F'lin sat at a table in the dining cavern, staring off into space while conversation swirled around him like the babble of water over stones. It had been just days since Seneth had won Santhiath's flight and he felt like he'd never stop smiling. They'd done it. His dragon siring a Clutch-- it felt like he'd made it past a milestone that brought him closer to his dreams.
Closer-- but further away, too. He wanted to follow K'ran to Barrier Lake Weyr, but he'd come to the decision after the flight that he and Seneth couldn't leave until after the Hatching. Maybe he'd even delay his transfer a little after that as well, just until the new Weyrlings were settled. They were Seneth's offspring, after all. And his responsibility. And he wouldn't leave Dessa to do it all alone, either. This was her first Clutch, too.
His mind drifted, thinking back to the first time he'd really spoken to the goldrider...
"They say that persistence is virtue, but I think you're just obtuse," Dessa said with annoyed voice. It was the same candidate boy again, who had harassed her when they were both candidates. And he was still candidate, she noted, so she couldn't even use Santhiath to call him off. Nothing like having the young gold start to rip off new one to their lifemates to distract a rider. Too bad there were no flirty male greenriders around to chase him off this time. In fact, she couldn't see anyone else. He had ambushed her in a corridor when she was returning from the archive.
"Oh, come now, Dessa, I known you want me," he said. He spread his arms from wall to wall so that he could prevent her ducking past him.
"No, I don't. You're blocking the hallway," Dessa said with frosty tone. She considered using the heavy ledgers she was carrying. The archivist-harper wouldn't like if she got blood on them.
It was the tone of voice that caught his attention. F'lin was heading toward the archives to drop off a ledger for K'ran when he heard the exchange. His mood soured as he changed course and backtracked toward the hallway he'd just passed. Dessa stood with her back to him just a little ways down and there was some man with his arms spread wide like a wherry standing in front of her. The Wingsecond cleared his throat and started toward them. "I couldn't help overhearing."
Dessa turned to look, "Wingsecond," she acknowledge him with a nod. "He's blocking the hallway."
F'lin turned his attention to the other man, who had thankfully put his arms down. "And you are...?"
Realizing that there might be consequences or even punishment, the candidate just turned around and fled.
"Coward," Dessa remarked with voice dripping with contempt.
"What's his name? I take it that he's not a friend of yours," F'lin said dryly.
"You can say that alright," Dessa replied. "That's Kergon and this time I'm going report him. Rude remarks is one thing but obstructing a dragonrider in her duties is a whole different kettle."
**Kergon.** F'lin decided that he'd follow up with a complaint to the Headwoman as well, just in case Dessa didn't mention the 'rude remarks'. "Where are you headed? I can walk with you, if you want."
"Back to the Weyrwoman's office, with these," Dessa replied and hefted the ledgers into a better position.
F'lin plucked them from her arms, putting his own ledger on top. "I can take those for you." He flashed her a big smile. "It's only
because I have bigger arms than you do. It means I can hold more hidework."
"Thank you, very gentlemanly of you," Dessa flashed him a smile. It was refreshing change after Kergon.
The Wingsecond nodded his head in acknowledgement as they started down the hall. "So how are your weyrling classes coming?"
"Nearing the end," Dessa said. "I'm learning what it means to be a goldrider and while others learn to flame Thread, I'm fumbling with the flamethrower, trying not to burn off my hair."
"They're a lot of work. I've messed around with them a few times and Faranth only knows how I still have ten fingers."
"I'm harper, mechanical things just aren't for me," Dessa said.
"It's so much easier when you have someone else dealing with the flaming. You figure out the flight path, your dragon figures out the rest," F'lin said. "Are you looking forward to graduating?"
"Of course I am, who wouldn't," Dessa replied with a faint grin.
"What's the first thing you're going to do?" F'lin asked.
"Pretty sure my clutchmates are planning a party, so I suppose I attend that," Dessa replied.
The bronzerider grinned at that. "When I graduated, my clutchmates and I had the biggest party on the beach... it's a wonder that we all made it through the night. You're going to have such a good time." His memory of his own celebration was fragmented, blurred with alcohol, and infused with warm feelings and a sense of excitement and camaraderie. The beach they'd held their party on was gone now. The sea had swallowed it after the earthquake at River Bluff. His smile slipped a bit. "If you want a bit of unsolicited advice, maybe pack a blanket or two with you. I ended up sleeping on the beach and it felt pretty cold by the time the sun rose."
"Good idea. I usually just bring my guitar when there's a party," Dessa said.
"I forgot all you Harpers play." F'lin flashed her a smile. "When's your next concert? I'd love to come."
"Probably when we graduate," Dessa grinned.
"You mean at the ceremony?"
"After it," Dessa replied. At least she and the other harpers had been practicing, as much as her weyrlings-schedule allowed. "Then the next big one will be Turnover."
"I'll look forward to both," F'lin replied.
F'lin shook off the memory and stood. Perhaps he'd get Dessa something for her gitar for a Hatching-day present... he shook his head. That was a long way off, and there were drills to run and a Wing to mind in the mean time.
But maybe he'd see if she was free that evening, and if he was very lucky, perhaps the goldrider would bring her gitar.
Last updated on the December 18th 2019