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Recognized characters/events/plots from Dragonriders of Pern belong to Ann McCaffrey

Canon-typical violence, character deaths

Threadfall - 17. A Day Out

The weather is hot. Where better to spend a day than at a lake in the mountains? Unfortunately, things don't go swimmingly well...

‘Twenty-five eggs,’ T’garrin said. ‘That’s a good number for a young queen. Most people reckoned there’d be far less.’

‘Bet you’re glad about that.’ M’ta had his feet up along the bench and was paring his fingernails with his belt knife. ‘More marks for you.’

M’rell chuckled. ‘I’m glad I’m not the one having to hang around on the Sands in this weather. How can she stand it?’

D’gar was drinking fruit juice. It was far too hot for klah. He’d heard it said that this was the hottest summer in living memory. The fields of Fort Hold were brown rather than green and even the more northerly Ruatha Hold was suffering from drought. ‘Actually, it’s not that much warmer in the Hatching Ground than outside right now.’ He’d been one of the privileged few to see Gemalth lay her first few eggs, called to watch by an excited Zalna just two days previously. He’d never seen a queen actually laying before so it had been a new experience for both of them.

‘Listen to him,’ T’garrin joked. ‘Better not let S’brin catch you hanging around the weyrwoman.’

D’gar groaned inwardly. He’d had a lot of teasing over the time he spent with Zalna. ‘Not that again. S’brin knows I don’t fancy her like that. We’re just good friends.’

‘Wish I could be just good friends with her.’ M’rell made a rude gesture.

‘Better not let Rina catch you talking like that,’ D’gar retorted swiftly.

‘Didn’t you hear?’ T’garrin said. ‘They had a big row. Oh no, you wouldn’t have. You were too busy with Zalna.’

He ignored the insinuation. 'A row? What about?’

M’rell shrugged. ‘She thought I was getting too friendly with Janelle.’

‘You were helping her hang out the washing,’ T’garrin pointed out. ‘Since when did you ever care about laundry?’

‘All right, all right.’ M’rell said. ‘I’ve been getting bored with Rina’s constant nagging about having a baby.’

‘You’ve not managed it yet?’ The corners of M’ta’s mouth turned up in the nearest he got to a smile.

‘Not for want of trying.’

‘Lucky for some.’ M’ta said.

‘Anyway,’ T’garrin turned to D’gar. ‘Forget all that. How many bronzes does she think there’ll be?’

D’gar had no more idea than Zalna on that, but he wasn’t going to let on to T’garrin. ‘Possibly around five or six. It was a long flight, after all.’

‘Lots of little Piroths running around the barracks, then.’ M’ta gave a throaty laugh.

Most of the older riders in the Wing hadn’t been surprised at Piroth catching Gemalth. He mostly chased greens and often caught them, but he’d sired a couple of clutches over the Turns too.

‘Thanks,’ T’garrin said. ‘I’ll keep that in mind. Anyone want to take a guess on when Loranth is going to rise?’

If, you mean.’ M’ta smiled again. ‘Reckon the old girl might be getting past it.’

‘Sshh.’ T’garrin glanced around. ‘That’s no way to be talking about our Weyrwoman.’

‘I meant Loranth, but you could say the same about her rider. Anyway, she’s not around to hear. They flew off to Benden this morning for a meeting.’

D’gar knew what that was about. Zalna had confided in him that she was still interested in a transfer. T’ron and Mardra would have gone to talk to Margatta, the Benden junior. She was only a few Turns older than Zalna, he’d learned and her dragon had already laid a couple of decent sized clutches. Zalna herself had flown to Benden once or twice before Gemalth grew too egg heavy and said she’d been impressed by the Weyr and its inhabitants. He still hoped she’d change her mind but so far, there was no sign of that happening.

‘At least it’ll be cool there,’ M’rell said. ‘I’ve heard they don’t have much of a summer that far north. There’s probably still snow over the Benden range.’

‘So? There’s still snow on some of the higher peaks near Ruatha.’ As D’gar spoke, he had an idea. ‘Hey, maybe we should go to that ice lake for the day. It’s bound to be cooler than here. How about it?’

M’rell frowned. ‘I, er, promised to meet Janelle by the Weyr lake later on.’

‘Aha!’ T’garrin pounced. ‘Let’s hope Rina doesn’t catch you or there’ll be real trouble.’

‘I don’t care.’ M’rell sounded defiant. ‘I can see who I want to. She doesn’t own me.’

‘It’ll be packed.’ Once the weyrfolk had finished their work, everyone would be down by the water. Quite a few riders intended to head for the beaches, although the most popular sandy coves would be busy too. It was also a Gather day at Igen Hold, but the thought of traipsing around stalls in the heat wasn’t appealing.

‘They won’t take up much space if he’s on top of her.’ M’ta examined his nails. ‘So, where’s this ice lake you were talking about?’

D’gar explained how S’brin had spotted the place and they’d visited several times during the winter. ‘It’s got a beach and the water’s really clear. At the height it is, the air will definitely be cooler than it is here.’

‘I might come along with you. Be nice to go somewhere different. When are you planning on leaving?’

‘I’ll grab some food and stuff first. When we’re ready I’ll get Herebeth to bespeak Zath.’

M’ta nodded, then got up from the table. ‘I’ll see if I can rustle up a few others.’

‘That’d be good.’ D’gar watched him leave. After he was out of earshot, he turned to T’garrin. ‘That’s the most I’ve ever heard him say in one go.’

‘It’s a good sign. Means he rates you as a wingrider.’ T’garrin put his feet up on the vacated portion of the bench. ‘He might even bother to learn your name, now.’

M’rell nodded. ‘He didn’t speak directly to me until I’d been in the Wing almost a Turn.’

T’garrin grinned. ‘Well, you know what that says about you.’

‘Oy!’ M’rell threw a dried-up bun at him.

T’garrin ducked so that it hit the wall behind him, then turned to D’gar. ‘Think I’ll join you as well. It was fun sliding on the ice, that time. Be nice to see it in summer, too.’

By the time they were ready to leave, around ten riders from the Wing had decided to come along. P’llesh, another blue rider of a similar age to M’ta, brought his weyrmate, Ketrasso and a brood of children, some of which were her fosterlings and some their own. Not all of them would fit on his dragon, so M’ta put a couple of the older ones on Zath.

‘When you suggested a trip to the lake, I thought we were going to have it to ourselves,’ S’brin hissed. ‘Looks like there’ll be almost as many with us as back at the Weyr. And I bet one of those brats will fall in and make a fuss about it.’

‘Sorry. I didn’t realise so many would want to go.’ S’brin had been short-tempered for the past few days. D’gar calculated dates in his head and realised that Zemianth was almost due to mate again. That explained it. ‘Zemianth’s not going to surprise us, is she?’

‘Eh, what?’ S’brin frowned. ‘No, don’t reckon so. Not today, anyway.’

D’gar hoped he was right. He was beginning to notice that although greens could sometimes be unpredictable in their rising, most wingriders had a good idea when it was about to happen. S’brin seemed oblivious almost up until the moment Zemianth took to the air, as well as being unaware how much her emotional state affected his moods.

Once everyone was on board, D’gar secured the picnic basket to Herebeth’s straps and vaulted on. Everyone seemed to be looking to him, so he asked Herebeth to give the other dragons his visual for their destination, then signalled for them all to take off.

Looks as if we are the Wingleaders today, Herebeth commented. D’gar felt slightly strange about that; most of the riders who were with them were far older. But, he supposed, as Herebeth was the only brown and dragons were very conscious of colour order, that must be the reason. He checked to make sure everyone was with them before signalling to go between. The cold blackness was a welcome relief from the midday heat and when they emerged over the mountains, the air felt a good deal cooler. Herebeth led them to the beach, where all landed safely, the children being the first off the dragons, shrieking with glee as they chased each other around.

Zemianth’s rider says he wishes he’d brought something to cover his ears.

The children are a bit noisy, D’gar agreed. But I expect they’ll calm down soon. He glanced over to S’brin. D’gar could tell by the set of his shoulders that he was irritated. Why hadn’t he said something this morning if he fancied a day out with just the two of them? He pondered that as he took down the basket, blankets and finally removed Herebeth’s straps. S’brin, once Zemianth was unburdened, didn’t offer to help carry anything, but instead took himself off with H’fra and B’thun, as far away as they could get from everyone else.

‘Want a hand?’ J’rud offered, ducking underneath Zurinth’s neck.

‘Thanks. S’brin’s in a bit of a mood.’

‘I noticed. Proddy, is he?’

‘I reckon so. And he’s not fond of screaming weyrbrats.’

J’rud laughed. ‘It’s not so long ago we were weyrbrats ourselves. And I recall S’brin being pretty noisy himself back then.’

D’gar shrugged. ‘He’ll get over it once he’s had a few cups of wine and a bitch with those other greens.’

‘Hey, I’m a green, too.’ J’rud took one side of the basket, which they carried over to a large, flat topped rock.

‘Yes, but you don’t go on like some of them.’ D’gar unrolled the blankets.

‘Thanks for bringing us here,’ Ketrasso called over. ‘It’s lovely. So much cooler, too.’

‘You’re welcome.’ He noticed she was unpacking a couple of small leather balls and some bats. More noise would obviously ensue once play commenced. Just then, there were some particularly loud shrieks from down at the water’s edge, where one of the girls was scooping up handfuls of lake water and hurling it at the others. ‘Must be a handful looking after that lot.’

‘They’re not so bad. Just a bit excitable. We don’t often have the chance to get away from the Weyr.’

He supposed not, as there were so many of them. ‘Enjoy yourselves.’

J’rud had opened the basket. ‘Your mum’s given us enough food to keep a hungry dragon happy.’

‘She always does.’ It was probably not a bad thing. Ketrasso had brought a couple of bags full, too, but children ate a lot. ‘Can you put these skins in the water to keep cool?’ He handed the wine over to J’rud.


D’gar checked on S’brin, but he was still in a huddle with the other two. They’d come back over once there was food and alcohol to be had, so he wasn’t going to worry about it.

Most of the dragons were already in the water, splashing around almost as much as the children. It is cool and pleasant in here, Herebeth sent. But I cannot see any fish.

You can’t be hungry again. You had a herdbeast two days ago.

It was only a small one. Besides, fish are tasty. And you sometimes eat food when you are not really hungry.

He had a point. D’gar had eaten a good breakfast, but he knew he’d be able to manage a couple of the sweet pastries that he’d spotted in the basket.

One of the boys ran back up the beach. ‘It’s freezing in there,’ he complained to Ketrasso. That sounded about right. The lake was fed from snow melt and several springs that ran down in rivulets around the shore line. There looked to be a small waterfall over on the eastern side, which had been frozen solid during their previous visits.

J’rud returned, perching on the sun-warmed rock as D’gar continued unpacking the food. ‘That water’s pretty cold,’ he said. ‘I wouldn’t fancy swimming in there. Ooh, redfruit tarts. I like those.’

‘You might get one, if you’re lucky.’ D’gar realised his comment could be perceived to have a double meaning. ‘A tart, I mean.’

J’rud smiled. ‘I know what you meant. Some of the other riders like to make suggestive comments to anyone who’s wearing green knots, but you never do.’

‘It just seems unnecessary. And possibly annoying.’

‘You’re right there. Most of the ones who do it aren’t the sort I’d want to get to know better anyway.’

J’rud didn’t appear to get involved with anyone outside of mating flights and those didn’t really count. ‘So who would you like to get to know better?’

J’rud thought a while before replying. ‘There’s someone I like quite a bit, but he’s already taken. Pity, really.’

D’gar wondered who that was. ‘Well, you never know what’s going to happen.’ Long term relationships in the Weyr were the exception rather than the rule. Even weyrmates didn’t always stay together. He glanced over at S’brin again and was reminded of something he’d thought about earlier. ‘Maybe you can answer a question for me?’

‘I’m not telling you who it is.’ J’rud gave him a look.

‘That wasn’t what I was going to ask. I was wondering how you know exactly when Zurinth’s going to rise?’

‘Oh, is that all?’ He thought for a short while. ‘Well, she starts reacting to male dragons about a sevenday beforehand. It’s quite subtle, but now she’s done it a few times, I can easily spot it. Then when she’s a day or two off rising, I start to feel her emotions more strongly than usual. And I’ll be thinking about sex. A lot.’ He grinned. ‘That’s how I know not to take her out of the Weyr. Why?’

‘It’s just that S’brin never seems to get much warning. Like that time we were helping you move furniture.’

‘Don’t remind me of that one.’ He grimaced. ‘But not all green dragons behave the same. Just like some riders get proddy and some don’t.’

‘I suppose so.’ It seemed logical.

‘So, how do you know if Herebeth’s going to chase a green?’

‘It’s similar. He starts looking at them. But he doesn’t necessarily chase all the ones he looks at. He only seems to make up his mind which one he’ll go after when they’re about to rise.’ D’gar had a theory about why that was, which he didn’t mind sharing. ‘I also reckon - although I’m not one hundred percent sure about this - that he only chases dragons if I like the rider.’

‘Oh, so you fancy P’goll, then?’ J’rud teased.

Herebeth had chased Taronenth, to be sure. D’gar hadn’t really thought much about why, back then. It had been only his second experience of a mating flight. ‘I sort of felt sorry for him, especially when I heard how stressed he got about it.’

‘That would figure. You’re a kind person. Bet you’re glad he didn’t catch her, though.’

‘Well, yes. Although when it’s a flight, what your partner looks like doesn’t really count for anything.’

‘Tell me about it. Sometimes I really have to wonder about Zurinth’s choices. She’s not picked the same mate twice so far, you know.’

‘Do you mind that much?’

‘Well, some of my fellow greens would say it's one way to get to know people. And as I don’t have any say in the matter I find it best not to dwell on it too much.’ He shrugged. ‘Just have to wait for the right dragon to take an interest, I suppose.’ His eyes strayed to the lake and he gave a little smile. ‘Now, that’s a surprise.’

D’gar turned to look in the same direction. Herebeth was cavorting with a green dragon, but it wasn’t Zemianth. He knew, even before he could positively identify her, that it would be Zurinth.

What are you doing? he asked.

Playing with Zurinth. She is fun.

It probably didn’t mean anything. Dragons were sociable creatures and those two were clutchmates to boot. ‘Food’s ready, everyone,’ he called out. ‘There’s wine down at the shore.’ He surveyed the spread laid out on the rock. ‘Best grab whatever you want before the hungry hordes descend.’ He picked out a couple of the pastries for himself. J’rud went for the tarts at the same time and their hands brushed together. It might have been by accident, but he didn’t think so.

He found a place to sit, behind the rocks and in the shade. For a moment it seemed as if J’rud might follow, but D’gar knew he preferred to be in the sun. He needed time to think.

Why do you sit alone? Herebeth asked. Did you know Zurinth’s rider likes you?

I’d figured that out, thanks. He’d always got on with J’rud, just never considered him in that way before. If S’brin hadn’t been so irritable earlier, they might never have talked so frankly. It wasn’t S’brin’s fault, of course, just the way he got when Zemianth was close to mating. Although S’brin’s temper never needed much of an excuse to flare up. If it hadn’t been the noisy children, it would have been something else. D’gar had known him for long enough to recognise the pattern.

Shards, though! If J’rud felt that way, it could make life complicated. He chewed the pastry without really tasting it.

He heard boots crunching the pebbles and looked up. Thankfully, it was T’garrin. He offered D’gar a cup of wine. ’S’brin’s moaning about you, you know.’

‘I gathered as much. Seems like he wanted us to have a day out on our own. Pity he didn’t think to let me know before I went and told this lot.’

‘Good day out, though. Don’t know why more people don’t come here instead of the beaches.’

‘It’s a bit cold for swimming,’ D’gar pointed out.

‘Not for dragons. Or children, it seems.’ He pointed to where a couple of them were splashing in the shallows. ‘Is that Herebeth I can see out there, showing off to Zurinth?’

‘Yes, unfortunately.’

‘Why? Dragons do as they feel.’

’S’brin probably won’t see it that way. It’ll make him even less happy with me.’

‘Might make him appreciate you a bit more. A lot of us don’t know how you put up with his moods.’

D’gar shrugged. ‘I’m used to it, I suppose. He’s not that bad, most of the time. And Zemianth’s due to rise soon.’

‘Yes, I’m aware of that. Any idea who might fly her this time?’

That was so typically T’garrin, D’gar couldn’t help but smile. ‘No idea. Although based on past experience, most likely a brown or a bronze.’

‘What about Zurinth? Who’s going to fly her?’

‘Is she due as well?’ D’gar only really paid attention to Zemianth’s cycle.

‘Not so soon as Zemianth, but she’ll probably be the next in the Wing. Unless Loranth stirs herself first and sets off a mass flight of greens.’

‘Let’s hope not.’ He didn’t like to think of anyone’s dragon getting caught up in one of those free-for-alls.

‘I don’t reckon so, either. I’m putting odds on her not rising until after Gemalth’s eggs hatch.’

‘That long?’

‘She always mates towards the end of the summer, in Turns when she does.’

‘And who do you reckon will win that one?’ D’gar turned the conversation to T’garrin’s favourite subject.

‘Fidranth, almost certainly. Z’los has lost a lot of his support, after what happened. Plus, Rolth didn’t get near Gemalth.’

‘That’s hardly surprising. What about Sarneth?’ V’dul was almost as ambitious as Z’los, though he didn’t make so much noise about it.

‘Maybe. Tirelle won’t like it if he catches Loranth though. She wouldn’t mind V’dul being Weyrleader, but only if she was Weyrwoman alongside him. And that won’t happen until Mardra decides it’s time to retire, which she’ll only do once she’s absolutely certain there’s not another egg left to be squeezed out.’ T’garrin took a drink. ‘But you still didn’t answer my question about Zurinth. Think Herebeth might be in with a chance there?’

‘That’s up to him.’ D’gar left it deliberately vague. ‘I think he’s going to be one of those dragons who doesn’t bother very often.’

‘A bit like my Belloth,’ T’garrin agreed. ‘Not that I mind. Mating flights can make life very…difficult.’

What was that supposed to mean? After he moved on, D’gar returned to watching the dragons out on the lake and the children building Weyrs out of stones. Life was so much simpler for all of them. Every now and then he glanced over to see what S’brin was doing. T’garrin and M’ta had joined the group of greens and they looked to be playing cards. He didn’t fancy that, not after the last time with M’rell. He couldn’t help but wonder if the elevens had foretold K’torl’s death and he didn’t want to risk getting them again. Silly, really. There was probably no connection at all.

A couple of the older children had got hold of the bats and a ball. They played among themselves for a while, then someone decided it would be a good idea to form into teams. D’gar found himself dragged in along with J’rud and P’llesh. Running on the pebbles was tiring and there were a couple of times when the ball ended up in the lake. Fortunately, the dragons seemed to find retrieving it good fun.

Eventually, even the children were tired. Ketrasso napped on one of the blankets, a couple of her brood nestled around her. The dragons decided to dry themselves off in the sun and D’gar used Herebeth as a backrest, feeling warm and sleepy. He hardly even noticed when Zurinth joined them and it was only when he woke, conscious of the fading light as the sun slipped below the peaks, that he realised J’rud was deeply asleep and leaning against him.

‘Hey, wake up.’ He shook J’rud gently, aware of movement around them as people began to pack up.

‘Uh, what’s happening?’ J’rud seemed reluctant to wake. He snuggled closer. ‘Comfortable here.’

‘I think it’s time to go back to the Weyr.’

‘What? Oh.’ J’rud realised where he was and sat up. ‘Sorry.’

They helped gather together all of the stuff brought earlier. D’gar wondered absently why it was that even when you’d eaten all the food, things never packed away as easily or neatly as on the way out. S’brin was still ignoring him, which he found annoying. It hadn’t been such a bad day, all in all. He made sure nothing was left behind before mounting up, the last rider to get on board

‘All ready, Wingleader!’ T’garrin called out, smiling.

‘Get off!’ But he still formed a good visual of the Star Stones and Tooth Crag before giving the signal for them all to ascend and jump between.

The air was much warmer over Fort, the lake shore crowded with weyrfolk. The last rays of the sun turned the Bowl amber and pink. D’gar took the basket and utensils back to the kitchens before he climbed back on Herebeth for the final hop to their weyr. He felt pleasantly tired and looked forward to a relaxing evening. Hopefully S’brin would have calmed down a bit. They could sit out on the ledge and watch the stars come out. As he dismounted a second time, the faint strains of a gitar rose from the lake shore and someone began to sing a romantic ballad.

S’brin was fussing around Zemianth. ‘Where did you get to? Snogging J’rud?’

D’gar felt instantly guilty. S’brin must have noticed them together. But nothing had happened. Nothing was going to happen, either. ‘Don’t be daft. I was just taking the picnic stuff back.’

‘You were friendly enough with him this afternoon.’

He was in one of those moods. It wouldn’t help at all to tell him he was being proddy. ‘I talked to quite a few different people. You were off with B’thun and H’fra. We don’t have to do everything together, do we?’

‘Don’t seem to do much together these days,’ S’brin muttered.

‘What do you mean?’

‘You’re always down at the Hatching Grounds. Or is that just what you’ve been telling me?’

‘Ask Zalna if you don’t believe it.’

‘She’d stick up for you anyway.’ His voice was getting louder, drowning out the gentle music. ‘You ignored me all afternoon.’

‘I could say the same for you. You didn’t even help me with the picnic stuff.’ That was a trivial thing to bring up, but he couldn’t help it.

‘Don’t know why you bothered to come back here at all.’

‘Because this is our weyr, that’s why.’ D’gar knew he was raising his voice too. It wasn’t fair. S’brin was being so unreasonable. Better not say that, though. ‘Let’s go inside, eh?’ He was aware that some of their neighbours were peering out to see what was happening.

‘Worried about what people will think? Should have thought of that before.’ S’brin’s temper was affecting Zemianth. She flexed her wings, her eyes whirling with reddish tones. When Herebeth tried to get past her to the couch, she hissed at him.

Zemianth does not want me to be here, Herebeth said unhappily.

‘And I don’t want you here, either,’ S’brin shoved him away. He stumbled against Herebeth, who reacted instinctively as any dragon would when they felt their rider to be threatened. He roared loudly and sent out a mental shockwave that had both Zemianth and S’brin reeling back.

That angered S’brin even more. ‘Sharding brown dragons! Don’t try to bully us.’

‘Don’t push me, then!’ D’gar could see more people looking out. If they weren’t careful, one of the Wingleaders might notice, or worse, Mardra. Riders arguing was frowned upon, fighting even more so. This wasn’t going to end well, if it continued. ‘All right. If you don’t want me to be here, I’m going.’ He vaulted back on Herebeth, who gave one final growl before sideslipping off the ledge. His powerful wingbeats took them up into the darkening sky.

Where are we going?

I need to fly my anger away. Make sure your straps are tight.

D’gar did so, just in time, as Herebeth flung himself into a dive, wheeling close to the outer walls of the Weyr before climbing again. The exhilaration of it worked as well for him as for his dragon as Herebeth went through a series of moves that left D’gar breathless and glad he’d eaten a long while ago. Eventually he levelled out, still high above the Weyr.

I feel better now.

Me too.

Where do we go, if not to our weyr?

D’gar thought about it. The last time he’d argued so badly with S’brin had been when they were still in the barracks, so there hadn’t been this problem. If he went to J’rud’s weyr, then S’brin would feel as if his suspicions were justified and J’rud would definitely get the wrong idea. That wasn’t an option, then. Maybe he could use one of the empty weyrs; there were always a few on the higher levels. Yes, but they’d be unfurnished and might even harbour tunnel snakes if they’d not been used for a while.

Tunnel snakes, Herebeth thought. Tasty.

Not for me. They bite. Who else did he know well enough to ask a favour? It would probably only be for a night. All right, maybe longer, depending on when Zemianth rose.

Gemalth has a large weyr, Herebeth suggested.

No, we can’t do that. She’s a queen. It wouldn’t do Zalna any favours either. Tongues would wag.

He supposed they could camp out near the lake. It was going to be a warm night, with no chance of rain. In the summer, it wasn’t uncommon for folk to sleep outside, particularly if they’d drunk a lot of wine and didn’t want to risk falling off their dragons. To the lake, then. They could find a space somewhere, maybe listen to the music for a while.

Herebeth set down gently and he climbed off yet again. More musicians had joined as the sun went down, with two gitars, a flute, and a singer who also played a small drum. Glowbaskets had been uncovered and their soft light lent a romantic air to the scene. A few couples danced on the sand. Everyone seemed happy, making him all too aware that he wasn’t.

There is Toth. D’gar followed Herebeth’s gaze and saw the brown dragon, M’rell sitting next to him. He seemed to be alone, although it might just be that Rina - no, Janelle - had gone to relieve herself.

D’gar strolled over. ‘Nice evening.’

‘Is it?’ M’rell’s gloomy tone told him everything. ‘Maybe for you.’

‘Oh? What happened?’

‘Rina came out here and saw me with Janelle. They, er, had a bit of a fight.’

‘Shells! Any damage?’

‘Rina had a chunk of hair pulled out so she clobbered Janelle. Almost knocked her out. Once I’d got them apart, they went off together to the infirmary. Women!’ He supped from the jug of ale next to him. ‘Where’s S’brin?’

‘He’s just chucked me out of our weyr.’

‘Really! Why?’

‘Bit proddy. You know how he can get.’ D’gar had a sudden flash of inspiration. ‘Any chance I could share with you tonight?’

‘No problem. Want a drink?’ He held out the jug.

‘Might as well. The night is young, after all.’

Copyright © 2020 Mawgrim; All Rights Reserved.
Recognized characters/events/plots from Dragonriders of Pern belong to Ann McCaffrey

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I hope S'brin comes to the conclusion that it takes two to tango...great chapter!!!

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Oh, dear.  Two upset, lonely young men.  Add in skins of wine and double commiseration in their romantic failings.  This does not bode well for the rest of the evening!  At least, please get them into the weyr before the lamentations commence!

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1 hour ago, drsawzall said:


I hope S'brin comes to the conclusion that it takes two to tango...great chapter!!!


He's under the influence of a hormonal dragon right now, so until she gets her rocks off, he won’t be acting in a sensible manner!

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1 hour ago, Clancy59 said:


Oh, dear.  Two upset, lonely young men.  Add in skins of wine and double commiseration in their romantic failings.  This does not bode well for the rest of the evening!  At least, please get them into the weyr before the lamentations commence!


Watch this space. Nothing will be resolved quickly or easily here, in either case.

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Well, dragon or not; S'brin was being a total bitch.  He has always been more proddy than most of the other greens but still.  D'gar has never given him a reason to distrust him and his behavior is just rude.  I had sort of wondered about J'rud once before but really did not realize his feelings went that deep.  

Well, M'rell and D'gar both have things to work out; a night away from their others might be a good deal.  

Chapter flowed really well, and loved the visit to the mountain lake.  

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