Pride is something that most people honestly wish they had, whether it be pride in their heritage, pride in their country, pride in themselves, or even pride in their family history. While the majority of people on this planet named earth have this pride, there are many others that lack in it one aspect or more. This rings no more true in any aspect of pride in life than in the aspect that is pride in one's sexuality. For every single person that is prideful in their sexual orientation, there seems to be one that isn't, and this goes for both sides of the equation regardless of sexual orientation itself. However, for sexual orientation, there is something special across the world that occurs in celebration of those who are prideful of this aspect of themselves - as well as for the pride itself. These celebrations are known as 'Pride Parades' and as stated, occur on a global scale. Of all the world's cities, the city of New York City, New York, USA is one of the more frequent locations for pride parades within the United States of America alongside North America as a whole. For some, perhaps they have become one of the facts of life, and this was no more true than in the month of June, the official month for 'LGBT' Pride itself.
This is of course, where our story begins. Right in the middle of both Pride Month, and the latest of numerous New York City pride parades. All around the streets, or at least one street, of New York were rainbow flags, bright coloured floats and people of all shapes, sizes, builds and outfits parading around as well as many other aspects of celebrations. For once the New York streets were filled with happiness rather than that of road rage or cursing, perhaps only even seen during a celebration such as this.
However, not everything on the street which had the pleasure of hosting this parade was actually going through the feelings of happiness or celebration, for there was one soul on the street which was going through what was effectively the polar opposite of exactly those feelings. That soul was none other than Jacob Luke Long, often just called 'Jake'. Young Jake was a boy in his teens who was of Chinese descent, shown by his skin tone alongside his black eyes, with his most prominent feature being his hair that was short and black, though with green highlights that gave off a 'flame' appearance in the way they were presented. His clothing was almost always that of blue jean shorts, a red and yellow jacket over a white t-shirt, and simple blue-grey sneakers. His young face, however, had what looked to be an uninterested frown upon it, which was much less traditional than that of his wardrobe. It also, of course, went along with what came out of his mouth:
"Man this is just so whack!", Jake whined as he and his two best friends - Trixie Carter and Arthur 'Spud' Spudinski - walked along the sidewalk down the exact same street as the pride parade, "Why the heck we gotta be over here at this pride parade anyway?!"
"Jakey, don't be so disrespectful!", Trixie Carter, one of Jake's friends and a bit of a sassy - but thin - African American girl quickly spoke back within her aforementioned sass-filled style of speech, "These people ain't done nothin' to you!"
"Yeah well I said it before, I'm not gay!", Jake professed, "And I wasn't bein' disrespectful, I just don't see why these parades are such a big deal for everybody."
"Well I'm not gay either but I don't question it like that", Trixie replied, "Besides, from what I heard, they're just celebrating them bein' accepted nowadays compared to how they used to be treated! That's somethin' to be happy about, ain't it?"
"Yeah, I guess so. That still doesn't answer my question about why we're here though."
"Didn't Fu Dog say something about some kinda siren or whatever?", the other friend, Spud - a boy who was of caucasian ancestry as well as taller than Jake, usually wearing baggy cargo pants and blue shorts, with his brown hair and torque hats in a very much typical 'chilled skater' style of fashion. His words were more important than what he was wearing though, as they easily managed to 'jog' the memories of both Jake and Trixie:
"Oh yeah!", Jake exclaimed in response, "Now I remember! Hey, where'd Fu go anyway?"
"I think he went over there", Spud said, pointing to a direction in front of the three, only to find nothing but the various attendees of the parade, "Oh.....maybe that way?", and then Spud pointed in the opposite direction, only for them to see the same sight, "Uhh.....I......I think we might have lost him."
"Uh, yeah", Trixie remarked, "What was your first clue?"
"Awwww man!", Jake complained, "Where'd he go off to now? Don't tell me he bailed on us!"
"I think I saw him near the hot dog stand", Spud answered, but then he put a hand onto his chin as he tried to remember more specifically, "Or was it by the poster? The float?"
"What float?", Jake questioned, "There's more than one to go around over here!"
"True", and with that Spud went back to thinking for a short moment before finally coming to a - admittedly somewhat obvious - conclusion, "Yeah, I think he's lost then."
"Darn it!", Jake responded, "Where'd he go off to this time! He better not have bailed on me again! AFTER what happened last time!"
"Relax Jakey", Trixie assured her friend, "Knowing him, I think I know where he went."
"Oh yeah? Where?"
Little did they know, at the exact time that they began searching through the crowds of people for the magical talking dog known as 'Fu Dog', that someone else was also going through a similar yet also very different situation on the same street as they and the parade were occurring on. This other person was none other than New York's British foreign exchange student wizard boy known by the name of Nigel Thrall.
Nigel was a boy who was roughly the same age as Jake, though was of British ancestry and such had a caucasian appearance to his body, and also was notably taller to boost. His skin was whiter, his hair was pure red and worn down compared to Jake's, and he usually wore black skinny jeans, a black t-shirt, a white collared shirt kept open, and basic fancy expensive shoes. Nigel himself also didn't see much into the point in these parades, why celebrate something that was already accepted? He understood that people wanted to show how happy they were, but couldn't they just do it themselves? Why drag everyone else into it? Why drag...himself into it?
"Honestly, Nigel, you could have just stayed home..." he said to himself, glancing around. "At least, if someone hadn't have stolen your wand."
Nigel couldn't believe how careless he was. He was a sorcerer, for goodness sake. He should have been more careful. Nigel sighed in irritation, he also had to remember he was now in New York City. Crimes happen everywhere, be it a robbery or worse. Nigel frowned as he passed under a Pride Flag that was just hanging low enough to caress his head.
Nigel jumped, startled by the sudden connect. He turned back to gaze up at the flag, waving proudly before him. It had touched him as if it had to get his attention. Nigel shook his head, trying to clear it. There was something far more important that a parade and some flag.
"I need to find my wand and get back home," Nigel told himself, determined to find his wand and let that be the end of his day. The journey that would lead to him finding his wand reached a strong lead, when he found a small, but familiar individual:
A certain dog, a gray chinese shar pei dog to be precise. Nigel could tell he recognized this individual from somewhere:
"Oh, isn't that Long's dog...Foo something?" Nigel wonder, heading right for the dog. Nigel hadn't ever really spoken to Fu Dog, but he had seen him with Jake a few times. If the talking dog was here, didn't that mean Jake Long was somewhere with him? "Good afternoon, um, Foo wasn't it?"; Nigel said, trying to be as polite as he could.
Fu Dog himself,was caught off guard when he turned around and saw the wizard boy standing there and talking to him:
"Woah!, he exclaimed;
"Oh, I didn't mean to startle you", Nigel replied swiftly, standing just a few feet away from Fu Dog himself:
"Oh, it's just you, the wizard boy! For a moment there I thought, you know what nevermind....what are you doin' here anyway?"
"Frankly", Nigel spoke back, "I could ask the same to you. Shouldn't you be, I don't know, by Jake's side?"
"Well I would be, but, I got kinda lost in the crowd."
"Oh really? And how exactly did that happen?"
"Frankly", Nigel spoke back, "I could ask the same to you. Shouldn't you be, I don't know, by Jake's side?"
"Well I would be, but, I got kinda lost in the crowd."
"Oh really? And how exactly did that happen?"
Fu Dog sighed, walking over to Nigel, "Walk with me, I gotta find Jake anyway."
The two walked on the sidewalk, no one paying any mind to "a boy and his dog." Nigel only glanced forward to make sure he didn't bump into anyone.
"So here's what's going down; there's been a sighting of a siren somewhere around this area of New York, now normally no one would worry about a siren during something like this," he said, hinting to the parade. "However, she's a known criminal in the magical world, been reported to actually "steal" men away into the Black Magic Market," he said, Nigel frowned at the sound of this news.
"Sounds quite serious."
"You have no idea," Fu said, glancing over his shoulder and all around. "The only problem we have is the question of why; why here?"
"How am I supposed to know that?"
"Good point, but luckily she can't do any real damage on her own. Unless she finds some magic charm or steals a wand to use on someone's sexuality or her own appearance," Fu Dog laughs at this. "Not like she could get a hold of your wand, right? You must keep that thing under lock and key 24/7, am I right?"
Nigel's face pales.
"You're not looking so good....and judging by how your face reminds me of those Jake makes when he's screwed up...gonna guess you don't have good news."
"No, I don't," Nigel sighed, looking down at Fu before admitting his wand had been stolen just the night before, and he didn't know how or by whom, but now he had a good guess.
Fu did not take this lightly.
"How in the heck does a wizard lose his wand?!"
"I did not lose it, it was stolen! And how, I don't know," Nigel argued back before sighing. He thought back on what may have happened.
"I was practicing some new spell by the docks the other night and if it was this siren, she must have seen me and followed me home. My mother leaves the window up to air out the apartment, so she must have come in through the window and hid somewhere until everyone was asleep," Nigel said, thinking about that night before his wand went missing. It was unnerving to think someone hid in his apartment, like crazed lunatic.
"That's the only explanation I can think of, anyway", he finished.
Fu Dog sighed, "If that siren has a wand, we have got to find her before someone gets hurt or worse!"
Nigel nodded, "I suppose we better find Long, then. Let him know the scenario as taken a unwanted left turn."
"Oh yeah.....this whole time I forgot to........oh boy....this is going to be tougher than I thought."
"Well, how many fellows here could have black and green hair?"
"More than you think."
Nigel glanced over the crowd of people, seeing just how many men and women had black and green hair...it was an ocean of colors. Nigel sighed, the only thing that stood out were the flags, waving proudly in the air.
"Maybe we could call him? Does he still carry his cellphone?"
"I think he does, but..."
"I don't have an phone on me," Fu Dog said. "Got no pockets, what about you?" Fu asked, Nigel frowned.
"My wand...it acts like a phone but, as you know, I don't have that either," he said, Fu sighed.
"Best thing we can do is look for Jake or try yelling for him."
"Well, if he 'Dragon Ups' it should be easy enough to find him at least."
"That is true, but he would only really have a reason to do that if he sees the siren, or if everyone starts running and screaming."
"How long do you think that will take?"
"Not much longer, if we're luckily, that siren can't hide forever. This place is covered with men who aren't too bad looking!"
Nigel made a face as he glanced down at Fu Dog who realized too late what he said.
"I meant that in a.....nevermind."
Nigel shook his head, wanting to forget what Fu just said, he took his changes with searching for Jake in the crowd. It was tempting to call out, but with how loud the area was, he doubt Jake would even hear him.
'I just have to get my wand back,' Nigel thought, rubbing his arm as he and Fu Dog got to a street corner. While they now had to struggle with both trying to find Jake and working together as an unlikely team, Jake, Spud and Trixie were on what was practically the other side of the parade looking for Fu at this point.
"Ya gotta hand it to who ever planned this, the whole street looks amazing!" Trixie said, looking at all the flags and smiling faces. The only thing really missing was the confetti flying through the air.
Jake just shrugged, "We need to find Fu and quickly."
"Maybe he could be at a hot dog stand?" Spud said, Trixie placed her hand on her hips.
The boy shrugged, "It's what I would do. Hot dogs are good."
"Well at least it's an idea.", Jake responded, "I guess."
Trixie didn't say anymore as they waited for a clearly to cross the street, unaware that the dog in question was coming up on the other side with a red haired wizard in tow. Not that they saw them through the large crowd. Nigel glanced around, the people just seemed to increase!
"There sure is more people now, I'm guessing the parade is about to start?" he asked, turning his gaze straight ahead. Fu Dog nodded, listening to the many voices in the air.
"Most likely, oh boy, finding Jake just might be impossible if it does."
Across the street, Jake looked straight ahead, wanting to ignore everything that was happening around him. He had a weird feeling in his stomach, like, that kind of feeling something was about to happen, something....big, maybe?
'Wonder if the Siren is near by?' he thought, Trixie and Spud both talked about the parade before the crowd made a small gap...just big enough for Jake to gaze across the street, to see a certain red head.
"Oh god", was all Jake could muster out of his mouth. He did really just see how he thought he saw?
Trixie and Spud glanced at Jake, barely able to hear him.
"You say something, Jakie?" Trixie asked, turning her head towards her friend, unaware of what Jake saw or what was just across the street.
Across the street, Nigel's eyes flickered as he caught sight of Jake Long, right before the gap closed and he lost sight of the American Dragon.
"Jake?" he said, his voice strangle coming out as a whisper. What was that about? Luckily, Fu Dog did hear him.
"Really, where? I don't see him," he said, glancing from side to side.
"I could've sworn I literally just saw him."
Fu Dog wanted to make a joke, something along the lines that maybe he really just wanted to see Jake but be decided not to. Last he remembered, Jake didn’t want to be here and even acting a little rude about the parade itself. Nigel was acting similar, it couldn’t be that the two might be...nah, there’s no way that’s possible.
"Where at?" he asked, instead. Glancing up at Nigel who was still staring at the spot he saw Jake at; on that moment, Nigel saw something of interest to him: A girl with black and aquamarine hair, wearing a teal blouse, kelp green pants and blue sandals; she was drinking water. But Nigel noticed something else: having on her pocket something that looked like a wand. His wand.
“I haven’t found Jake, but I think I found someone else I’m looking for!”
“The wand thief! That siren took it!” Nigel said pointing at her. Fu tried to warn him about being so sudden in his actions, but Nigel had already taken off to hopefully get his wand back from her.
“Nigel, wait!” Fu called as he ran after the boy; but it was fruitless, Nigel was already on his way.
Jake, meanwhile was not far away from the scene himself; as it turns out, he also spotted the siren, but the siren spotted him, shocked to see the Dragon, she ran off, making Jake chase after her, saying to Trixie and Spud:
“I’ve got her!” as he bolted.
“The siren!” Jake shouted as he was chasing her, on that moment; he met with Nigel who was running by his side.”Nigel?!” he said to his old ‘rival’ upon turning and seeing him, “The heck are you doing here?!”
“My wand! How about you?”
“Oh...makes sense in context.”
“Can we just focus on the siren?!”
“Whatever you say, but I call dibs on beating her!”
“What? Why you?!”
“She has my wand...it’s personal.”
“And I’m the dragon here! It’s personal too!”
While the two were bantering and chasing her, the siren saw that she was heading into a dead end. However, she didn’t seem too worried about that once she realized the two were in fact males - albeit she would have to bank that either her scheme would work or that they were indeed one of two sexualities.
“End of the line, siren.” Jake shouted once the siren hit the dead end, trying to be intimidating even though was a bit cocky for that.
The siren smirks, and turns around saying:
“I think it’s you two who are at the end of the line, actually~” the siren takes the wand from her pocket and starts twirling it as she continues to speak: “I think both of you should know how confusing and overwhelming love can be, right!”
Only then did they realize what they were dealing with. And the siren used her hypnotic singing voice, amplified with the magic of the wand; resulting in Jake and Nigel easily being enthralled within her powers alongside anyone who was within earshot of her singing. The effects immediately showed themselves - they were all effectively under her complete control.
“And now, I got you under my spell; American Dragon.” the siren said “You think that you’ll get off scot free after what you did to my sister Vicky!?”
“I’m sorry” Jake spoke back, even while under control of the siren. “I promise that I’ll never break her heart again.”
“It’s too late for that!...but it’s not too late to help me with the next best thing…” the Siren smirked as she held her hand on Jake “You and your wizard friend will help me to make sure that all the surface world will tremble under our hand.”
“Yes, anything you say, mistress” both Jake and Nigel spoke in unison as if under a trance - which they were.
“Excellent, you’ll make two great pets once we dominate the surface.”
“Pets” they both once more repeated in unison, completely under her will.
“Now come along, the time for the air-breathers is at the verge of closing, as Poseidon as my witness, I’ll co-” but her speech was interrupted as someone has thrown colorful dust to her.
“Sister, you really need to shorten up your evil monologues.” Trixie showed up holding balloons filled with colorful dust in a box. Her pescense and the fact she was not under the siren’s control did indeed make the woman gasp:
“What’s this?! How are you resisting my control?!”
“Simple...we weren’t there when you decided to sing your hit...that and the fact that the loud music of the parade drowned it just a notch.”
“Ugh! No matter! You two, destroy her now!” the two were about to attack Trixie at that moment - Jake transforming into his dragon form to do so. Naturally, Trixie backed away and did appear to be concerned as she was faced with this problem:
“Man, I thought we’d already been through this!”
The chase went right into the parade, as the party was still in full motion; the siren snapped her fingers and the rest of the people entranced by the siren’s song was following after her. All Trixie could do was run and try to think of a plan on how to deal with her issue. The siren was also doing her best to remain singing in order to gain as many new followers as possible. Even with the magic being amplified it had a margin of error with the type of people in the crowd.
“Think Trixie, think.” Trixie thought to herself “How did we beat Vicki last time? Gotta act fast before she has half o’ New York followin’ her around!”
Then, all of the sudden she snapped her fingers and had just the trick.
“First, I better get Spud and Fu…” and Trixie goes to meet with the two,finding them not far away from where Jake had first run off at - they had lost Jake in the crowd initially.
“Guys! Bad news! Jake and Nigel are entranced by a siren...again.”
“I tried to warn him!” Fu said, having met up with Spud by this time, “But he didn’t listen!”
“So...Ideas on how to snapped them out of it?” Spud asked, to which Trixie said:
“I’m tryin’ to think o’ that, and you two should probably be careful too, unless you wanna be her slaves or somethin’!”
“I don’t think I’ll like that, I don’t see myself wearing a loincloth and fanning her with a giant fan.”
“Then help me out fast!”
Meanwhile, with the siren she viewed her plan going smoothly, as if nothing on earth could make it fail if things kept going the way she was seeing them go. But then something happened that changed her mind about the situation.
Just as she became confused, she saw what those words meant. All of the sudden, fish sticks were raining above her.
“EEEWWW, YOU INHUMAN MONSTERS!” The siren shouted as she was repelling the fish sticks from her, but she didn’t notice that the fish sticks had salt on them, making her skin burn a little with each bit that got onto her. “AAAH! GET IT OFF! GET IT OFF!” In this sense of distress; she without looking, pushed Jake, who had sense returned to his human form. Jake’s body made no resistance due to her control, and as a result he ultimately clashed with Nigel. This resulted on both of them, kissing in the process. Locking their lips together while in their trance.
Funny enough, that was all the crowd, including media and people filming this, seemed to actually pay attention to. It did take them a while before both of them realized what’s going on, and they managed to snap out of their trances the moment they realized it too. Needless to say, they pulled away from each other swiftly and had this response:
“That…..that…..did NOT just happen!” Jake nearly screamed, he did NOT just kiss Nigel Thrall.
“How do you think I feel?!” Nigel hissed, wiping his mouth with his sleeve.
“I don’t know, I thought you’d like it!”
“Oh shut up!”
“Guys, I think we’re forgetting the important matters right now.” Fu Dog broke up the argument, getting the two to turn to him as if they were confused. Fu was swift to remind them of the real issue though by pointing to the enemy while saying, “The Siren?!”
Jake and Nigel said no more and went right to chase her.
The siren, getting away from the flying fish sticks had lost most of her control over everyone, giving the heroes their one true chance to take her down.
“We can’t let her get away!” Jake stated, as the group followed after her, “Follow me!”
“And why are you leading?” Nigel argued, Fu Dog growled as he hurried beside them.
“Cut with the arguing, you can argue once this is settled,” Fu said, as they turned a corner. Jake had to think of something, what could they do? First, maybe get Nigel’s wand back; without it, her voice couldn’t be empowered again and Nigel could use some spell that could render her defenseless. But what could they do to get it away from her?
Wait, get it away from her…
“Nigel,” Jake turned his head towards the other, a plan finally coming into focus. Nigel turned his gaze, he could pull the firealram that one time, maybe he could pull his wand back.
“Do you think you can pull your wand out of her grasp? Just like that time with the alarm?”
Nigel glanced towards the siren, she was just ahead of them, moving. Back then, everything was still, could he do it?
“Yes, I can. Or at least, I shall hope so,” Nigel said, his eyes narrowing as he zoned in on his wand. He could see it, just at her hip. He could do this.
“ Fish into the pond, bring back thy wand,” Nigel chanted, his voice barely cutting through. Nigel tried to breath in, he needed to be clearer.
“Fish into the pond! Bring back thy wand!”
The wand flow off the siren’s hip, back towards Nigel, who reached out his hand; caughting it in mid air. A sense of lightning went through Nigel’s hand, his wand was back in its rightful place, with its rightful owner.
“Nice, Nigel!” Jake cheered, glancing back towards the siren, who had just realized what happened, she glared, her face reddening with anger.
“Nigel, think you can make some kind of object in front of her? I can tackle her down if we can cut her off!” Jake said, Nigel smirked, with a flick of his wrist, there wasn’t anything he couldn’t do now that his wand was back.
“Leave the spell casting to me, you just get ready to take her down,” he said, Jake smirked as he jumped up.
“Dragon up!” the flames surrounding Jake as he turned into his dragon form, Nigel glanced around before seeing three dumpsters along the buildings. With a flick of his wrist, a glow of his wand, Nigel moved the dumpsters right in front of the siren, making her run right into them; hitting herself against them.
Jake flew down, breathing fire right around the siren, forcing her against the dumpster, she was cornered. Looking for an out and desperate, the siren climbed onto the lid. Right as she stood up, Jake tackled her to the ground, knocking her out. With her out cold, Nigel flicked his wand towards some of the rainbow flags, making them wrap around her, tying her up.
Fu Dog caught up to them, out of her breath, he glanced around them before spotting a smaller flag just hanging outside a window; taking it down, Fu tied it around the siren’s mouth.
“Don’t want to hear that siren song any time soon,” he said, chuckling. Jake sighed as he returned to his human form, he sighed, finally catching his breath. Nigel breathed as well, falling to his knees.
“Indeed,” he breathed, looking at his wand. Jake walked over to the wizard, patting his back.
“Thanks, Nigel,” he said, smiling at the other. Nigel shared the smile as he got back onto his feet.
“Don’t get use to me lending you a hand, Long, this won’t happen too often,” he said, Jake rolled his eyes as Trixie and Spud finally caught up with them, the two winded from running more on this mission than in P.E.
“It happens more times than either of you two would like,” Trixie said, placing a hand on her hip, how many times as these two worked together and it worked out perfectly? Spud smiled as he pointed at the siren.
“She’s asleep, like, sleeping with the fishes, right?” Spud asked, Trixie facepalming.
“Spud, you do realize that means dying in the water, right?” she asked, Spud looked dumbfounded before looking back at the parade.
“Well, the parade is still going on, maybe we can watch the rest,” he said, Jake frowned, the mission was done, they could go home now. That’s all he wanted to do, he wasn’t comfortable with coming to this in the first place.
“You guys can stay, I’m going home for a nap,” Jake sighed, stepping away from the group. Nigel couldn’t deny, he felt the same way:
“Yes, I agree. By quite a lot, might I add.”
As such, with having been said Nigel and Jake parted ways with each other - both of them at this point wanting to erase the memory of them kissing out of their heads and pretend as if it didn’t happen. Though at the same time, they both had the feeling that sooner or later this same memory was practically inevitably going to come back to haunt them. Perhaps it would even do so sooner rather than later.
For now though, all they wanted was just what they said - a nap. In separate locations, of course.