Of course, Red's Sachioth might have something to do with that. Red could still hear that first whisper his green said to him. I'm a boy.
No one ever expected that a green dragon would be male, but noone had expected Gem's blue to be female either... It was strange to think that they had impressed such a pair, when they were a pair themselves.
Sachioth was sleeping comfortably on his couch, but Red wasn't sleeping. He'd spent every night since he proposed dreaming of Gem, but now, he daren't do that. Weyrlings were forbidden any sort of relationship, lest they upset their dragons. As much as Red loved Gem, he knew that an upset Sachioth would make both their lives miserable.
Red sighed and rolled over. He missed her so much, since he was here and she was away at Ryslen, training with her wing. What would become of their betrothal? Would they have to give it up now that they were both riders?
Don't worry, Red. It'll be fine. Sachioth said sleepily. Destiny has a hand in this, or I wouldn't be the way I am.
Red tried to relax. Sachioth had a point.
Or did he?
Red and Sachioth had spent the morning soaring around above Vella Crean. The wind was a bit chilly, but the sun was warm, so neither cared. Every once iin a while, Eeppoth would grace their morning with her presence, and chase (or be chased by) Sachioth across the sky.
After midday meal, Sachioth and her clutchmates and their bonds were summoned to begin training to breathe fire. Many of the female dragons and thier riders opted out, as to retain their fertility, but Sachioth, being male, was all for fire-breathing.
A visiting rider happened by as Red was about to hand Sachioth the first piece of firestone. "Don't feed her that stuff, cutey. She'll go stupid."
"The word is Sterile, sir. And HE will have no such problem." Red replied icily. Who did this rider think he was?
"Too late; stupid already. Greens are female, boykins." the rider continued.
"Maybe in your world. Sachioth is very definitely male. Your dragon would be unpleasantly surprised if he tried to fly him." Red continued, allowing Sachioth to take the stone. He chewed carefully, and swallowed.
"May as well have impressed a wher, if you're actually intending on feeding her that crap." the rider persisted.
Sachioth opened his mouth and belched flame at the rider, scorching his leathers. Excuse me. Sachioth said, laughing in his rider's mind.
Shortly after Sachioth’s adulthood was officially reached, Red and Gem attended J’rin and Maiahn’s wedding, where Gem caught the bouquet. It had been beautiful, but Gem and Red’s wedding would be definitely superior.
The dress was constructed of filmy layers of red and white, the traditional colors of Earth and Pern tastefully designed by the talented rider-tailor J’rin Eeppoth and Sachioth were bedecked with silken ribbons, and even stodgy J’lenn came out for the celebration. Harpers played a medley of love-themed songs from Gem & Red’s ancient collection.
Earlier in the day, the appearance of a gold dragon marked the arrival of the master-appointed harper to officiate on this prestigious occasion. Murmurs ran though the weyrfolk as queens didn’t normally work transport. The lone figure astride the small burnished gold swung down. The harper was a goldrider. Duly welcomed, the harper changed into something fancier than her riding gear, and exchanged her green-black-gold rider’s knots for a lovingly tied double cord. Journeywoman Harper; Journeywoman Healer. Caerina strode happily out, and Izaith rumbled her approval.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Riders and Weyrfolk: We gather here today to celebrate the union of this man and this woman…”
Though her speech was eloquent, Gem almost cried – not in sadness, but in joy. They’d researched the ‘ancient’ ceremony…
The rings they exchanged were not set with diamonds, but with brilliant sapphires and emeralds, the colors of their dragons.
It was beautiful, and the feast to follow would rival a marriage feast at any major holding.
Gem and Red’s wedding had gone off without a hitch, and the newlyweds had enjoyed their honeymoon. Though weddings (and honeymoons!) were incredibly rare among dragonriders, everyone was happy for them.
A few months later, Eeppoth awoke feeling less than beautiful. In fact she was downright cranky! Sachioth skittered to his feet and got out of the blue’s way as she snarlingly left their shared weyr.
Red, does this mean what I think it means? The green said to his rider.
Red, having seen the entire display, merely nodded. Opting to let Gem sleep, Sachioth gave Red a lift to the ground level, and then retired to a ledge where he could keep track of the incredibly proddy female blue. Seeking out someone with a flitter who knew Vella Crean, Red sent a quick note off to Naeodin. He didn’t dare ask Sachioth to convey the message, even though the green was willing, lest it be overheard by Eeppoth.
When Eeppoth began showing interest in motherhood, arrangements had been made for her to clutch at Vella Crean – if she couldn’t at her Istabithan birth sands, she would rather be there. Not that there was really much of a difference….
After all, a female blue and a male green were “normal” there, even if Eeppoth was small and Sachioth larger than most blues and greens.
A reply came swiftly, with a greeting from Mia. It was good timing on Eeppoth’s part, the sands would be empty by the time she needed them.
Obtaining a pot of Gem’s favorite tea and a plate of breakfast treats, Red hurried back to their accommodations.
He arrived just as Gem began to stir. A shaft of late morning sun sprang into the room and landed warmly across her face. Gem’s eyes flew open. “I overslept! Red! How could you let me…” Red set breakfast on the bedside table. “Hush, darling, for just a moment.” Red said, sitting on the bed.
Gem opened her mouth to protest, but then caught the edge of Eeppoth’s mood.
“Just relax.” Red prompted. “Have some breakfast.”
* * *
Later, Eeppoth and Sachioth flew the long way to Vella Crean, which somehow was never as long as it ought to be.. Eeppoth complained the whole way, and kept trying to goad Sachioth into racing with her. Of course, Red expressly forbid it.
As Red and Gem exchanged greetings with Naeodin and the rest of the Vella Crean folk, Sachioth opted for a nap. Eeppoth was too high strung with the nearing flight, spent some time snapping at other dragons before dozing off herself.
Shortly after dinner, local time, Gem sat straighter in her chair. “Pardon me…” she said, rising. Those seated with her nodded knowingly. Likewise, Red parted company with the riders he was with.
Sachioth awoke, and slipped out of their temporary home. It was mere moments later when the vividly glowing Eeppoth appeared like Juliet on her balcony. Trumpeting a challenge, she sprang skyward, and now Sachioth took up the chase.
The pair exchanged chasing each other in the sky, Sachioth trying to prove his worth to the sapphire beauty, and Eeppoth trying her hardest to lose him!
A visiting and rather confused male blue tried to join the chase, but after getting close to Sachioth, immediately dropped back out.
High climbs, thrilling spiral dives, barrel rolls and explosive turns made their flight look like a pyrotechnics display. Eeppoth shot for the high thin clouds, and Sachioth was close behind. High in the sky, Eepoth twined herself with the only one she ever wanted. They fell in love.
* * *
Red put an arm around Gem latter that evening as they sat on the ledge watching stars twinkle, two sated dragons sleeping soundly behind them. Gem leaned in close. “I meant to tell you this morning, before this all started… Red… you’re going to be a daddy…”
Red pulled his wife closer, and kissed her. A happy ending indeed.
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