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The One Where the GSIB Crew are Dragonriders

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The cast:
L'ke: Bronze rider of Gosteth, Benden weyrleader
R'an: Bronze rider of Supath, Benden, sometimes vies for weyreleader but never quite gets it
Moira: Gold rider of Infideth, Benden weyrwoman
Angela: Green rider of Azurith, which is unusual but not unheard of
Angela's twin, Annie: Bonded to the same dragon, Azurith!
Allonius: Benden Lord Holder

The fall was over, and thankfully, no lives had been lost. However, L'ke had been badly scored, and his huge bronze dragon Gosteth was not unscathed. The dragon made a noise somewhere between a whine and a roar (something that indicated pain, but was still very powerful and manly) as he landed, and L'ke leapt off his back and started yelling for help.

"Gosteth's hurt! He needs numbweed!" As usual, he didn't mention his own injuries; L'ke was ignoring the searing pain of thread that had ripped his flight leathers almost in half, baring his muscular pecks to the whole weyr.

A couple of weyrlings rushed out with buckets of numbweed, but on seeing L'ke, they yelled back for healers. "Weyrleader's injured!" they cried out, and a small swarm of people in healer's greens rushed to the landing zone. They managed to catch L'ke before he fell over, as Gosteth, who was barely scored at all, watched as he was caught and taken indoors to be tended.

It was good they were there, because moments later, R'an flew in; Supath landed with a loud roar and an unconscious rider. R'an's clothes were even more tattered than L'ke's--he'd managed to keep his dragon safe by catching thread on his arm, and part of it and slipped down to his leg, and most of his pants had been eaten by thread. His right arm and most of his legs were bare, but unfortunately were too bloody to show off the gorgeous tan he'd been working on all summer at Bitra, and his mighty thews would now be forever traced with theadscars. (Bitra's the one with the sandy beaches right? If not, replace with other hold name.)

As soon a Moira had seen to Infideth--she, unlike the boys, had stayed within her wing and allowed smaller, faster dragons to protect her Queen--she went to the healer's wing to give them a piece of her mind. Fortunately for her--unfortunately for them--neither was unconscious, although they were getting a little loopy from the fellis juice.

"You two idiots!" she ranted at them. "Taking stupid risks with yourself, your wings"--and since that didn't seem to be impressing them, because they just stared at each other and grinned--"your DRAGONS"--and with that, they sobered, because L'ke really did feel guilty that Gosteth got hurt, and R'an knew Supath almost suffered the same fate.

Gosteth, I am SO SORRY, L'ke sent to him. Gosteth sent back a wordless reassurance--after all, he wouldn't be L'ke's dragon if he didn't like a bit of risk-taking.

I am well enough, Gosteth replied. But you must be more careful in the future. You were hurt very badly, and I do not like that. L'ke nodded, allowing his dragon to feel his compliance.

R'an was arguing with Moira. "We weren't being reckless. We just--we both saw this huge clump of thread, right over Azureth, and thought we could get to it in time--" Moira cut him off.

"Azureth is green; she can dodge! She's smaller and quicker than either of you; she can go between before you can stretch a wing out over her! And with both the twins on her back, she's got more eyes watching for trouble than you do! Because you apparently have none!"

She tried to stay angry, but her true depth of emotions spilled over, like it always did, and they could see crystalline tears welling up at the corners of her deep violet eyes. L'ke was caught, once again, at how beautiful she was, and how lucky he was to be her partner, at least as long as Gosteth continued to fly Infideth.

R'an tried to duck his head and look sheepish, but he failed, because the fellis was getting to him so instead he smiled widely and said, "aww, it wassh all in good fun…" before he drifted unconscious.

***

The young weyrleader (that's L'ke) and his best friend and sometimes rival awoke to their Lord Holder glaring down at them.

"You two… you boys," he spat, unable to come up with a harsher word for them. "You risked your lives, your dragons"--

L'ke interrupted him, annoyed at having his quiet recovery time interrupted by a lecture. "If this is where you lecture us about safety and blah blah, Moira already covered that part," he said. Allonius scowled harder, and changed tactics.

"You didn't just risk yourselves," he continued. "You risked my holders with your foolish reckless stunt, and my crops. And if that green dragon with the two girls--"

"Azurith," they said in unison.

"Whatever. If she hadn't flamed flamed the thread about to land on you, we might've lost our weyrleader and weyrsecond at once, just because you had to pretend your dragons were blues and could turn around on a tenth-mark in midair!"

L'ke and R'an looked at each other, and something passed between them--a closeness they'd always had, even before they both Impressed at the same time. They shared the flicker of a smile.

"Yes sir," they said, almost in unison. "Sorry about that."

Allonius narrowed his eyes at them, but he could see that they weren't going to pay attention to anything more he had to say, so he stomped out. Once he was gone, both men lay back on their beds, wincing with the pain they'd been hiding.

"Oh shards, this is going to hurt for a long while," L'ke said (but not in a whining voice, because L'ke was too macho to whine).

"Yeah, but it was worth it," R'an answered. "We proved that I'm the better flyer."

"Like shells you are!" L'ke countered. "You're more injured than me!"

"But Supath isn't," R'an said. "And that's what's going to matter the next time Infideth flies."

"Why you little…" L'ke struggled to sit up, but fell back on the bed with pain. "You wouldn't dare!"

R'an looked over at his best friend, closer than a brother. Then he contemplated Moira--her beautiful violet eyes, her slender hands, her pointed ears that had healed nicely after that accident where Angela and Annie had been cutting her hair when Azurith rose to mate, her masterful flying in the Queen's wing. Then he looked at L'ke again.

"Probably not," he agreed. Moira'd never hinted that she wanted him rather than L'ke, and he wouldn't want to mess up the friendship the three of them had.

But if she did hint at it… he made sure to ask Supath to keep an eye on Gosteth's injuries for him. Just in case.