A/N: A fluffy little story idea that occured to me the other day, and I wrote it up for my own entertainment. If it's not on par with my other fics, please don't flame TOO harshly! :) Please find translations for the drow language as a footnote. (One more thing: surely someone's going to say, "There's no such thing as furred lizards! They're not in either of the two accepted beastiaries for Forgotten Realms! Two words: Literary License.) I hope you like it...
Disclaimer: The recognizable characters appearing in this story are © Wizards of the Coast, Inc., all rights reserved. They are used without permission and for entertainment purposes only. No profit is being made by the author for writing this story. No infringement upon nor challenge to the rights of the copyright holders is intended; nor should any be inferred.
Of Furred Lizards
The orange-furred lizard rested on Violet's palm, obsidian eyes watchful. Its forked black tongue darted out between 2 rows of pointed teeth, tasting the air. The six-year-old half-elf leaned in closer and the lizard shrank back with a sibilant hiss.
"Put it down."
Father. Violet turned her head slightly. "What?"
"Was I not clear? Put it down."
Annoyed, and a bit taken aback by the stern tone, Violet grudgingly lowered her furry friend onto a nearby boulder. The lizard regarded her for a moment, tensed its sinewy body, then suddenly vaulted forward and sunk its teeth into the girl's hand between thumb and forefinger.
"Aaahhhh!" Violet shrieked and swung her hand frantically, dislodging the lizard and sending it flying. It bounced off of a nearby tree, turned, hissed, and scurried off into the underbrush.
"Ow! It hurts! It hurts!" Violet's first instinct was to wave her hand frantically to cool the burning feeling, but Drizzt was there in two steps, arresting the motion on the first swing.
The little girl's eyes were filling with tears. "It hurts–"
"I know. Hold still or you'll spread the poison."
Poison? Violet's eyes widened at the word.
Drizzt had her hand in his and he squeezed the skin around the wound firmly, watching the blood ooze out, crimson on her dusky skin.
"Stop! Stop!" The wound burned fiercely and she tried to wrench her hand away but the ranger's grip was unyielding. Violet wasn't a crybaby, but there were tears on her cheeks. "Oh please stop!"
Drizzt ignored her pleas and continued squeezing out the poisoned blood. It hurt him too, but there was more at stake here than a little pain.
Violet tried to choke back her sobs but they came anyway.
Drizzt put his mouth to the wound and sucked, the poison tasting bitter on his tongue. He turned his head and spat, then did it again, and again. Finally there was no more bitterness, only the clean metallic taste of blood. He raised his head, relieved. "The poison's out."
Violet slumped against him, sobbing, and he hugged her tightly, rubbing her back and whispering soothingly into her hair. "Ol zhah tenu, kel'nar aslu dos. Usstan'bal aslu dos." He picked her up as if she weighed nothing and carried her across the clearing to the house. By the time they got inside her tears had subsided, although the ranger's shoulder was noticeably damp.
"Father? What was that?"
"A furred lizard." He set her down on the counter beside the wash basin. "Let's wash this."
Violet held her hand out and he poured cool water over it from the pitcher. "How did you know it would bite me?"
Drizzt picked up the cake of soap. "I've seen a lot of furred lizards in the Dale. They are always very aggressive." He proceeded to wash the wound, ever so gently.
Violet gritted her teeth for a moment. "I didn't know it was poisonous. I sat with my hand on a tree stump and I stayed really still – ow!"
"Sorry Vi." Drizzt put down the soap and picked up the pitcher.
"Anyway, it finally walked onto my hand and I picked it up real slow."
Drizzt rinsed the soap off and handed her a clean towel. "Normally that would be fine – but you should never pick something up if you don't know what it is–"
"Because it might be poisonous?"
He nodded. "Or dangerous." The ranger fished around the small kitchen for something to use as a bandage. "Let's see your hand." She held it out again and he wound a strip of cloth around it a few times, tying it securely.
Violet wiped her runny nose on her sleeve and flexed her hand experimentally. She winced.
Drizzt looked at her smudged and tear-stained face and smiled gently. He brushed a stray curl of hair out of her face. "Better now?" She nodded. He wet another cloth and she let him wash her face. The sapphire eyes were perfect reflections of Cattie-brie's. Cattie and Zaknafein had gone to the mines to visit Bruenor today but Violet would not be cooped up indoors! Drizzt looked at his daughter, serious now. "Why didn't you put the lizard down the first time I told you?" His tone was quiet.
"Um, I didn't hear–"
"Oh?" He raised an eyebrow at the prevarication and she stopped. She held his gaze for a moment, then looked away, ashamed.
"I didn't want to."
He nodded. Honesty this time.
Violet was scrupulously avoiding his gaze. After a moment she glanced up, then down again, at her hand. "Now I wish I had. Put it down the first time."
Drizzt's look was somber. He reached out and turned her chin gently so she looked at him again. "It's not that I don't want you to have fun. I'm trying to keep you safe. Kampi'un?"
"Good." He picked her up under the arms and lifted her down. "I love you d'anthe uss."
"I love you too kel'nar. Can I go play now?"
He nodded, watching her skip off.
Suddenly she turned around, eyes twinkling. "Hide n' seek! You count!"
Drizzt obliged her with a nod and a smile and her grin grew even wider. "One...two..." He watched as she ran out of the house, long white hair flying behind her. His precious little girl. He was a bit worried about this mendacious streak though.
1 "Ol zhah tenu, kel'nar aslu dos. Usstan'bal aslu dos." - "It's okay, dad's got you. I've got you."
2 "Kampi'un?" - "Understand?"
3 d'anthe uss - dear one
4 kel'nar - dad