishima grabbed his hand and clung to it, planting his feet and pulling at him with the full weight of his body like a child with their parent.

“There’s - a lot you don’t know about me,” Kirishima growled, “including that I have the best present ever waiting outside, and you’ve gotta come and see it.”

“No better gift than watchin’ ya throw a tantrum like this,” Taishiro snickered, then instantly relented at the withering look Kirishima gave him. “Alright, alright, let’s see it.”

He lifted his hand, faintly amused at the view of Kirishima dangling from it until the moment that he realized Taishiro had given his consent and straightened his legs. He beamed and jettisoned himself out the door, fast enough that he was kneeling next to the gift and holding his hands out in a triumphant “Ta-dah!” gesture by the time Taishiro had joined him outside.

It took Taishiro all of a few seconds to recognize the contents and intent of the gift. There, gutted and bled already, in perfect, beautiful condition, was the carcass of the largest elk he’d ever seen. Honestly, the thing was gorgeous - its pelt was unmarred by gore and its horns were almost as tall as Kirishima himself.

For the first time, Taishiro was well and truly speechless.

“Katsuki and I caught him this morning! I still can’t believe he was so close to the town,” Kirishima chirruped happily. “He’s still got his winter pelt and everything, you could make a great blanket.”

“Or a feast,” Taishiro breathed, coming closer and lifting one of the legs, observing the perfection of its abdominal cavity and wondering for a second just how much meat he could get out of this thing. “How the hell didja get it here?” he pressed, casting about for a sledge or something the pair - or Kirishima alone, which seemed completely out of the realm of possibility based on the size of the thing - might have used to pull it.

“I’ve got my ways,” Kirishima said, and Taishiro couldn’t even be annoyed at his obvious dodging of the question. Elation was rising in him, seeing this massive beast dropped on his doorstep, more meat than he could possibly sell.

Without thinking, he scooped Eijirou up and swung him around, laughing bodily even as Eijirou yelped in surprise. “I can’t believe ya, kid! Gift like this begs ta be shared,” he trailed off, eyeballing the carcass for another moment. “I could throw the biggest feast this town’s ever seen and still have meat fer weeks.”

Eijirou wriggled a bit until he was a bit more comfortable - his butt was perched perfectly in the crook of Taishiro’s elbow - and looked Taishiro in the eyes. He looked quietly expectant, an expression that didn’t feel familiar on his features, but there was a stiffness in his posture that delineated excitement bubbling under the surface.

“What’re you saying?” he asked, and Taishiro pressed a big fat kiss to his cheek.

“I’m gonna throw a party, and ev’ryone I know is invited - ‘specially you, kiddo.”

Eijirou’s eyebrows flew up at that, finally betraying his - well. It was still kind of hard to read that expression, but Taishiro was too excited to care. It’d been a long time since his town had had something to be excited about.

He deposited Eijirou on the ground and proudly ruffled his hair, satisfied with the little chirrup Eijirou let out at the gesture. “I’d better get this fella prepped for the big night,” Taishiro huffed, turning to the carcass once again. “Thanks again, kid, it’s gonna be a blast.”

“O-of course!” Eijirou replied. “I’m just really glad I could do something for you like this, Fat, especially after - well,” he cut himself off, looking a little sheepish. “Well, I’ve been wanting this for a long time. I just didn’t expect it to happen so fast…”

Any other time, the context of Eijirou’s uncharacteristic shyness might have given Taishiro pause, but by now his head was filled with the overwhelming potential of all this meat and how to prepare it for such a large group of people. Ribs were a given, but as for the rest… He bent his legs and hefted the beast, grunting under its weight for a moment before he finally straightened and gave Eijirou a parting grin.

“Ya best get ready fer a wild night,” he rasped, and for some reason, Eijirou blushed before he straightened and gave him a roguish look in return.

“I look forward to it.”


By the time the feast was reaching its midpoint, Taishiro had not yet had a moment’s peace since that morning. He couldn’t hold back his delight, however, and greeted every new request with a beam and a booming voice. More than once, one of the various regulars of the tavern had urged him to take a sip - or a gulp - or a whole pint, enough that even with his size, he was feeling pleasantly buzzed.

He caught sight of Eijirou once or twice, whenever he ducked out to check on the patio. It was still cool during the evening and night, but the tavern itself was much too busy to accommodate everyone and the bright atmosphere had a fair crowd in the mood to savor the weather.

The crowd was dwindling as families and folks who had come for the food rather than the company filtered out and the more uproarious part of the feast began. Inside, there was drinking and spontaneous contests and pageantry in spades, but outside, the atmosphere was chill enough that Taishiro could take a moment to actually observe Eijirou beyond a passing glance.

He was perhaps a little overdressed for the occasion, bedecked with jewelry and trailing a jeweled scarf from his waist. Taishiro had half a mind to crack a joke about his finery as compared to himself still wearing his stained apron, but had to pause when he noticed Eijirou’s demeanor.

His body language should have said it all, with how completely closed-off he looked - arms crossed over his chest, slumped in a disconnected chair facing away from the crowd. Katsuki was next to him, ostensibly and unabashedly asleep in the middle of all the ruckus.

A pinch of guilt tugged at the back of Taishiro’s mind. The pair had caught and bled the elk so early that morning - they were probably feeling pretty beat by now. He watched Eijirou nudge Katsuki and mumble something, and he wondered briefly if it had been inconsiderate to invite them.

Somebody called to him and by the next time he circled back to the outdoors, the pair had already left.


It had reached the wee hours of the morning by the time the revelry had died down. Taishiro felt exhaustion weighing on every limb and a combination of grease and sweat dousing his temples. It’d been quite a night, but he couldn’t say he wasn’t perfectly pleased with how it had all gone down; the only smidge of regret he had was for leaving so many of the closing duties to take care of during the following morning. Still, he found it just unconscionable to let Tamaki stick around a moment longer, and he himself was much too weary to get it all done on his lonesome. He’d treated the entire town, he could hardly imagine they’d hold it against him if he got a late start.

He stretched his shoulders, relieved and astonished by the popping of his joints. Late as it was, he was definitely looking forward to having a shower - his hair was so caked with grease, it hardly budged even with the motion of the wind.

His personal cabin wasn’t far and he was so familiar with the path, however cobbled and uneven, that he let his eyes drift closed for a moment on the way. Fat chance of anyone trying to rob him after that show of generosity. The path quickly grew steeper, though, and he ended up squinting through the dark and the shadows of the trees so as not to lose his footing.

Taishiro skidded for a second, then shook his head. Shadows were playing tricks on his already exhausted brain - leaves rustling on the trees were distorting the silhouettes of the stepping stones. Maybe, he reflected, a bath wasn’t such a good idea - at this point, he was in some danger of falling asleep in the water.

The shadows leapt again, and rather than allow himself to fall he paused to get his bearings. The wind wasn’t that powerful, was it? He peered up, still resisting the more paranoid thoughts at the corners of his mind. It was childish to be afraid of the dark.

What wasn’t childish whatsoever was the wordless scream that came when he saw a truly massive talon sweeping down toward him.

He felt the impact of it ripple through his core as the dragon swept all his significant weight up in one smooth motion. Taishiro shut his eyes in abject fear, cowed instantly by the pounding of his heart in the back of his throat. In a million years, he never would have thought this would be the way he died - he had enough sense to stay away from dragon territory, and his substantial girth usually discouraged predators.

Terror gripped him like a chilling vice as he braced himself for the worst, but after another moment he realized he wasn’t in any pain. He frowned, breathed, and opened his eyes.

It was too dark, and he was too immobilized in the grip of the dragon’s talons to move much, but he quickly realized he was in the shadow of the dragon’s chest, pressed as close to its overwhelmingly hot body as it could manage. It was shielding him, in some way, from what must have been a brisk headwind with the pace they’d set. He could still feel it chilling the back of his neck, rustling his hair, but he was warm.

Well, in a situation as dire as his, he had to count his blessings wherever he could find them.

He peered around, squinting through the wind and the darkness, and his eyes landed on a glinting, warped piece of metal curled around what must have been the dragon’s… forearm? It took a moment to place, but it looked -

Like something Kirishima had been wearing earlier. A curling, intricate golden armband. Taishiro’s breath caught in his throat.

Maybe he’d just dropped it.

Taishiro turned away using whatever limited mobility he had and pressed his face into the smooth scales of the dragon’s chest, praying that he’d fall asleep or pass out or something before what was going to happen happened. It didn’t help, and it didn’t matter - his imagination was spiraling into oblivion, and his terror had made him too awake to take advantage of his exhaustion.

Fortunately or otherwise, he didn’t have long to ruminate on what was about to take place before the dragon finally touched down on three legs with the fourth still cradling Taishiro to his chest. He opened his eyes, just for a moment, unable to resist his natural urge to take in his surroundings for anything that could make this situation less overwhelmingly… Well, bad. The dragon exhaled, hard enough that Taishiro could feel the scales underneath his pillowy cheek go from warm to hot, and suddenly there was harsh red light dancing on its chest.

Taishiro felt his breath accelerating. He couldn’t pretend to be any kind of expert, but he’d expected to be dispatched and eaten raw long before being cooked alive.

The heat and the light dissipated, however, and Taishiro could feel muscles larger than his whole body rippling under the dragon’s skin as it turned away from the fire it had lit. Taishiro was so petrified he could hardly breathe until, with surprising care, the dragon lowered him to the ground.

For a moment, the sight of the beast was still overwhelming. It towered over him before backing away, almost courteously, as he lay sprawled on the ground. It took him a second to realize his surroundings were not at all what he expected - rather than a craggy outcrop in the mountains, he was nestled in a forest clearing, warmly lit by the small, contained fire pit the dragon had set ablaze just moments ago. Not far behind him yawned the opening to what must have been a partially underground cavern. Taishiro was lying back in a sprawling, luscious fur not unlike the one he’d harvested that morning, and standing above him, peering down with curious eyes, was the dragon.

It took another moment, as the fire danced over the shimmering gold of the dragon’s irises, for Taishiro to realize - the brilliant red of its scales, the scar over its right eye, the piercings and the intensity with which the dragon stared into him -

“Kirishima?” he asked, and the dragon huffed, visibly indignant. “Eijirou.”

Eijirou seemed much more pleased with the familiarity and pressed forward, butting his snout into Taishiro’s chest with enough force to knock him back into a reclining position. He lingered there, stunned, spent from the emotional whiplash of the last half hour, as his thoughts sorted themselves out. He’d been abducted - by Eijirou. Eijirou, who was a dragon.

He owed Tamaki money.

No, that was a stupid thought to be having. Eijirou lifted his head, looming over him again, and with another gust of air Taishiro realized he was whipping his tail back and forth, either playfully or furiously, and Taishiro had to swallow down another surge of fear.

“I’m - sorry! Kid,” he stammered, then internally lambasted himself - it was abundantly clear by now that Eijirou was no kid, was likely decades if not centuries older than him - “I didn’t - uh, at the party, I was bein’ inconsiderate, it won’t happen again -”

Whatever the case, whatever any of his body language meant, Eijirou cut him off with a puff of smoke, leaving him coughing for a moment before Eijirou pressed forward again. He flicked his long, pliable tongue over Taishiro’s cheek and pressed a talon down on his chest, leaving him gasping for air with the combination of his weight and his still-smoky pipes. He eased up after a pained wheeze from Taishiro and licked him again, and Taishiro barely had time to notice the flexing of Eijirou’s - fingers? - before his massive nails were shredding his clothing like paper.

He winced, feeling his heart pounding like a trapped animal as his mind rushed to process what was happening. He hadn’t thought Eijirou could be angry enough to eat him, he hadn’t thought he was capable of any such thing, but between poaching dragons and wait no that didn’t make sense why would he -

Eijirou stood over him for a moment, caging him in with both of his forelegs, and Taishiro saw his slit pupils blow wide open as his eyes traveled over Taishiro’s anatomy, only covered in trailing rags by now. His tongue flicked over his lips and stuck out the side of his mouth, and all at once, Taishiro understood. Eijirou was looking at him like a piece of meat, but only in the metaphorical sense.

He bowed his head to lap lovingly at Taishiro’s soft body and flicked his tongue with enough force to make Taishiro’s chest jiggle. Eijirou’s hot, hot breaths set the wide wet swaths painted by his tongue alight with feeling and for a moment, Taishiro was swept up in his own arousal. How could he help it? He’d only ever been with partners that were dramatically smaller than him, and now…

Well, if he was being honest with himself, he finally saw the appeal. If it hadn’t been for the primal voice in the back of his mind chanting big dragon scary scary, this would have been a pretty nice experience overall. Maybe that voice was even contributing, what with how he was so completely at Eijirou’s mercy.

Eijirou lifted one of his massive talons and Taishiro watched with trepidation as he planted it on his shoulder and pressed down. It was thrilling in a way now, seeing the intimate details of an animal he’d once thought himself lucky if he never saw in person, feeling the coarse grind of his rougher scales and the sharp pricks of his claws as he held him down and poked around with his nose. His breath was hot that close to his body, especially when he pressed his nose into Taishiro’s softer areas like he was savoring it.

“Big rough guy like you,” Taishiro murmured, calming himself by watching Eijirou’s ears flick up to consider him, “Must like a lil’ softness now n’ again.”

Eijirou responded with an overwhelming, rolling rumble and licked him, on his lower stomach now. It was a sensitive area for Taishiro, one that had him responding to Eijirou’s groan in kind, and when Eijirou nosed at the belt on Taishiro’s barely-intact pants and whined… Well, he’d always had a soft spot for the kid, hadn’t he? And this was a hell of a way to pay him back for neglecting him that night.

He grunted a little as he forced his butt off the ground just enough so that he could wriggle his waistband down over his cushiony ass. He didn’t get far before Eijirou was pressing forward impatiently, grabbing him in one talon and easily manhandling him onto his hands and knees so that he could Taishiro’s sorry ensemble the rest of the way off.

Taishiro craned his neck around just as he felt an overwhelming, heated pressure pass over him - the ground didn’t shake per se, but he could feel every impact of Eijirou’s feet as he moved to stand over Taishiro. It was hot under Eijirou’s body, hot enough that Taishiro felt as if the air was being pressed out of him, but that was nothing on the hard, hot, massive object that began pressing into him from behind.

“Ei - ji -” Taishiro heaved, feeling blood rushing - to his face, or his dick, or somewhere that left him irresistibly lightheaded. He had enough time before Eijirou began thrusting to crane his neck over his shoulder, to catch a blurred visual of Eijirou’s pale underbelly descending into a slit that opened around a bright, ridged, slick, knotted dick.

Taishiro was a large man. He was not that large.

That didn’t seem to matter to Eijirou, however, because he pressed forward on his hind legs and let out another rolling, earth-shaking rumble as he pressed into him. His elbows gave out almost instantly, planting him face down and ass up on the fur Eijirou had prepared for him. He felt tears pricking at his eyes, he felt his lungs starving of air like the cock in his butt was displacing the rest of his insides -

And yet, he didn’t hate it. In fact, he was finding himself dangerously close to loving everything about this.

He couldn’t be sure where he found the air for the cry that the next thrust forced out of him, because it felt like his whole body had formed itself to Eijirou’s cock. The next was harder, hard enough that he could feel his sides rippling with the impact. He gritted his teeth around another groan - or moan - or scream even as Eijirou let his own voice rip through the crisp air.

Taishiro pinched one eye open while the other stayed closed, buried in the soft fur of whatever animal Eijirou had slaughtered to get this skin, and saw one of Eijirou’s foreclaws rooting itself into the ground like he was holding himself firm. He thrust harder and Taishiro could feel a rush of air from behind him, like Eijirou was whipping up a gust with the fervent movement of his tail, and every push from there on felt like it was vibrating through Taishiro’s whole self.

It was humbling and liberating, being dwarfed like this. Every part of Eijirou’s body was in motion, and even the parts that weren’t connected with him shifted the pressure and the heat in such a way that Taishiro could feel - he felt the surge of heat when Eijirou mindlessly released a blast of fire, he felt the pain stretching him from the inside as Eijirou sunk deeper with every thrust, and he felt Eijirou’s claws clenching and unclenching in the dirt, tearing up clumps of earth in his effort to keep himself from destroying his chosen mate altogether.

The sensations quickly bled together, however, because there was only so long that Taishiro could’ve held himself intact between the heat and the pain and the sheer delight of being dominated so effectively for the first time in his life. Before long, he found himself drooling into the pelt, his fingers loosely grasping at the long, silken furs, every last movement leaving him shuddering with overwhelm.

Eijirou seemed to be growing restless, and Taishiro could feel something slamming against his ass with every thrust, harder and harder like Eijirou was trying to force it in - because, well, he was. Taishiro verbalized his sheer overstimulated need in panting yelps as the knot met his backside and almost made it in once, then twice -

And then he was so full of heat that he lost all his sense of self to the tingling rocking him to his core, setting his fingertips ablaze, burning him from the inside out. It was overpowering, much too much for any more delicate man, and somehow only just enough for him. He came shouting almost as loud as Eijirou and lay, defeated, pinned under the dragon’s body, every breath an overburdened sigh.

Eijirou sank downward with his own orgasm, letting his roar fade into a purr. He planted his head upside-down between his forelegs and peered curiously at Taishiro, trilling inquisitively. However aware Taishiro might have been of the implicit question, however, he was no more capable of answering beyond another weary blink and another pained gasp. There was too much inside him, however much he’d always liked stuffing himself with good food and wine. There was too much good food and wine inside him to begin with, and having all of that displaced by what must have been a goddamn gallon of dragon cum -

Well, he’d never been accused of having a weak stomach, but when Eijirou pressed his distended, uncharacteristically hard belly to cradle him to his own underside, Taishiro felt dangerously close to losing his dinner. Eijirou seemed to notice his unease, so he made haste holding Taishiro to his abdomen and ambling on three legs toward the cave. Taishiro had just enough time to notice the sky brightening over the treeline before all he could see was the cool darkness of the cave’s interior.

The rapid motion did little to help his stomach, but it seemed they didn’t have far to go. Taishiro felt Eijirou’s gut grow warm as he puffed some fire into what must have been a standing light source, then a second - and in the warm, flickering light, he saw something glinting down on the ground.

He was too delirious to place it, but he didn’t have long to linger on it regardless - Eijrou paced forward and there, lying in the dirt, was another glinting object. And another.

It was gold. All of it. And as Eijirou continued on, stepping gingerly over the slippery metal piles, Taishiro realized that the finery he’d been presented with had been a drop in the ocean compared to the riches Eijirou had stashed away.

Eijirou mounted a particularly large pile, accompanied by the grating of metal on metal and the clang of displaced pieces before he curled into a pile of furs large enough to make a bed for himself and a number of humans. He bent his head and licked Taishiro, leaving his hair wet, and all at once he was smaller, slender, barely able to wrap his arms around half of Taishiro’s girth.

He climbed up and over Taishiro’s side, straddling his soft flank naked as could be and grinning delightedly down at him. “So?” he prompted, holding his arms out to either side of him, “What do you think?”

The two torches he’d lit were hardly enough to set the entire cavern alight, but Taishiro could tell pretty quickly that it was filled to the brim with riches. Gold made up the better part of it, but there were textiles, too, bright sweeping swathes and wadded piles of fabric, more pelts, weapons, money…

“‘S this karma?” Taishiro slurred.

“Huh?”

“Fer havin’ ta play sugar daddy fer every overconfident size queen that comes into town,” he rumbled playfully, slowly turning his head to smile up at Eijirou. He could feel warm wet fluid coming out of him now, bleeding into the furrow between his butt and his thigh, and blinked his exhaustion away.

Eijirou gave him a tiny, bemused smile and cocked his head to the side. “Sugar daddy,” he muttered, carefully shaping the words like they were strange to him. “But I thought you didn’t serve desserts at your place?” Taishiro just snorted and warmly ruffled his hair. “And where’s the kingdom of Size? Is their queen pretty?”

“Shh,” Taishiro slurred. He was sure, someday, he’d explain all that nonsense to Eijirou in detail and derive endless enjoyment from his reactions, but he was much too tired to go into it at the moment. He rolled onto his back and cradled Eijirou in his arms, humming in delight at Eijirou’s excited whoop. He was so tired, he’d barely even registered the sound of footsteps crunching over discarded gold pieces before Eijirou called out.

“Katsuki? I thought you wanted to sleep outside while I had Fat over.”

Taishiro peeled his eyes open just in time to see Bakugou stumbling up to them, cursing quietly when his boot slipped on a stray chalice. He squinted blearily as he joined them on the pile of furs, still processing Eijirou’s greeting. “Couldn’t sleep,” he grunted, finally. “Not without your dumb grabby claws.”

Eijirou snickered, pressing Taishiro’s hands aside and sliding off of his chest. Taishiro let it happen - his exhaustion was temporarily set aside for the sake of satisfying his long-lived curiosity about their relationship. They greeted each other with casual touch - just a hand on one another’s hip. Bakugou didn’t seem to mind Eijirou’s nudity, but it was more like he didn’t particularly care than anything else.

Eijirou lightly rested his cheek on Bakugou’s head and murmured, “If you just wanna cuddle, you can say so. It’s not like I’m gonna start minding that now.”

Taishiro half expected Bakugou to retort in his usual fashion, but he didn’t - at least not at first. He leaned into Eijirou for a second, letting out the smallest contented little sound. Then he pushed away, rubbing his eyes and grunting while Eijirou tittered and looked Taishiro’s way. He came forward, kneeling next to him for a second and glancing at Bakugou, who was busy kicking off his boots.

“You don’t hafta be jealous, just so you know,” Eijirou said.

Taishiro blinked. He was honestly surprised Eijirou had even suggested it. “‘M not,” he mumbled. “Just curious.”

“Well, Bakugou’s not mine,” Eijirou stated. “You, you’re mine. Get it?”

Taishiro frowned and shook his head.

Eijirou leaned in, smiling, and perhaps the low light or the exhaustion or some mix of both was playing tricks on Taishiro’s mind again because he could’ve sworn he saw a flash of gold in his irises, a predatory curl of his lip. “What I’m saying is,” he said, quieter than Taishiro had ever heard him, “No matter where you go or what you do, you’re mine now. You can go back to your tavern and live your life, but you’d better keep in mind that when I’m in town, if I decide I want you for a night…”

He trailed off, letting the quiet finish his thought for him. Taishiro inhaled, in awe for a second at the realization of just what he’d gotten himself into.

But this was Eijirou, and he’d always had a place in his heart for the kid. He knew in some corner of his mind that making agreements like this in the state of exhaustion he was in was a bad idea, but…

“Keep fuckin’ me like that,” he mumbled, his eyelids weighing too heavy to keep them open, “‘N you’ve got yerself a deal.”

He heard Eijirou chirrup his amusement as he slid into sleep.