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Snow pelted Shadow as he stumbled forward through the storm. He didn’t remember how long he had been walking. He didn’t even know which direction he was facing anymore. His friend struggled beside him, trying to use their wings to shield Shadow from the worst of it. The dragon was noticeably worried for their small companion, but the snow was so thick that they simply could not fly through it without risking both of their lives. Shadow trudged forward for a while longer before catching his foot on something and falling on his face. The dragon didn’t seem to notice, walking forward with their eyes narrowed to slits as they tried to peer ahead. The storm only got worse, making it more difficult for them to see the farther they progressed. Shadow couldn’t muster up the energy to call out to them, shivering as he lay there. He felt his eyes grow heavy and knew that if he didn’t figure out how to get out of this, he might not make it.

Meanwhile, the dragon marched forward, determined to find shelter for their weaker friend. They glanced down at their side to see if he was keeping up only to find that Shadow was nowhere to be found. They spun around in panic, frantically searching for where he could have gone. They went back the way they came, following the steadily fading footprints to see if they could retrace their steps. The longer they took to find him, the more fearful the dragon got. They whined, begging for any sign at all that their friend was still there. When they saw a figure laying in the snow relief coursed through them before being replaced by worry. They made their way over quickly and started nuzzling him with their snout. When Shadow didn’t get up they turned him over onto his back. Nothing happened. He didn’t move at all.

The dragon was close to tears, or at least the dragon equivalent to tears, but they noticed that he was still breathing, and kept hope. They turned him around again and hooked their teeth into his tunic, carrying him like a cat would carry a kitten. Through the snow they went, time passing quickly as they ran on pure adrenaline.

Up ahead they could make out an outcropping of rock, just enough to shelter them throughout the duration of the storm. Shadow’s eyes started to open as they gently let him down and nudged him with their snout to help him sit up against them. They wrapped their tail around Shadow and let their head rest on their paws, trying to warm him up.

Shadow clutched at them, cuddling up against their side as he got warmer. Whenever he was about to fall asleep the dragon carefully nudged him awake again, making sure to keep watch for any sign of illness. Eventually the dragon nodded off, and when they awoke again the snow had stopped. They craned their head to feel Shadow’s temperature and were satisfied to find that it had reached the human average. Shadow was smiling in his sleep, and they felt content. They sat and watched their friend sleeping for a few moments, their heart warming in their chest, before shutting their eyes and drifting off again.