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One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Writers: Heather
Date Posted: 30th July 2019

Characters: Ranni, Panne
Description: Ranni's back-up plan backfires leaving her with a new dilemma.
Location: Dolphin Cove Weyr
Date: month 11, day 25 of Turn 9
Notes: Mentioned: Xeladrie


Sick. Faranth, she had never been so sick. She groaned and rolled onto her back, wiping cold perspiration from her brow as she did.

}:I told Israeth that you are sick.:{ Sukiith helpfully piped in, her whirling eyes appearing, luminescent, over the side of Ranni's cot.

In only a matter of moments, Ranni heard the sharp tap of riding boots against the stone floor, the stride brisk and efficient. Without looking, she knew the footsteps belonged to Panne, a member of the weyrling staff that had joined back when River Bluff had collapsed.

"Sukiith says that you are not feeling well?" Panne asked, towering over Ranni's bed. The greenrider was abnormally tall, Ranni thought, and right now she looked like a giant.

"I've been throwing up," Ranni confirmed, voice weak and rough as she gestured to the bucket she'd been puking in all morning.

Panne's lips twisted into a less-than-pleased grimace. "Pregnant?"

Ranni's eyes flew back open. "What?"

The greenrider arched one blonde eyebrow. "You think you're the first pregnant Weyrling?"

"I am not pregnant," Ranni said forcefully.

It sounded to Panne as if the girl were trying to convince herself. "Report to the healers. I will check in after morning class and see what they say." The greenrider turned smartly on her heel and strode back out, her sharp footsteps fading in the distance.

**Oh, Faranth. Pregnant?** Ranni covered her eyes with a trembling hand. She knew without going to the healers that it was true. The back-up plan with R'nar had actually worked. She laughed mirthlessly.

Even though she had told R'nar the truth about her relationship with him, she hadn't told him the whole truth. That she'd been purposefully skipping her teas so that she might get pregnant. It had been her last ace up her sleeve. If she hadn't Impressed, bearing a bronzerider's child would certainly bind him to her.

Then she had Impressed Sukiith and all need of R'nar had been dispelled. She didn't need his protection, she no longer needed to bind him to her with a child.

A child? Her nose wrinkled.

She had never wanted to have children. She had seen plenty of births at the Hold and she wanted no part of that. They had also learned in Candidate classes how hindered a pregnant Weyrling would be in completing her training. Now that she had a dragon, Ranni wanted nothing to hold her back. Certainly not a baby that she had no interest in bearing.

Vividly, Ranni could remember the distaste Xeladrie had displayed in being a mother, specifically to her firstborn, the son. She remembered how Xeladrie had feared ever having a daughter because she didn't want her daughter to live the life that was forced upon Hold women.

}:Rider?:{ Sukiith asked in confusion.

**It's nothing, dear.** Ranni assured her lifemate. Maybe she was borrowing trouble, she thought. What if she went to the healers and she _wasn't_ pregnant? **It could have been something I ate,** she reasoned. Somehow she doubted that, but it was the only hope she had to cling to as she rolled out of bed.

~*~

**Stupid, Ranni. Stupid, Ranni.** The Weyrling groaned, thudding the back of her head dully against the wall. After the healer had confirmed her pregnancy, she'd been given her options; carry the baby to term or let a dragonrider take her /between/ to abort it. If she had the baby it would delay her Weyrlinghood progression and she would graduate behind her classmates. If she aborted the baby, she could continue forward as if nothing had ever happened.

The healer had mentioned that she might want to let the father know. Her eyes narrowed as she recalled the way the old man had grunted, "If you even know who the father is," as if she were some loose weyrwoman.

R'nar as the last person she wanted to see. She had been busy with Weyrlinghood and had been successful, thus far, in avoiding him. Or he could be avoiding her, she reasoned. She had never seen him angrier than he'd been on the night of the Hatching. Not that she could blame him, no one liked finding out that they were being used.

**There's no reason to see him if you're not going to keep it.** She thought, chewing on a fingernail as she walked back toward the barracks. This could be taken care of and he would never have to know.

Last updated on the July 30th 2019


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