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Why Did This Happen?

Writers: Miriah, Yvonne
Date Posted: 7th August 2019

Characters: Humari, Taril, Riadem
Description: Humari finally awakens
Location: Sunstone Seahold
Date: month 11, day 3 of Turn 9
Notes: Late due to Miriah being so slow :)


She ached and her throat felt as though sand coated the delicate
flesh. Eyes fluttered and she gave a hoarse moan. A reed was placed
against her mouth and feeling ravenously thirsty, sipped the cool
liquid. It acted like a balm to her raw throat. She heard and felt a
throbbing croon at her neck and cheek, felt the smooth hide of a small
jaw rub gently against her own. She hurt. She ached.

Memories of her brother and a strange older man looking down at her,
prodding her, examining her, were fuzzy in her mind. She thought she
remembered Taril holding her hand and then a much smaller hand...her
son's hand...taking hers. She remembered tears. And she remembered
pain and fright. She wanted to get away from that memory. She felt her
forehead wrinkle and her eyes slowly fluttered open.

Taril quickly set the cup aside and gently took Humari's hand in his.
Dark circles ringed his eyes and he was pale beneath his tan, the scar
on his face taut and white against his skin. "Stay with me, Humari."

Humari's eyes opened to Taril's face. "Taril?" Her voice was clearer,
though still just a little rough now, though still slightly slurred
from sleep. Jib, the little bronze, crooned happily in her ear,
stroking his chin gently over her still bruised cheek. Her fingers
tightened in his, but then released his hand to slowly lift to touch
his cheek.

"Hi." He closed his eyes briefly at her touch, then captured her hand
and placed a gentle kiss on her knuckles. "You're in the Infirmary.
And I'm very glad to see you're awake."

"I remember." Her voice was soft as she studied his face. "Tumaril and
Yavin...they're okay, aren't they? I think I remember someone saying
that they were." Her brow knit and she closed her eyes. "My whole body
aches..."

"They're just fine. Torinya was taking care of Tumaril, but my
mother's come and taken him to Red Tide Rocks. He's in good hands with
my family." Taril hesitated. "What can I do for you? To help?"

She nodded, too tired to complain about her son being so far away. "I
don't know." She opened her eyes and the fear and dread in them was
clear. "My baby's gone, isn't it?" Her eyes searched his face,
silently begging him to deny what she felt was true.

He was silent, and had to watch as Humari's hopeful expression
crumpled. Taril blinked rapidly a few times and cleared his throat.
"I'm sorry, love. I wish I had been there. I'm so sorry."

And her face did crumple, her lips trembled and she gave a soft keen
of grief, covering her belly with her hand as tears began to spill
down her cheeks. "My baby...Why did this happen?"

His heart broke for her. Taril brushed the tears from her cheeks and
kissed her hand and wished he could do something more. "I'm sorry,
love. I'm so sorry. There was-- runners got loose in the market. It's
not your fault. I should have been there."

She shook her head. "It's not your fault. You can't be with me all the
time. I should have gotten out of the way." She opened her eyes and
looked at him. "I want to go home. I want to hold Tumaril."

"Soon. As soon as the Healers say that it's all right." He hesitated.
"Do you want me to call Riadem?"

She slowly shook her head, tears still leaking down her cheeks. Jib
rubbed them away, trying to comfort her with soft croons and nuzzles,
his eyes whirling with confused distress at her own grief. Humari
leaned her cheek against him, grateful for the distraction he
provided. "No. I just want to go home, Taril." She looked down at
herself. "How bad was I hurt?"

Taril took her hand in his. "Pretty badly. You've been asleep, mostly,
for two days. I know you want to go home, love. I can't bring you
there yet, but I'll be here with you."

"But your business. You have to take care of it." She grimaced as a
movement made her ache. "How long do I have to be here?"

"I don't know. You've been asleep for a long time." It had been so
hard to wait for her, not knowing if she'd wake up at all.

"At least another sevenday." Riadem's voice was heard as he
approached, smiling down with warmth at his sister. "You had all of us
worried, Humari. We want to make sure that you'll be okay. You've
broken bones and your head will likely be hurting for a while."

"Hello, Riad." She gave a faint smile, but there was no fear in her
eyes at the sight of her brother, just grief mixed with an earnest
desire to go home. "I just want to go home."

"I know. As soon as I think you can go home safely, I'll allow it."
His voice was surprisingly gentle. "Right now the best healing is
rest."

She held Taril's hand in her own, twining her fingers with his, then
gingerly nodded her head. She looked at her husband. "Can...can you
stay with me?"

"Of course. I'll be here," Taril promised. He gently lifted her hand
and placed a kiss on her knuckles. Thoughts of his missing ledger
faded.

"I love you." Her voice was soft and still filled with grief, but it
was clear that she took comfort from the clasp of his hand and the
brush of his lips. Keeping his hand in hers, she brought it to her and
pressed it against her chest as though it would keep her safe as she
slept.

Taril sat with her until she was asleep and stayed to watch over her
dreams. It was all he could do.

Last updated on the August 13th 2019


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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.