Because the idea wouldn't leave me alone.
Smoke and ash were everywhere, blotting out the sunlight and clouding their vision. Between the roaring of the dragons and the sharp hiss of their flames making contact with thread, it was hard to hear anything clearly. Still, the pained scream of a dragon being hit by thread cut above the frantic din…
"Heth Falls!" Watsoth announced.
They dove for the injured green. It was what they were trained to do, after all; J’on was a healer and a dragonrider. His brown blinked between and re-emerged directly above the rapidly-falling Heth. Her rider was unconscious by the look of it, but entirely free of threadscore. There was that, at least. Watsoth allowed his massive brown body to free-fall for a moment, expertly gripping onto the shoulders of their fallen wing-mate before unfurling his wings to slow their fall.
"I have them!" The brown exclaimed.
"Let's get them home!" replied J’on.
Watsoth’s wing and shoulder muscles rippled as he pulled them back up. They’d get their bearings and blink between to the Weyr; from there, they’d take the stricken pair to the infirmary, where the other healers would attend them. J’on gave Watsoth a clear image of the weyrbowl; as soon as the dragon confirmed that he knew it, they’d go.
"I have it." Watsoth assured him.
"Then let's go!" J’on ordered.
It was the last coherent thought he remembered. All that followed was the hateful sting of thread digging into his back, the piercing cry of Watsoth and the frantic urge to get between and stop the indescribable pain…
J’on snapped awake as he always did, sweating and shaking and totally unsure of where he was. Heart racing, he looked around him. This was his weyr, his bed…
"Watsoth?" He asked, searching.
He felt the worried, reassuring presence of his life-mate touch his consciousness. "We are here, J'on. We are safe."
Watsoth’s words were true, of course, but did little to aid J’on’s frantic pulse. He probably wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep tonight.
"Yarith asks how your journal has been coming along." Watsoth intoned suspiciously.
“Lena wants to know, probably.” J’on explained. “She thinks I have trust issues.”
It was a nice enough outside, and Watsoth had complained of an itchy patch of hide under his right wing. Brush and oil in hand, J’on had led them outside onto their weyr-ledge, fully intent on making the most of the fair weather. He hadn’t planned on being interrogated by the well-meaning (but intrusive) Weyrwoman and her queen, though.
"They know you haven't written anything."
Of course they did. Watsoth had probably told them that himself, though the brown would never admit to it.
“Ask what I should write about, then.” J’on grumbled.
"They say to write about everything that happens to us. Lena says it will help."
J’on sighed sadly. “Nothing happens to us…”
The records room was dark and damp as J’on sat down, a dim glow-basket in one hand and a bit of bread in the other. On the table below sat a mockingly blank scroll; there was only one sentence written on it, and that sentence read:
The Personal Journal of J’on, Watsoth’s Rider
It was shameful, really. Why couldn’t he think of anything to put down? His life was full of little things, life things, but… none of it felt right. Nothing felt right these days.
“J’on? Is that really you?”
J’on spun around to see a familiar face approaching him. “Stamford!”
He’d known Stamford since he was an apprentice healer, though he hadn’t seen him in a long while. They’d fallen out of touch after J’on had been searched, reconnected after J’on Impressed, then lost contact again when J’on had answered Igen Weyr’s call for more riders.
“I’d heard you were transferred to Igen, risking your neck to bolster their wings,” the other man said, “what happened?”
J’on had to chuckle at his own misfortune. “I got thread-scored.”
“I’m a master healer now, teaching all manner of young things.” Stamford said proudly.
“Good, that’s good,” J’on said with a nod.
“Bright young lads, just like we used to be. I hate them.”
He didn’t hate them, of course. J’on doubted Stamford had the capacity to hate anyone; it was his good nature that made him such a proficient healer.
“So,” Stamford continued, “you’re staying here at Benden?”
“Only temporarily,” J’on replied. “I’ll probably retire to Ruatha soon, seeing as I’m in no shape for fighting.”
“Ah, but you wouldn’t be anywhere else. I know you,” Stamford laughed as he sipped his klah.
“There isn’t anyone who’d want to have their weyr next to mine anyway.” J’on said with a sigh.
Stamford chuckled again, almost uneasily. “What?” J’on asked.
“You know, it’s funny. You’re the second man to tell me that today,” the healer replied.
“I was, really? Who was the first?”