Chapter 11: China and Back Home

I just spent the last little while reading over my mom’s previous entries.  I’ve known the family lore since I was a kid.  Mom never kept it from me.  And I look back and can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel the power that ran through me, so it’s not that I didn’t believe her.  Still, it’s odd to look at it from her perspective.  Compared to some of my friends’ parents, she was definitely… different, some would say odd.  She just didn’t come from the same world.  What must it have been like for her?  I don’t think I ever really thought about it.  From where I stood, she was just my mom.  She was unusual, but no one could dispute how beautiful she was.  I always loved her; she was my mom.  But after reading and after really thinking about it, I realize how amazing she really was.  Not because she’s the Queen of the Dragons.  No, she’s amazing because she’s my mom.

Hm, perhaps that’s a bit too philosophical.  Mom gave me this to record our lives.  My little brother always said I tended to over-analyze and think a bit too much.  It’s just always been my way.  Though joining the force seemed a bit counterintuitive from a certain perspective, it works for me.  The puzzles are right up my alley… even if said puzzle is just figuring out who took the last donut from the breakroom…

Sophia and I are doing very well.  We’ve been together since we were teenagers and even though we just became young adults, it seems so very right.  Though Aurora was not planned and we were young, I really can’t imagine my life without my wife and my daughter.  Were we too young?  Perhaps.  Do I regret anything?  How can I when I have a beautiful, smart, and funny wife to share the rest of my life with?  Or when I look into my precious daughter’s eyes?

Graduation was held the day after our wedding.  Sophia and I both graduated with honors.  For some reason, the others voted me as Most Likely to Take Over the World.  A joke, I think.  My lovely wife was voted Most Likely to Become a Sports Star.  The whole family came out.  Mom, Dad, and Falkor sat in the front row, Aurora taking turns on each of their laps.

As a surprise, mom and dad presented Sophia and I with tickets to go to Shang Simla.  Sophia and I had talked about going there at one point, before we knew that Sophia was pregnant.  But we figured it could wait until Aurora was older.  “Draco Maxim Wyvern,” my mother told me sternly, standing with hands on her hips.  “You and Sophia deserve to have some alone time together.  You’re married now and the two of you need a bit of time to get away.  Your father and I want some alone time with Aurora anyway.  We should be allowed to spoil our granddaughter a bit without the two of you underfoot, hm?”

I knew that look all too well and quite frankly, I was powerless to resist it and to resist the way that she and my father looked at me.  Dad’s hand rested on mom’s shoulders as he stood behind her, looking at me over the top of her head, a little grin on his face.  My mother’s face was stern and brokered no argument.  Swallowing, I swooped my mother up in a bear hug and spun her around then planted a wet kiss on her cheek.  “Alright, mother.  Thank you.”  I looked at my father and grinned.  “Both of you.”

My mother picked up Aurora and tickled her even as I ran to find Sophia to tell her that we were going to Shang Simla and that she needed to pack immediately.

Sophia was ecstatic.  She was packed and ready in record time.  The taxi showed up and took us to the airport.  It was a long flight.  Sophia was able to sleep for most of it.  I spent time reading and listening to my SimPod.  Finally, after many hours and two layovers, we arrived in China.

The landscape was gorgeous and so very green.  I couldn’t help myself; I grabbed my wife and kissed her soundly.  “We’re here,” I murmured in her ear.

She grinned and threw back her head, laughing.  It was good to hear it.  We both loved our daughter but we really hadn’t had a lot of time just her and I.  We were parents before we really got a chance to see who we were together.  This honeymoon is going to be a great way to see, both together and separately, who and what we are.

From: dragonprince @MonteVista.net
To: bigdaddydragon @MonteVista.net
Subject: Checking in

Hey Mom and Dad,

Soph and I made it to China fine, just like we told you when we called.  Sorry if we were a bit… incoherent.  It was a long flight, but it was well worth it.  We really can’t thank you enough for buying the tickets.  Sohpia’s been dying to learn Sim Fu since she was a little kid and now she’s finally gotten the chance.

She’s already an orange belt.  The master at the Academy seems quite impressed with her discipline and her determination.  That’s my wife alright.

While Sophia trained hard, I decided to go exploring.  As you know, I’ve always been fascinated with knowledge.  History has always been one of my favorite subjects.  So you know I couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity to explore the Halls of the Lost Army.  I uh… might have lost my head a bit and just “dove” right in.

I found some very interesting things though.  Sophia says I was as giddy as a school boy when we met back up at basecamp that night.  We were both so tired that we ended up sharing how our days went and then we just lay down together.  Before we both knew it, we were asleep!

How are things at home?  How’s Aurora?  Though we’ve been busy, she’s never far from our thoughts.  What’s Falkor up to?  I’m writing this at the table while I grab some breakfast, so I’m gonna sign off now.  Today promises to be another whirlwind day.  I’ll check in with you later though.  Give everyone our love.

Love,
Draco and Sophia

From: bigdaddydragon @MonteVista.net
To: dragonprince @MonteVista.net
Subject: RE: Checking in

Draco,

Your mom and I were very glad to hear that the flight went well.  Believe it or not, we actually understood all the tired-talk.  Comes from raising two kids and listening to toddler babble.  Which, your little one is doing less and less of.  In fact, she and Nana are quite the pair.  ‘Rora likes to lean over and whisper secrets into your mother’s ear.

As for Uncle Falkor, she’s also got him wrapped around her little finger, as you can well imagine.  When he gets home from school, he makes a bee-line for her crib and lifts her up into his arms.  He’s completely smitten with her, I think.  Considering how he was when she was first born… I think he was just a little scared of her.  That is most certainly gone now.

And Aurora absolutely loves her Uncle.  We’re in trouble with her, my boy.  I’m glad you’re a cop and that your wife knows how to handle herself… we’re going to need an army to keep the boys away from our little girl, huh?

And when Falkor isn’t spoiling our little Northern Light, he’s composing letters and little poems to Miss Faye.  Yup, you heard right.  He’s gotten quite sappy.  It’s actually sweet, though don’t tell him I said that.  He’s a bit sensitive about it yet.  Though he’s crazy about Faye, it’s a little hard for him to talk about.  He’s always been the more private of us all.

Anyway, loved the pictures so far.  Your mother was a little… worried, I think when she saw you in the tomb.  So if I were you, I wouldn’t tell her TOO much of what you’re exploring.  She likes to think of herself as practical and realistic, but we all know better, huh?  Look forward to your next email.  Be safe son.  Give our love to Sophia and we’ll surely give yours to Aurora.

Love,

Dad, Mom, Falkor, and little Rora

From: dragonprince @MonteVista.net
To: bigdaddydragon @MonteVista.net
Subject: RE: Checking in

LOL Dad,

Ok, I’ll keep my harrowing pictures to a minimum.  Though got some fun shots of the tombs.  China really is amazing.  Sophia and I really are having a lot of fun.  Though we’re doing some separate activities, we both return to basecamp at night and just spend time in each other’s arms.

Sophia has already reached her green belt while we’re here and her master suggested a sparring match against another of his students.  She was amazing.

She won the first and only just lost the second one.  But it was still very impressive, all-in-all.  Oh, I have a great picture for mom.  I think she’ll appreciate the symbolism.

It’s called the Dragon’s Maw.  You know I just had to go check it out.  Here are some rather innocuous pictures of the inside of the tomb.

That’s about it.  I’ll be sure to show you the rest of the pictures when we get home.  We’ll be heading to the airport shortly.  Gonna be another long flight, but we’ll there about midafternoon for you guys.  Love you.  See you in a few hours.

Draco and Sophia


Sophia and I touched down a little ahead of schedule, thankfully.  Adventuring is great… the actual traveling not so much.  While mom and dad paid for first class seats, no flight that lasts over 15 hours is comfortable after a while.  As the taxi headed toward home, Sophia looked out the window.

“Penny for your thoughts?” I asked her, drawing her against me.

Smiling, she snuggled close.  “It’s good to be home.  As nice as it was, I’m glad we’re back.  I can’t wait to see Aurora.  I missed her.”

“Yeah, I did too.”  She laid her head on my shoulder and we both looked out the window at the familiar scenery.  Home was just around the corner now and we both wanted to catch sight of it, together.


Aurora was waiting for us.  Mom and Dad had brought her out with them.  Sophia was the first to scoop her up.

Then it was my turn.  Aurora seemed awfully happy to have her Mama and Papa back.  She wasn’t put down for quite a while.

But eventually, we all sat down to catch up a little.  Mom and Dad wanted to see the other photos that I hadn’t sent via email.  After showing them off, we went to look for Aurora.  Apparently, even in the three days we had been gone, she had gotten rather adept at hiding.

Once we found the little Simkin, we got her put to bed.

Then it was our turn to head to bed.  We were tired from the flight.  So Sophia and I bid our family goodnight, then went to bed.  As I held my wife tightly while I drifted off, I could hear the familiar sounds of the house I’d grown up in; the creaky floorboard right above our bed, the noises coming from my little brother’s room next to ours.  A smile curved my mouth.  It was good to be home.


 

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