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Someone to Look Up To

Writers: Aaron, Heather
Date Posted: 17th September 2019

Characters: T'ner, F'aen
Description: F'aen helps T'ner with his ground drills.
Location: Dolphin Cove Weyr
Date: month 12, day 22 of Turn 9

T'ner was scowling. He was doing just fine. He had only stumbled a few times. It was not as though he was ill-suited to dextrous work – he was a flame-blighted smith, for the Egg's sake! It was not his fault he was not a dancer on top of it. It rankled him that he had been deemed in need of extra lessons in – what was it they had said? *Gracefulness.* Feh.

T'ner's eyebrows climbed to the top of his forehead, however, when he saw his teacher. He could not have been any more than five Turns T'ner's senior. Yet this man was already in a position it authority. His hair was so... *fashionable*. Slag, this man. He was... everything T'ner wanted to be. His heart skipped a beat. What would he have to do to be like him? Whenever it was, it would be worth it. He had to learn.

"H-hi," T'ner stammered. "I mean. Hello. Sir. And, um. Thank you for the extra lessons. I promise, I can get this." T'ner could not stand to think that this man did not believe he could do it. He could. And he would show him. "I'll show you."

F'aen laughed at the Weyrling's eagerness. "Just relax, I'm sure you will be fine. It is normal to struggle at first with ground drills. The fortunate part is that you won't actually be the one doing the moving once you and your dragon are flying together. It's important, though, that you memorize the patterns and where you are supposed to be so that you can direct your dragonet when the time comes."

"R-right!" T'ner breathed, a laugh coming along with it. See? His teacher did believe in him. "I can. I will. Lehystrath, he's... He's really good at this kind of thing. Actually, he was trying to help me while we were doing it. Maybe... I dunno, maybe he was actually kind of making it harder – accidentally, of course. Because he was trying to talk to me while I was moving with the others."

"Slag." T'ner took a deep breath and squeezed his eyes shut for a moment. And then just teacher was still there when he opened them. He looked so cool... How could T'ner ever hope to be that cool?

"I'll, uh. Should I just...? How do we do this?"

F’aen wasn’t sure if he had ever worked with a Weyrling who was so keyed up. “First, just take a deep breath, alright? No one expects you guys to get these things on the first try, okay?” The greenrider pushed his fingers through his hair.

“Let’s review the formation you worked on today. It’s easier to think about formations in terms of shapes, yeah? That way you don’t have to memorize movements, necessarily, but just the shape that you should be traveling.”

T'ner's eyes went double wide again! Oh, no. The teacher – they had said his name was F'aen, right? – was going to think he was out of his mind! Crazy! Not worth working with! This was unacceptable. Whatever else happened, F'aen had to think T'ner was cool. He had to! Crackdust, but T'ner could not stand to think F'aen might think he was just another kid.

"Right. Yeah. No. That's what, uh. That's what they said, right?" He chuckled nervously. He was making an idiot of himself! "I think maybe if, uh... if Lehystrath stops distracting me, I can totally do it. I'll show you."

T'ner got the distinct feeling of Lehystrath rolling his eyes.

His determination was rather cute, F’aen decided. “Okay, let’s see you move in the trio formation that we worked on in class today. And tell Lehstrayth to take a nap or something.” The greenrider grinned.

F'aen's grin had T'ner more flustered than ever with vtols flitting about in his stomach. He smiled back. Of course, this was all just because he wanted F'ael, who was clearly the coolest, to think he was cool, too.

**Take a nap, OK?**

}:Yeah, OK. Definitely. I'll most certainly do that.:{ Lehystrath watched intently through T'ner's eyes.

"Alright. Let's do this." With that, T'ner took a deep breath and did his best to perform the trio formation. It had to be perfect if F'aen was going to think he was cool.

F’aen watched through his shaggy blonde bangs as T’ner moved. “See? You did it,” The greenrider said with a clap. “You just had to tell your dragon to be quiet so you could focus. That will happen a lot in life, so don’t hesitate.”

T'ner beamed at the praise, happy not to have disappointed F'aen.

}:It seems you just needed the right... incentive. His hair is rather stylish, isn't it?:{

**It's awesome. I'd cut my hair like that if it would grow that way.**

}:Mm hmm.:{

... **Be quiet.**

}:As you wish!:{ Lehystrath rumbled with audible laughter.

T'ner nearly tripped over his own feet and then blushed furiously.

"S-sorry," he said, mortified. "I have just told him to shush it," he added quickly. "He's... he always thinks he has to say something cute."

}:I am *clever*,:{ Lehystrath insisted. }:Not cute.:{

"Shush, Leh!" T'ner insisted aloud.

"It's okay, my Scarleth is always flirting and saying outrageous things. You'll get used to it after a while." F'aen assured the Weyrling.

"It seems like she and Lehystrath will get along!" said T'ner. Lehystrath did not always say things just to get a rise out of T'ner, but he seemed to be fairly amused with himself when he did.

F'aen revealed white teeth with another grin. "Scarleth gets along well with _all_ male dragons. She is quite the flirt." There was of course the possibility of Lehystrath winning Scarleth's flight one day. F'aen gave T'ner an appraising look, he wouldn't mind it if he did.

"Okay, let's see you do that formation movement again, this time with no hesitation."

The implication behind that escaped T'ner for the time being. He was too busy wanting to impress F'aen. He even looked like he expected something great from T'ner. So, he would have to give it his best. He smiled back at F'aen with determination.

**Please just let me do this without talking, OK?**

}:By all means.:{

T'ner went through the movement as smoothly as he ever had.

"Good," F'aen praised. "Now just do that in drills tomorrow and you should be fine."

T'ner smiled again, though his mind began to race to think of a reason why he might need more of F'aen's help or some other excuse to spend more time with him. He was such a cool guy, and T'ner already felt he had so few friends...

Had it not seemed as though they had hit it off? Sure, F'aen had an obligation to be professional, but... There was at least something there that said they might have been best friends if they had Impressed in the same clutch. Right?

}:Consider that you may be reading too much into it... Just think how cool he'll think you are if you're... you know, cool. Instead of a puppy.:{

That was, perhaps, good advice.

"Yes, sir!" said T'ner. "Thanks for the extra help."

F'aen clapped T'ner on the shoulder. "Any time, T'ner. I will see you in class tomorrow, then. Have a nice evening."

"Right. See you then. And you, too!"

Last updated on the September 23rd 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.