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Here Together

Writers: Estelle, Yvonne
Date Posted: 24th August 2020

Characters: Ashela, H'run
Description: Two reluctant new arrivals at Dragonsfall catch up and share their stories...
Location: Dragonsfall Weyr
Date: month 4, day 16 of Turn 10
Notes: Mentioned: Saibra, Lanniya


Ashela
Ashela

**Another fascinating evening in the mountain wastes,** Ashela thought. She rested her cheek on her hand and tried not to let her eyelids droop as she listened to the bronzerider who was telling her all about his feats in that day's wing drill. It wasn't even as if there was any danger...but then, she suspected his story would still have been dull and monotonous if he'd been fighting Thread in a thunderstorm.

She let her gaze drift over his shoulder and around the dining cavern...and stopped when she recognised a familiar figure.

"Oh! I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt, but I've just seen a - a very dear old friend. You _will_ excuse me, won't you?" She treated the startled bronzerider to her most dazzling smile, and touched his arm, lightly. "I'll be back before you know it. I simply must hear how it all ends..."

Before he could object, she was walking swiftly across the room towards the rather finely-clad back of the man who'd caught her eye.

"H'run? What are _you_ doing here?"

There was a small pause, then the bluerider in question turned to face her. He arched his brow, although a hint of a smile could be seen at the corner of his mouth. "Darling. I thought you'd come say hello _ages_ ago. Didn't you know I transferred here?"

"Of course not!" Ashela pouted. "If I had, I'd have tracked you down at once. I've only been at Dragonsfall a few days, and I've been simply starved of good conversation." She rolled her eyes in the direction of her former dining companion, and tucked her arm in his. "But what did you do to get sent here?"

Of course she'd pick up that he wasn't here by choice. H'run hadn't exactly bandied that fact around, preferring to let his new Wingmates
think that he'd actually chosen to come to Dragonsfall instead of the rather ignominious story that it truly was. He sighed dramatically. "Oh... the usual. Which is a tale better told in a more comfortable location. How attached are you to your evening plans?"

"Not attached in the slightest," Ashela replied, her curiosity kindled. It sounded as though her assumption that no-one with any sense would choose to be transferred to dreary Dragonsfall had hit the mark! She silently asked Aglayath to send her apologies to the bronzerider, and tucked her arm into H'run's. "And I'd never refuse a friend who looks like he needs some company."

"I _was_ off to find some, but now that you're here you've saved me the bother..." H'run sighed and snagged a bottle of red wine and a pair of glasses off a nearby cart. "Let's get out of here."

He led her through Dragonsfall Weyr's pristine tunnels to his weyr, flinging the door open with a flourish and ushering her in. It was cramped, the space dominated by the large, clear mirror in the corner and a bed with brightly coloured, rumpled blankets. The large upright wardrobe was so stuffed with clothing that the doors hung akimbo. H'run nodded at the two padded chairs near a small, unlit fireplace grate. "You'll have to excuse the mess. The Headwoman put me into a too-small weyr, I'm afraid." He flashed her a brilliant smile. "But now that you're here, I'm sure that you can speed up the process!"

"Oh." Ashela had stopped for a moment to pose in front of the mirror, and she turned to face him with a pained expression. "I'll do my best,
of course, but you must have heard that I'm not exactly flavor of the month here, at the moment."

"Mmm. Well. That is true." H'run pressed a glass of wine into the goldrider's hand before falling artfully into the embrace of one of his
chairs. He sipped his own wine and set it aside. "I had heard rumors, stories, that sort of thing... but you and I both know how truthful those can be."

Ashela sat down opposite him and took a generous sip from her glass, then sighed. "I made a mistake, at the Weyrhold. A bad one." She knew there wasn't much point trying to convince H'run that her actions had been innocent. He knew her too well. "I wanted Aglayath to rise first, more than anything. I'd worked so hard for it! So when I saw Riyanth blooding her kill, I hesitated...and then it was too late. I couldn't control her."

Losing control of your gold dragon in a mating flight was the worst thing a goldrider could do. But H'run found himself pitying her. She had put so many in jeopardy, but at least Ashela had been true to her nature. She had struggled for so long at Dreams End Weyr beneath
Yvonnes' thumb, and had been bold enough to take a chance at greatness at Barrier Lake Weyr. To see that snatched from her grasp after working so hard, for so long, because of something as mindless and unpredictable as a rising dragon would have been unbearable. She was like him: they both wanted better than what they had... and was ambition truly that terrible? He sighed and set aside his wine glass. "Oh, Ashela. I'm sorry," he said quietly.

She'd braced herself for disapproval, perhaps with an effort to hide it out of politeness at best, or outright contempt that anyone should risk her dragon, no matter the circumstances. It was the first time anyone had shown her genuine sympathy and, unbidden, she felt her eyes sting with tears. Swiftly, she brushed them away with the back of her hand, sniffed and managed a smile. "So, there it is. The rumors are true. I am a wicked, selfish woman and no respectable bluerider should dream of inviting me to his weyr."

"Oh please. Don't insult me by saying I'm _respectable_." H'run pantomimed a shiver. "Nobody interesting has ever been respectable."

"My apologies." The gleam of mischief returned to her eyes. "And speaking of which...we know why I've been banished, but how did you end up here?"

H'run sighed, debating what to say. Ashela deserved some of the truth, but he didn't trust her with all of it. "A much less exciting tale, I'm
afraid. Chloris and Z'dan decided to be petty and instead of talking to me directly like adults, took a personal matter straight to the Weyrleaders, and the Weyrleaders..." he sighed again, feeling again the unfairness of it all. "Well, here I am. Dragonsfall Weyr was the first Weyr to accept my transfer request, and I couldn't possibly stay at Dreams End Weyr with those two a moment longer."

"How thoroughly infuriating." Ashela wondered if a short visit to Dream's End to catch up on the gossip was worth the risk of running into Yvonnes or one of the other goldriders. Perhaps not; speculation was almost as fun. "I can't say I blame you. I never liked that Chloris, she had a laugh like two porcines mating." She gave him a sly look, and took a breath. "Hhweee-ee-ee-ee-eek - snrrk!"

The bluerider laughed in delight. "Darling, you think her laugh was bad? Praise Faranth you never had her in your bed!"

"Oh, H'run, you didn't!" Ashela replied in gleeful reproach. "A bluerider of such charm and discernment? Surely you were never that desperate."

"None of us are completely perfect," H'run said breezily. "You, of all people, ought to know that. Still, I am quite glad to never have to see her sour face again. Even if I am not sure that I am entirely pleased with Dragonsfall Weyr."

"Oh? And what, exactly, is there not to like?" She rolled her eyes. "The cold, miserable weather? The complete lack of sunny beaches? The atrocious fashion sense of the residents?"

The bluerider hid his smile behind his wine glass. "Let's not forget the dreary cuisine and sulphurous bathing pools."

"Ugh, yes." Ashela flopped back in her chair, gracefully holding her glass up so she wouldn't spill any wine. "It's such a relief to be able to talk to someone who understands. I've been playing the good, grateful goldrider since I got here and it sets my teeth on edge."

"My door is open to you any time," H'run said generously. One of the things he'd missed most about Dream's End Weyr was having good
connections to those with rank, and being on good terms with a goldrider-- even a disgraced one-- had the potential to create all sorts of interesting opportunities. "Besides, I need someone to gripe to as much as you do. It's exhausting not knowing anyone very well."

"There are some people I know far too well already." Ashela rolled her eyes and took another large swallow of wine. "I can just about bear the Weyrwoman, at least she isn't Yvonnes, but Little Lady Perfect Sweetheart I-Can-Talk-To-Your-Dragon junior goldrider makes me want to throw things at her. No one's that nice. No one! And don't even get me started on the bronzeriders."

"I can't say I've had the pleasure of crossing paths with little Lanniya, but I am now forewarned. But please-- tell me more about Dragonsfall's darling bronze boys." H'run's smile curved a little sharper as he settled into his chair.

"Well..." She pretended to hesitate, then leaned forward, lowering her voice to a confidential murmur despite them being quite alone in the weyr. "If you insist! Let's start with my dining companion from earlier. Stars, that man could bore for his Wing. I thought I was going to fall asleep and end up face first in my dessert..."

Last updated on the October 13th 2020


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