After the scolding from the Weyrlingmaster, G'leyr began to take much better care of Nuikath - and it showed. Their bond grew stronger, though Nuikath had become a very bitter green. She had long since forgotten G'leyr's neglect, but he remembered.
As things turned out, Nuikath's bitterness made her an excellent fighting dragon. She could sustain flame a long time, and did not tire easily. She could fly more than ¾ of a Fall, and enjoyed every moment of it. Her agression was taken out on the silver rain, and she was content.
Keeping G'leyr away from T'zir had helped considerably, and when graduation finally came, T'zir begged G'leyr to stay on at Talor Cliff until Ilyboth graduated, but the greenrider refused.
He wanted to repair his friendship with Glinde, and carve a niche for himself at Ryslen before T'zir came. He'd be there for the rest of his life - he couldn't be T'zir's shadow forever. This he learned the hard way.
There were many handsome men at Ryslen, and G'leyr felt welcome there. He couldn't understand why male greenriders were still scorned in some places.
At midday, G'leyr joined a group of riders. One, introduced as G'rin, sat across from him, but didn't meet his eyes very often. When they did, G'leyr grinned at G'rin, and G'rin glared at G'leyr. Someone laughed, and broke the tension.
"Who are you flying with, G'leyr?" someone asked from down the table.
"Other than Nuikath? I don't know yet." G'leyr replied. Some riders nodded, while others murmured their 'guesses' to their neighbors.
The last empty place at the table was soon filled by Dragonhealer Glinde. G'leyr smiled at his once-betrothed. To his astonishment, Glinde smiled back.
Nantryth says she is glad that I am well, Nuikath told her rider and that Glinde is happy to see you. Friends First.
This caused G'leyr to grin even brighter.
All was well with the world.
Days went by, and Nuikath settled into her place at Ryslen. They still hadn't been assigned formally to a wing, and G'leyr was under the impression that they'd be part of a new wing, and was being uncharacteristically patient about it.
G'leyr soon found himself face to face with Ki, rider of blue Amnyth. She had bonded at the same hatching as T'zir, but proved to be a much better leader than him. "G'leyr," she said, "On behalf of the Tri Star Fleet, I invite you to Ride with us against the Menace."
The green dragon laughed, and prodded her rider. G'leyr, I want to Ride with them. Nuikath said quietly to him.
G'leyr swallowed. "We accept, Ki. We'd be honored to Ride with you and yours."
"Good." Ki said. "Leader Ke'l will be glad to know you're aboard."
G'leyr saluted, and Nuikath purred happily. She liked when she got things her way.