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 Words Fail, WI:17 {A'dran/Embry} Post Sanarth Hatch
Catsitta
 Posted: Oct 29 2017, 12:23 PM
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So I just stand here sorry
Searching for something to say
Something to say
Words fail, words fail
There's nothing I can say


It was over.

All five hatchlings made their choices. Ten dragonets emerged from their shells in a matter of 12 candlemarks and found their bondeds. Among them, Embry was not. The candidate remained when everyone else cleared out, kneeling in the burning sand. No one else remained save for him and his observer. A'dran swallowed the knot in his throat. What could he say? Wobath nudged him and the weyrling glanced at the brown standing beside him on the ledge overlooking the hatching sands. Neither uttered a word, aloud nor through their mental link. Instead, A'dran mounted the brown and the pair flew down to the ground below, landing heavily where the eggs once rested.

He slid from Wobath's back, face hidden against the brown's side. He absently counted loops and tugged at the riding straps, postponing the inevitable. This hatching was like a physical blow to his sorta friend. A'dran saw the panic and pain from where he watched the event. To be left Standing had to be a soul crushing experience when you were Embry's age. Only a couple more Turns...maybe one or two more dragons would fly before his 22nd nameday. Then, he would be out of the program. And what? Embry was a trader before this. Would he return to that life? Would he work at the weyr? Would he stand for whers?

Would he do something irrational?

'Only he can choose his path, Mine. We cannot do it for him.'

'I know. I know. It's just...he is losing time.'

'His simply isn't here yet.'

A'dran stepped away from the brown and stared at Embry. There was no comfort he could offer beyond the cliches. No words of wisdom Embry hadn't heard from him before. So he remained mute, grey eyes searching for the right words in the distance between them.



No, I'd rather pretend I'm something better than
These broken parts
Pretend I'm something other than
This mess that I am
'Cause then I don't have to look at it
And no one gets to look at it
No, no one can really see


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Zane
 Posted: Nov 6 2017, 12:05 PM
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Even before he came to land, he knew the brown-weyrling was there. He landed, and dismounted his growing brown. The rush of air from the browns landing ruffled his hair. He momentarily felt like a kid again, just... playing with sand. If A'dran had nothing to say, well, he had even less to say in turn. There was nothing either of them could say that would change what had come to pass-right? Just like there was nothing he-Embry-could say to convince himself that he wasn't being punished for past sins. A'dran was a better person than he was, so he got to be a dragonrider. Would his past dictate the rest of his life? Would he he be nothing more than this for the rest of his life?

It was all so ironic, in the ex-Trader's eyes. A'dran stood alongside his dragon like a true leader, like... Well, the young man was everything he wasn't. He was convinced of that now. He had been wrong about A'dran all along, but it went without say that A'dran's assumptions about him had never been wrong. So here he was, seated before a pair of kings.

Sand continued to sift between his fingers until he lifted his head, meeting A'dran's gaze. His own fears were reflected in A'dran's eyes, which had the ex-Trader tearing himself away. Hot shame burned his face, spreading through every part of him until the world itself was numbed. A'dran stood there, representing everything he aspired to be. His brown was wise, and careful; two traits that Embry himself couldn't manage. At the end of the day, what did he really have to offer?

His concerns drifted further and further from impression. The cyan dragonet had read him so easily. It enraged him, that all of these creatures were capable of probing his mind. They pushed and pulled, leaving him to repair what damage had been done once they left his side. He wasn't anyone's first choice.

"It's fine," he finally spoke, barely able to recognize his own voice. "You can go. Shows over." Despite their closet-talk, Embry continued to convince himself that he was the last thing A'dran needed, or wanted. Why would he? He had other dragonriders--girls, around him all day long. Some were even Journeymen. Journeymen and dragonriders. How could he possibly compete? He would never be the friend that A'dran needed most. They could stop playing these games, and then, maybe, he could finally wake up.

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Catsitta
 Posted: Nov 6 2017, 12:57 PM
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Embry continued to play with the sand. A'dran continued to remain silent. It was the former that broke the quiet, telling him to leave. The weyrling sighed, his gut twisting with words he swallowed. Empty placations that would be a shallow fix upon the hollowness of the moment. He tugged at the sleeve of his riding jacket, calloused fingertips smoothing over leather, "We should both go."

Nothing constructive could come of lingering here. He needed to return to his weyr and Embry to the barracks. "Staying here won't change a thing, y'know." he said, daring to take a step closer. "It won't make more eggs appear, or time turn back so one of the dragonets choose you." Wobath settled on his haunches, glancing away from the pair to examine the place he hatched seasons ago. It looked different now that he was bigger. As did his. The brown's eyes settled on the young man he chose less than a Turn ago. He was calmer. Walked taller. Looked stronger. He put on needed weight, the hollowness of his face filling out, his chest and shoulders gaining muscle. A'dran looked less like a boy on the cusp of adulthood and more like a man than he did then.

As for Embry...

A dash of warmer color swirled against the cool tones of his eyes. Embry looked much the same. He didn't touch his egg. Didn't need to be reprimanded for thinking he was red.

"Get up," A'dran said. Wobath tilted his head in interest. His always acted so differently around Embry. "You'll just overheat if you just sit here."

.

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Zane
 Posted: Nov 6 2017, 01:23 PM
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Embry's brows furrowed, his frustration at being told what to do overlaying his worries. The near innocent expression he had once bore faded from sight, replaced by the clear rage that usually tainted his person. He didn't need A'dran to guide him, or force his hand. He could figure shit out for himself. He just needed more time. There wasn't enough of it. Forcing himself to meet the other boys gaze as A'dran drew nearer, his words were sharp and purposeful-as if made from gilded steel. "You don't think I know that?" And yet A'dran's words were precisely what he had sat here pleading for: a way to turn back time and change everything. He was upset. Arguing with A'dran would solve nothing, yet it was so easy to do and he was tired of hurting. He glared up at the brown-weyrling; in his face he saw the crushing weight of his past and present. A'dran represented both, which was more terrifying than the brownrider could have possibly known.

Despite his rising anger, Embry stood. In one fluid motion he was up on his feet, still shorter than the other. "It must be so difficult... to have everything." He knew he was grasping at straws now, because there was nothing at all that either one of them could reasonably say. So, Embry allowed his usual brashness to overtake; as it tended to when he was standing on the edge. "I'm done here." Those three words held a power that frightened him. "I don't belong here." He stabbed a finger down at the ground as he spoke the word "here." There was a fire in his eyes, simply serving to mask a world of hurt and place a divider between himself and A'dran.

He refused to believe that A'dran didn't see the same thing he saw in himself each and everyday--failure. Failure and an intricately weaved web of mistakes that kept him from amounting to anything other than what he was, right here--this.

A'dran was a changed person, he could see it. He could see the brown weyrling changing, growing, and leaving him even further behind. The boy he had once known had become a man. Hardened muscles replaced his once lean form, and his features became all the more defined. Embry still had that boyish ruggedness about him. His eyes were bright-always bright-but the rest of him remained unimpressive. He wasn't all that tall, and he certainly lacked a descriptor beyond "lean." There was a definition of muscle beneath his shirt, though it was more a shadow... A shadow of potential that may not ever come to fruition.

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Catsitta
 Posted: Nov 6 2017, 02:07 PM
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The older male leapt to his feet, fury on his face, burning eyes meeting A'dran's. Their intensity was startling, but far from unexpected. Embry did this. He got close. He got emotional. He can defensive and hostile. He said hurtful things. The weyrling did not cede ground, rooted in place, chin lifted. Grey eyes betrayed him, however, when Embry made his declaration. His face softened. His mouth opened then shut, teeth clacking together.

He drew in a steadying breath, shoulders lifting and falling, "You're wrong." A'dran's voice was soft, but his volume leapt high as he continued, "You're shardin' wrong!" He didn't have everything. Did he have more than he dreamed of having? Yes. But Faranth, he greedily wanted more, because it was within his reach. He wanted to find his sister. He wanted to make a life here. A home. He wanted to belong, same as Embry, but even with Wobath, he felt isolated from his peers. He couldn't trust them, seek them out, confide in them. Not like Embry. Not like his enemy turned friend.

His hands balled up, as if he wanted to lash out.

A'dran became dangerously quiet, "You wouldn't be here if you didn't belong. Don't you shardin' dare throw away your chance to be happy for once in your life. So you have to wait? So your bonded wasn't here today? So what? They will be here. Give yourself a chance to..." To forgive yourself. To forgive me. To be the person you want to be. Wobath's eyes danced with hints his bonded's fear and anger.

He nudged his with a wingtip. A'dran appeared to deflate, his tangle of emotions slithering through his fingertips. "Just...just stay a little longer." Because I'm selfish.

.

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Zane
 Posted: Nov 6 2017, 03:30 PM
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There was a divide between them, a line a mile wide that neither one of them could cross. But right now--right now it felt like a chasm. It would have been easy to fall in, but instead he was forced to stand here. All he could do was stand here and ignore the gaping hole in his chest. He left A'dran to gape at him, his stormy gray eyes clearing. Embry stared back, and for the briefest of seconds the line began to fade. It was like a gateway had begun to form, revealing the smallest crack of light. Then A'dran let out a breath, and his words shook the unsteady boy; because he was still a boy, at least for now. These may have very well been his last moments. Some day, maybe not today, he would have to grow up.

There A'dran went again, acting like he knew everything. It would have been easier for Embry to just admit that the weyrling was right, that he was wrong. It was something he hadn't tried before: conceding. Then A'dran was tensing up, and cursing at him. The teens voice elevated, and Embry could feel that divide, that chasm, grow even wider.

Was he going to hit him? It looked like he wanted to. Embry couldn't decide if, at this point, it would solve a thing...

The silence was earth shattering, and Embry didn't dare speak. He felt as if he was encased by a fortress of solitude, because A'dran was elsewhere now. He was lost in the implication of Embry's words, although the ex-Trader had never meant to cause this hurt. He was hurting too, he just couldn't-wouldn't let himself-come out and say it.

A'dran caught him off-guard. Maybe he hadn't given him enough credit. Now he knew what he needed to know, or at least he had been given a sliver of hope. A'dran may not have seen him that way at all; the way that everyone else saw him--the way he saw himself. There was a chance that he understood, and believed... He was hanging on the boys every word, even as he trailed off. He wasn't about to press A'dran for whatever it was he had been about to say. Unspoken words were sometimes more powerful than spoken ones, especially in their case.

He wanted him to stay? He was asking him to stay? "Yeah... okay." Before he knew what was happening he heard himself agreeing. The one person he needed to believe in him, above all others, did. He thought there was a chance. Sadly A'dran didn't control where the dragonets wandered. His optimism may very well fall flat, but it was evident that he was asking Embry to try. He had been asking him to try for these odd-what turns. Now he was asking again.

The idea of belonging anywhere was so foreign to him. Had he ever felt like a Trader, despite having been raised by them? He didn't know. The title of "candidate" felt so cold, and impersonal. It was a general group, a "maybe's" group, and Embry had never done very well with maybe's. A'dran was asking him to be, just this once. "It'll probably be a turn," he muttered, head down whilst he swiped at his nose with a closed fist. A turn seemed to be the typical wait-time between hatching's here at Dalibor, regardless of Thread. It went without say that it would be his last hatching. He couldn't voice such a fact out loud. He was afraid, and he didn't want to give said fear a purchase. Too, A'dran would be a full-rider. What then?

The future was encased in a thick fog, an impenetrable fog that made him want to run. A'dran spoke of happiness, but did people like him ever get to be happy? He didn't know what happy looked like. It was as if the boy was trying to sell him a dream, a far-off reality that could only be imagined rather than seen, or felt. It wasn't tangible. Embry didn't put much stock in his dreams. Then why are you here? He didn't have the answer to that question.

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Catsitta
 Posted: Nov 7 2017, 12:01 PM
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A'dran swept a hand through his hair. Curly locks that poked free of their tie were given full freedom. Sweat damp with rebelling locks, he made a bedraggled sight. But there was relief in his grey eyes. Embry was staying. If just for one more Turn, he would keep Standing. However, much would change in that Turn. Around the time a queen would take to the skies above Dalibor again, his class joined the Wings. If they were lucky, the aging Candidate would be a weyrling around the same time A'dran became a full rider. Not ideal, but he wasn't sure if he could keep the older male at Dalibor if His bonded did not find him soon.

He knew he needed to build more friendships with his peers, but only Kida bothered talking to him outside of class. A'dran wasn't personable, but neither was he a fool. It was his duty as a rider to build trust with his wingmates. And as a Brownrider, people may one day look to him for guidance. Or, dare he say it? Leadership. Wobath could do it, he felt, but could he? These were things A'dran had to consider as he entered the second half of weyrlinghood. Things that pushed Embry further away.

"I...I want to figure this out some day," he confessed. So don't go and leave before I'm able to stop you. Because he had nothing to offer or say or give to convince his friend to remain. Just promises of a discussion come his graduation and letters now and then to remind the dimglow that he didn't hate him anymore. A'dran reached out and laid a hand on Embry's shoulder. "Let's get out of here, okay?"

.

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Zane
 Posted: Nov 7 2017, 06:24 PM
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Embry didn't say anything. How many times was A'dran going to have to talk him off the ledge? He supposed the real question was: how many more times would he bother? He was grateful, or at least he should have been, that the brown weyrling continued to try. Now he was asking him to try too, and therefore the ex-Trader had agreed to as much. He didn't have anything helpful, or positive, to say. It was best he say nothing at all, and simply reflect on their sort-of argument.

A'dran's confession would have stunned him to silence, if nothing else. "This," the candidate considered. What was the "this," that A'dran was referring to? He knew, but it was far easier to play stupid--even with himself. Me too, he answered, just not aloud. Instead he held the other boys gaze as best he could, a level of sincerity reflected in his own.

The weyrling reached out and put a hand on his shoulder. It was a simple gesture, but one that cut through Embry's thick skull. It reached the ex-Trader's heart, which was the most important fact of all. Had it been all that long ago since A'dran had been afraid to get within five feet of him? Now there were brief moments of comfort; moments that were capable of shifting Embry's perception.

"Yeah... I want to go." He did. He didn't want to stay here and reflect on what could have been. It was done and over, like A'dran had said. There was nothing for him here, not now. A'dran thought he belonged here, he really thought that he, maybe, someday... Embry swallowed, and nodded his head. He looked away, to the hot sand below his feet.

They had to go back to their own lives, just as before. Embry looked forward to the letters at least. It was a change from the nothing of the past. He needed something from the brown weyrling, to reassure him that their friendship wouldn't break apart. Whatever this is, he thought to himself, blue eyes alight with the possibilities of what could have been, had things turned out differently. Was there still time? Oddly, only time would tell. Things were changing every day. He wanted to prove that he could be different too. He so desperately wanted the opportunity to be someone...

The dragon candidate nodded one last time, not wanting to move away, but he had to. So, he hesitantly took a step back, staring after A'dran and his brown. "See you around." Another nod before he turned right around and exited through the hatching cavern. He didn't look back, knowing full well that if he did he would never leave A'dran's side again.

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Catsitta
 Posted: Nov 22 2017, 04:56 PM
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And with a few more words, Embry walked away.

A'dran stared after him. Once more rendered silent. Speechless. His mouth was dry and sweat clung to the back of his neck. Yet despite the heat off the sand, a chill swept through him--a shiver of confusion. Of relief? The Candidate would not leave today. He had no idea when the next dragon would rise and clutch upon these Sands, but when she dd, he hoped--prayed, begged--that Embry's match would be among the eggs. That the next weyrling class would have the troubled boy among their ranks. Because he feared that Embry would not heal from the hurt that failed candidacy might reap. And he wasn't sure he could give him a reason to stay next time.

He combed a hand through his hair and turned away from where his friend departed. His face turned up towards Wobath's stout form. "See you around," A'dran mumbled, grasping the brown's riding gear and hauling himself up the dragon's side. With growing ease, he clambered onto Wobath's back, riding straps gripped in clammy palms. "Time to go."

There was nothing left to say.

.

-closed-

.

@Zane


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