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This Is Somewhat Embarrassing

Writers: Avery, Devin
Date Posted: 28th August 2016

Characters: A'dryn, A'kades
Description: An awkward after-flight conversation.
Location: River Bluff Weyr
Date: month 7, day 2 of Turn 8


A'dryn felt so good, floating on a cloud of bliss. Then he noticed a
soreness in his backside, and there was something big and heavy
pressed up against him...


The greenrider sat up with a gasp, his whole body flushing with
embarrassment when he saw who was next to him.


The feeling of a won flight was a glorious one. It was languid warmth,
blissful lassitude, and the desire to burrow deeper into the cot and
never get up. A'kades tried not to be lazy, but this one indulgence he
really liked.


**Who?** he queried at Volaith even as he rolled over towards the warm body.


}:Nalarith chose me,:{ the rbonze said smugly.


**Nala – OH.** His brain put two and two together and began to be
horrified. Waking up with a male wingmate had happened before. But
this…


**You chased a student?** That was the part that was the worst,
really. Someone who he'd taught.


Just then the figure sat up. **Oh. He knows.**


A'kades opened his eyes, but didn't push himself up or move yet. “Hi
there,” he said quietly.


To his own horror, A'dryn burst into tears. He _liked_ A'kades. The
Weyrlingmaster Second had always been kind and encouraging, but now
here they were, having done things neither of them wanted to do.
Whenever they saw each other they would think of _this_.


}:No, do not feel bad. You should feel good. Share this feeling with
me.:{ Nalarith was thoroughly happy with her choice, curled up snugly
with the big bronze.


The bronzerider had thought that perhaps A'dryn would start
apologizing. He hadn't expected tears, and it immediately made him
worried that he'd hurt the young man. It was easier to wake up with a
woman, they were prepared for what was to come with a flight. With a
male, though - well, there were preparatory materials in the flight
cots and they were used during planned encounters. But in the heat of
the flight sometimes one wanted to join too much to take the proper
care, and especially for men who didn't usually seek the company of
other men it wasn't thought of at the time. The results of such a
flight could be physically harmful.


He sat up and reached out for A'dryn, placing a hand on his shoulder
in hopes of reassuring the younger man. "How badly does it hurt?"


A'dryn flinched at the touch and then scolded himself. A'kades was
only trying to be nice. Choking back his tears, the greerider
muttered, "I'll be fine."


Shards. If he'd hurt the boy...


"No bleeding? No need to call a Healer?" A'kades asked to verify.


A'dryn didn't feel like he was bleeding. "No. Thank you for your
concern, sir." It seemed a bit less painful than last time. Or maybe
he only hoped so.


If he couldn't call a Healer, what could he do? A'dryn looked
miserable and the bronzerider wasn't quite sure why. “Nalarith is
contented and well?”

A'dryn nodded. "Yes, sir. You... you don't have to be so nice. I know
you don't want to be here."

"I don't mind being here for you if there's something you need -
medical attention, comfort," A'kades said. "It's not like I run away
from R’hys when Volaith wins Esryth."

A'dryn wiped at the remaining dampness on his cheeks. "You're not...
disgusted?"

A'kades carefully phrased his reply. "You've done nothing wrong. I try
to keep Volaith from chasing any of the dragons of weyrlings I've
taught just so it isn't awkward. It will be more important with this
class that he's just sired." The dragons might not care about that,
but the humans tended to...

"But I'm not disgusted by you," he ended.

A'dryn tried to accept that. He desperately wanted things to go back
to the way they were before but, "You'll look at me differently
though, won't you?" How could A'kades _not_ think about what they'd
done in here.

"No, I won't. Is that what you're afraid of?"

"People act like this is something I should simply accept, but it's
not that easy." A'dryn understood this was part of life as a
dragonrider, but understanding the logic of a situation wasn't the
same as feeling fine with it. "When I look at you I'm going to
remember what we did and I don't _want_ to." It didn't help that it
had felt good and Nalarith was so pleased with her choice.

The bronzerider tried to decide if he could touch A'dryn without
panicking the young man, and he patted the shoulder.

"Did you know I was born in a crafthall? It took me several Turns of
flights before I adjusted."

A'dryn tensed at the touch, but only a little. Although his emotions
tried to convince him otherwise, he knew A'kades genuinely cared for
him. "What's it like for you? You don't even like men."

"About what it'd be like for you to wake up with a woman?" the
bronzerider guessed. "The first time I was shocked. It didn't seem
like it was me. I thought - some pretty terrible things, because I was
taught some very terrible things," he admitted. "It took me awhile to
disentangle dragon decisions from my own decisions, and to learn that
what happens doesn't make either of us a bad person."

"It's still hard enough for me to accept... being with someone I like.
Waking up next to a man I didn't choose, it brings up everything I was
taught at the Hold."

"I know. Those words weren't right, no matter how many times you heard
them. And unlearning them is a hard process," A'kades said with a
sigh.

Despite the situation, it was nice to talk this over with A'kades. "It
helps to know it will take a while."

"No change is immediate. But it happens eventually," the bronzerider
assured him.

A'dryn let out a deep breath and nodded. "Thank you, sir."

"Are you sure there's nothing I can do for you?" A'kades asked,
beginning to peer around for his clothes.

"You've done more than enough already. I'll be fine. I'll just... uh,
turn away while you dress." Out of courtesy, but also because he
didn't want any lingering dragonlust to stir. He'd never thought of
A'kades that way and he didn't want to start.

The kid had a point. A'kades stood up and began to change, tossing the
young man's clothes onto the cot when he found them. As he did his
mind turned to where he'd go next. Maybe foood...

"Don't forget to eat," he said, parental instincts rising.

"Yes, sir." A'dryn stared at a random spot on the wall. **Things will
get better in time.**

Last updated on the August 29th 2016


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All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are © Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2013, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author. The Dragonriders of Pern© is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.