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Familiar Goodbyes

Writers: Heather, Miriah
Date Posted: 24th September 2019

Characters: J'ackt, Saidrene
Description: J'ackt and Saidrene say goodbye for a second time after Ashareth's flight.
Location: Barrier Lake Weyrhold
Date: month 12, day 28 of Turn 9
Notes: Mentioned: A'lina, K'ran


When J'ackt came to, Saidrene was beneath him, panting and coming
down from the initial flight lust. He stared down at her, feeling the
familiar sense of smug accomplishment after winning a flight, but now
tempered by a hestitation, especially after the conversation they'd
had earlier in the day. His thumb stroked over her brow, pushing back
her soft hair even has his own heartbeat evened to a more regular
beat. His eyes met hers, half-lidded with a mingling of affection,
lust, and no small amount of regret and sadness.

A small smile curved Saidrene's lips as she met J'ackt's eyes.
Reaching up she brushed her fingers through his shaggy bangs, pushing
them back from his face. "You need a haircut," she murmured.

That was not the words he was expecting from her. As she stroked his
brow his eyes closed at her touch, finding the familiar caress
achingly comforting. How often had she done that? Too many times for
him to count. He'd expected her to push him off of her, to be asked
to leave. A flight was only a flight, after all. No matter that they
were still joined together and the feeling of her was so familiar. He
gave a soft sigh, settled his body against hers and lowered his head
to rest against her shoulder.

Saidrene wrapped her arms around him, reveling in the feel of him,
knowing that the moment would not last and that it could be the last
time they ever got to enjoy each other in such a way. "I'm glad you
won," she said, "because I hate the way we left things."

He couldn't help bit stiffen a little at the reminder. Taking about
his feelings hadn't ever been easy, even with Saidrene, and now was
not an exception. He lifted his head and finally spoke, his voice
rough. "Don't." He pressed his mouth to hers urgently, unwilling to go
over that painful conversation yet again or to relive it. Instead, he
put effort into distracting her, shifting against her and recalling
the flight lust that had taken them both. All he could do was to give
her what she'd asked for in the only way that he could.

Her body responded to his immediately, as it always did. They had done
this enough times that her fingers new exactly the right paths to
trace, and her legs knew exactly where to wrap around his waist.

He made love to her again, drawing upon the residual flight lust to
carry them forward to another completion that shook his body and hers.
When their mutual needs had been met, he slumped heavily upon her,
arms shaking when they couldn't bear his weight any longer. The act
had almost been desperate, an effort to reforge a broken bond, but
with the awareness that it simply couldn't be done.

This time tears gathered in the corners of Saidrene's eyes because she
could sense the finality of their relationship. As much as they cared
for one another, and despite all of the firsts they had experienced
together, their lives were taking them in two different directions.

Wearily he lifted his head and seeing the moisture in her eyes, he
felt a stab in the gut. Resting his brow against her own, he swallowed
hard. "Please don't."

She clenched her eyes shut. "I'll try," she said, although her voice trembled.

He lifted a hand and wiped at the corner of her eye with his thumb.
Rolling, off of her, J'ackt carried her with him, wrapping his arms
around her. Nestling her against his chest as he had done so many
times before as they'd slept, he stroked her hair and whispered
softly. "I'm sorry, Saidrene. I do love you. Always have." It just
wasn't like she wanted him to and it wasn't enough for what she
needed. He kissed the crown of her head, rested his cheek for a moment
against her silky locks before slowly pulling away. "I'll leave you
alone, like you asked. I promise." He kissed her again, gently, then
rose, reaching for his trousers.

"Wait!" She reached for his hand to stop him. "That's not how I meant
it, J'ackt." Her hair spilled over her shoulders as she looked up at
him from where she knelt on the bed. "I love you, you know that, like
you said, always have. Please don't stay away," Saidrene's eyes
pleaded with his. "Even if it's just for a haircut, I would still like
to see you.. if you want to visit."

J'ackt stopped the moment her hand touched his, half turning to face
her with furrowed brows. He sat back down, confused by the sudden
change, but kept a hold on her hand. "Of course I want to visit and I
will if you want me to. Never wanted to stay away, Saidrene. But now
I'm a bit confused."

"Look, we had that conversation right before Ashareth rose and my
emotions were as tight as a drum." She pushed her hair out of her
face. "I think me being here at Barrier Lake is the best thing for my
friendship with Alina, and the best thing for _our_ friendship. When
I'm there all the time to see you two together, to see you doing
things that _I_ wanted to do with you... It's too hard. But being here
I can love you both in my own way."

One hand cupped her cheek, the callused thumb stroking over her soft
skin. J'ackt took in her words, mulling them over. "I can understand
that. I don't want to lose you. You're... you're my best friend. My
family and more. And Alina, she needs your friendship, a woman she
can talk to about women things. And you need that too, I think. I
don't want to mess that up either. But I think I understand."

Saidrene leaned into his touch. "I'm sorry, I wish I could want less,
then I could stay at Dolphin Cove but I tried and it just didn't work
for me."

He nodded. "I get it, Saidrene. I do. " Leaning over to press a kiss
to her cheek, near the corner of her mouth, he gave a half smile.
"I'll still miss having you around, though. You've kinda always been

"I know," she smiled a little, "so try not to get into too much
trouble. I will always be here when you need me."

"Can't promise that, but I'll try. And if you ever need me, you
promise me that you'll call for me, okay?"

"I promise," she said, brushing the hair away from his eyes one last time.

"Okay. Good." He rose, sliding on his trousers and buckling his belt.
There would be no more intimacy between them; they both knew it, not
unless their dragons were involved. He regretted it, but it was
necessary for the both of them. He hoped, fervently, that perhaps the
situation with K'ran and her would be resolved. The man was pleasant
enough, and she'd felt some sort of connection with him. But if he
hurt Saidrene, he'd run his fist through his face, dragon or no. He
hoped that she could find someone who would love only her, and would
accept that if they screwed it up, they'd have to deal with him. He
reached to echo her own gesture, brushing her hair from her face.
"I'll see you soon, okay? Count on it."

She mustered up her best smile for him. "Clear skies, J'ackt."

Last updated on the October 26th 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.