Lionel, Dante, Family Campout

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The campsite was a cheerful mess.

After failing six or seven times to set up a tent, Odin had finally stepped back and let Owen show him how to do it. Who knew how much Odin was taking in, but he seemed to be enjoying seeing his cousin again, so that was all that mattered. Well, that and the fact that he and Murph and Pierre would have some privacy tonight instead of sleeping in the grass.

Louis had been carrying Louie around on his shoulders for about two hours after Louie had declared they had to be friends because they had the same name. Pierre was with them, chattering to Louis and clearly trying to be his friend for other reasons, which would no doubt eventually be successful.

Willow seemed very impressed with Twig, inserting herself into everything he did to try and help out. He was taking it very patiently, currently explaining his soup recipe to her, which seemed to consist mostly of guesswork, but Willow seemed impressed anyway.

Sitting near the creek, Travis was explaining to Alse the difference between fresh and salt water, which he was doing as a method of discovering whether it was racist to catch and eat the fish in the river. Denver had been with them until he’d been dragged away by Joey to patrol the exterior of the campsite for bears, as if any bears would come within a hundred miles of this many dragons gathered together.

Edwin had been kidnapped by Phoebe and was having a deep, slow conversation with her about deer and carpentry, and he didn’t seem bored even though they’d been at it for hours. Murph had joined them a while ago and was alternating between telling stories about forests he and his dads had camped in and sewing a patch into a sock.

Lionel smiled, just glad everyone was having a good time. Tomorrow he’d make sure to explain to them all that they couldn’t leave the campsite looking like this, but for now he just let them all have fun. Some of them had never been camping before.

There was a shuffle behind him, and Dante came up to Lionel, hands behind his back. “Thanks for inviting Twig and I,” he said, voice low. “I think he’s really enjoying himself.”

Lionel nodded. The pretense was that they’d only invited Dante because of Twig. “And you?” he asked. Dragons didn’t need pretenses, and Lionel hoped that by the time they left they’d be able to drop this one.

Dante nodded, just once. “Yeah, me too. I’ve never been camping before. I appreciate it.”

“I’m glad. It’s a good group,” Lionel said, looking out.

“You would say that,” Dante accused. “They’re all related to you.”

Shrugging, Lionel put a hand on Dante’s back. “Yeah, that’s how I know it’s a good group. Come over here, I’ll show you how to string up our food so it doesn’t attract animals.”

“Are we that afraid of animals?” Dante asked, following Lionel. He was a good boy. “I mean, with three dragons, not to mention all the quarter-dragons…”

Lionel grinned, ignoring the incorrect count for now. “I’m not afraid of animals. I’m afraid for any animals that come too close. Best to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. Come on.”

“Sure,” Dante said, and he picked up the twine Lionel directed him to.

The campsite was a delight. Lionel would have to make family camping trips a more regular thing from now on.



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