Negotiations (Vignette)

Characters Dahj
Synopsis Dahj makes a deal with her past.
Out-of-Character Date February 18, 2022

It was almost too quiet that night.

The soft sound of footsteps drew Esoireth to look out to her ledge, bejeweled gaze intent on the hooded figure hastening up the stairs from below.

Dahjari lowered her veil once she was well out of view of the bowl proper, pressing her face with a long, shaky breath to the side of the enormous muzzle that lowered to meet her.

You are safe, flowed between them with the deepest of blues, as much reassurance for the rider as the dragon.

Ask Toruth in the morning if I can get some time with her rider, Dahj said at length, finally taking the tiniest of steps away to better unwrap her head covering.

She still marveled at how she could feel Esoireth turning over what she didn't say and dropped all of her barriers, letting the queen watch her memory of riding out to one of the minor holdings near the well-known caravan camp they sketched so often when they shared dreams, where a familiar face with kind eyes served as a go-between for those whose eyes were not so kind, outlining terms that were acceptable enough

Too long had her mother been an unwitting victim of the clans' feud. Varijaz had done nothing. Even her father had done nothing.

(She never wanted to see them again, either.)

Shame warred with relief.

This is the best possible outcome, Esoireth told her fiercely. They can hold nothing over you anymore, and both sides are satisfied with the arrangement.

"Padjma would have said that there must be a better way, " Dahj tossed back over her shoulder aloud as she strode into their weyr.

Padjma never had to choose.

(Padjma never got to choose.)

Dahj's hand trembled as it formed a fist.

I paid for someone to take Mother to the hall, she informed her lifemate after some moments had passed in silence, where she looked around the mostly empty weyr that almost swallowed her few belongings. I didn't expect to have to take you from the only home you've known so soon

The ebb and flow of Esoireth's thoughts between them warmed into the soft glow of a sunset, brilliantly reflective.

I'm with you, she said simply, and Dahj swallowed hard with the swell of affection that rose to swirl around them both.

The negotiations were short.

In the days prior to their departure, Dahj took weyr-bound duties and gave what information she could to her weyrleaders.

(There were short goodbyes for the few friends she had made during the past turn, notes left with invitations to visit when each might have the time.)

The tightness in her chest didn't begin to ease until they took off shortly after midday, lingering above Igen for the amount of time it took Esoireth's wings to beat three, four, five times.

With the image of Fort Weyr's caldera in mind, they went between.

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