FF7/His Dark Materials

Avalanche bonding silliness.

Dragon Taxonomy

"No, no, no!"

Perched on a rock, Cloud paused and looked over his shoulder. The rest of the group was making its way up the trail. Yuffie, of course, was being the noisiest ninja ever, which made him wonder why he was bothering to scout ahead; everyone in the area would hear her coming regardless.

"You guys -- 'dragon', pfft. Like a ryuu is the same thing as a wyrm!"

Oh, whatever. The area wasn't that dangerous yet. Little rocks, stunted trees, easy to see things coming. Cloud traded a glance with Skally; they sighed, then gave in and waited for the group to catch up.

"...I admit Wutai dragons don't really look the same," Tifa was saying, "with the... moustaches, and the body shape and such, but it's like calling a tiger and a lion cats. They both are, aren't they?"

Yuffie drew herself up (not that far up) and glowered. "It's like calling a lemur a monkey."

"And they're not?" Cid drawled, with the tone of someone who didn't give a good goddamn, which Cloud had learned to interpret as 'totally messing with you'. Yuffie didn't disappoint, arms flailing, her flying squirrel daemon puffing himself up and chittering angrily.

"They're totally different branches of evolution! For one thing a ryuu is much smarter. And slender and more elegant! And better at magic, and subtler! A wyrm-dragon is just so... gauche. And violent." She stroked her chin, brows scrunched up in deep thought. "Kinda like comparing Vince and Barret."

Cloud gave in, again, and joined in on the conversation. "... You make it sound like Vincent and Barret aren't the same species."

Cid chuffed out a laugh, his Liz clicking her beak in sharp, vaguely threatening amusement. "Then again...!"

Barret swatted at Yuffie. "Kidding, kidding!" she said, dodging and almost tripping over Nanaki's back. "Like, uh, Red and Barret!"

Barret glared, not entirely seriously. "It still comes out like I'm the bumbling wild beast here!"

Everyone started laughing then; even Vincent cracked a smile, quickly hidden in his collar. Barret joined in with a sighing, I-am-so-put-upon chuckle.

Even as he smiled with the rest of them Cloud couldn't look at Skally straight on, with her long catfish whiskers rippling in some unseen wind. We got it wrong, some corner of his brain said. We didn't even get the right type of dragon.