Matter of Choice

An Angelique Fan Fiction by Anime Kitty

Note - this is only a rough copy of Part 1. It will be completed at a later date.

“Wake up... It’s time to wake up.” The sleeper responded by trying to bury deeper into the covers to escape the nagging voice.
"Come on now. You can’t stay in bed all day.” Moans of protest met the voice and the accompanying soft shaking of the shoulders.
“Honestly.... Wake up!” In desperation the covers were thrown back to reveal the young half-awake form.
“Mom!” Hands reached out to grab at the blanket, but they were too slow.
“You know very well that today is going to be a big day. Now, go get dressed, Pharau.”
“Yes, Mom.” With that Sara left to allow her child to get ready.
Pharau slipped out of bed and stretched, yawned, and wiped the sleep from his blue eyes. A hand ran absent-mindedly through his pink hair, working some of the snarls out as he headed to the small mirror and bed stand. The rest were handled nicely by a small black brush and his hair returned to its normal silky texture as per normal of Dragon People. That taken care of, he shed his pajamas and chose today’s outfit. Which was almost the same as yesterday’s; always sea green with an accessory in shades of yellow or red. So, to break the monotony, a sea green shirt and brown shorts for today. With that Pharau pushed back the flap diving his room from the main part of the tent. Before he had barely walked two steps, “Pharau-chan!”
He was almost knocked down by the impact but was bolstered by the forceful hug. “Hello, Uncle Mel.”
“Ah, I’m so happy to see you! I‘ve missed you so much! So, are you as excited as I am for the big day?” Mel rattled off before releasing the juvenile Dragon.
“Yeah, sure thing.” Pharau bent his head slightly and walked past Mel to table.
“You don’t sound excited...” He followed behind his nephew.
Sara lightly patted her child’s head before turning toward her cousin. “Pharau’s just a little anxious is all. This is a very important event.”
Mel sat down at the table and began to pour himself some juice. “Yeah... I remember how nervous I was before my Choosing.”
Sara sat as well, once again patting her child as he slowly began to eat. “We all get nervous. It’s completely natural.”
Mel nodded. “Mm-hmm. So, have you decided which gender you’re going to chose?”
He stopped and simply looked forlornly at his plate. “Well, Pharau is still having a little trouble...” Sara quickly moved to fill the silence.
“Really? Most Dragons decide upon reaching juvenile age... and even if they don’t they still got about six years to think about it.”
“It’s because I’m different.”
Sara immediately moved in closer to him. “Oh, Sweetie... We’ve had this talk before. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you being different. Everybody is different and that uniqueness makes us special and wonderful.”
“But...I’m more different than anyone. Always have been, always will be.” With that he stood and headed outside, leaving the breakfast table behind.
“Still in that whole ‘juvenile angst’ thing?” Mel asked before eating some more toast.
“Don’t worry.” Sara began as she picked up the forgotten dishes. “Pharau will feel better once we get to Lantica.”
“Let me guess, Pastha’s a little better at talking to ‘em, right?” Mel moved for more juice.
“Heavens no.” Sara almost chuckled at the thought. “We both have trouble talking to him about the Choosing and being different. They only person who can get through is his friend Perkos, and even he has trouble some times.”
“Perkos...” Mel’s ear twitched as he thought. “Oh, that Water Dragon who Choose last year, right?"
Sara nodded while she collected her own dishes.
“Well, that makes one of us.”

Meanwhile, Pharau wandered aimlessly through the causeways of Fueg, the city of the Fire Dragon clan. Even after sixteen years, he still found the sights intriguing. The whole city was a collection of tents, each in bright shades of red, yellow, orange and violet. Even though the cloth was as durable as any building material, the city still was constantly shifting maze as old tents were added on to or simply replaced with fresh new ones. Cloth banners hung on thin wires made ever-changing arches over the hustle and bustle while large, elaborate flags flapped in time with the chattering of the citizens. Everything had a feeling of life and vitality befitting it’s nickname of the ‘Fire Dragons’ Carnival.’ The only thing more colorful and vivacious were the very inhabitants, all who seemed to dance rather than walk through their beloved home. Except, for one musing juvenile who had his thoughts interrupted by, “Hey, Pharau!”
It was Chlow or Cherta or something, Pharau wasn’t sure of anything beyond that this young Dragon woman was one of Sara’s divination students. “Hey.”
“You getting ready for your Choosing?” She asked in a far too cheerful manner for his current mood.
“Yeah.” The word rolled coldly off his tongue, making her rethink any further questions.
“Oh...well...good luck!”
Pharau simply continued on without replying while Chand’s mother pulled her aside. “What are you doing?”
Chand looked confused. “I did something wrong?”
“You know I don’t want you talking to that... that...” She paused to keep herself from saying ‘freak’ and took a deep breath. “I just don’t want you to talk to him.”
“But... Pharau is Madame Sara’s child.”
“He is also the child of that cold bastard of a Water Dragon. I don’t care if we are at peace, I still don’t trust their kind, and you shouldn’t either. And don’t you forget that.”
Pharau of course had over-heard the entire conversation. While his exterior remained unaffected, deep down, such words still hurt even after hearing them for his whole life. No matter how nice of a front people put up, a tense aggression and possible fear always hung in the shadows. The discrimination happened in the company of Water Dragons as well with most referring to his mother as ‘that moody Fire Dragon bitch.’ And people had the nerve to ask him how he could feel so alone and alienated in his own ‘family clans’.

1. - I have chosen to refer to all pre-Choosing (ie genderless) Dragons as "he" as would be customary in the Romance Languages.