==== December 21, 2013
==== Sara, A'lory
==== A'lory returns from the fall over Keroon alive.

Who Sara, A'lory
What A'lory returns from the fall over Keroon alive.
When The morning after A Gather Surprise
Where La Dolorosa

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La Dolorosa
Time, chaos, and weather have informed the arid, unforgiving sweep of a limestone promontory, deepening the crevices hollowed out in mellow sandstone surfaces: dry, dusty ivory-yellow boulders that line the very edge of that wide shelf like a string of pearls, while the striations of sandstone ripple gently over granite-dark ground, leading the eye to the twisting darkness of an interior tunnel. A long sideways crease runs along the timeless surface of a black, ruined boulder, twisting its shape further out of true; evidence, perhaps, of an old waterfall that no longer exists, stark contrast to the glittering mosaic that spirals, unending, from a half-melted sandstone stalagmite set mere inches away.
Bronze Eisheth is here.

Rumors had run like wildfire though the bazaar. Thread was falling over Keroon, and Igen's dragons rose to fight. Ice had overtaken the harper journeyman, whatever pleasure had been delivered with the news the day previous of her advancement to senior journeyman, is dashed. Peaston had yelled as she ran out of the doorway of the Harper intent on being home… just in case. She stands, her arms clutching the harp A'lory had given her, too afraid to even allow the strings to sing. She will wait- hours if she needs to, wait till he comes home… or someone thinks to deliver the news.

The wind of wings' flapping brings with it numbweed, redwort, and the lingering traces of firestone — for once, A'lory has considered that his lady might want to lay eyes on him herself. And so he slumps into thd weyr, weary to the bone and covered in ash, slowly peeling away his ragged flight jacket. Suddenly, all he wants is to see her, to reassure himself that she has remained safe. "Sara?" he calls hoarsely — hopefully. "Sara!" There she is, looking frightened. The jacket drops, forgotten, as he moves as fast as tired legs will allow to pull her and her harp against his chest.

If instrument-care wasn't second nature to Sara she might have dropped the precious instrument to the ground to throw her arms around A'lory. As it is, the instrument is squished between them as Sara lays her head on his chest as the tears that had frozen in her fear are finally released. "A'lory I was… I mean, I know Eisheth but…" She takes a deep breath, trying to get back control of her fears as he is here, holding here.. more or less in once piece. Her words are muffled. "If you hadn't… thank you for coming home."

A'lory buries his face in her hair, trembling. "I had to," He says in a low, toneless voice, fingers wrapping lightly around her braid. A familiar habit, giving comfort to combat the horror. "I… needed to see you." Just to be sure he is really hone, the lanky man brushes her forehead with his lips. "I love you, Sara.'

Sara pulls back, just enough to set the harp down and free her hands. Then she is back, her arms wrapping around his lanky frame as she presses herself against him. Her fear, that he was gone is slowly passing with the solidness of his presence, trembling as it is. "I love you too, my dearest bronze rider." The questions, the fear, the uncertainty of the last few days fades in the relief and his forthright admission of love. As long as he was there, breathing… another worry arises. "Are you okay? Are either of you hurt?" Only now she smells the numbweed and redwort.

A'lory chuckles. "Now she thinks to ask." And he cups her face, tilting it up so that she might see his teasing grin. "Not badly enough to stay in the infirmary. The healers trust my training enough to allow this small dignity." A thumb traces her jaw wonderingly. Never was there a more beautiful sight to him. "Faranth…. so many… gone. Nothing I could do to stop it." Emotions are barely held in check, the trembling contained, for now, to his hands. "Sara… I… couldn't."

"You flew, you survived." A'lory may hold the horror of their deaths on himself, but Sara cares only for the man before her. She reaches up to wrap her hands in his, feeling the unusual coolness in their tips despite the heat of the desert. "And now you can make changes for…," her voice catches for just a moment, "next time."

Oh, how he wishes there will never be a next time — and yet there must be, mustn't there. A'lory leans close again, cheek against her forehead. "Got a score on my arm." And he indicates the wrapping knotted around his forearm. "And my leg. Himself — well," And there's a shudder, aversion to his dragon's pain and anguish. " — his shoulder and leg got hit. Thank Faranth he's quick."

Sara's arms fold around her rider again, not wanting to let him go again. "Thank you Eisheth- for keeping him safe." Sara's breathing calms slowly- surely the healers would not have allowed him to come home if it really was serious. "Are you hungry?" She doesn't want to leave but… "Can I help you get cleaned up?"

"Will you tuck me in, little mother?" Somehow, he can't resist these small stabs at humor, hoping they will ease her fear a little more; all is well if he can tease, right? Right! A'lory starts to demur, only a snort of rebuke from Eisheth changes the course of his thoughts. "Actually, as I have pointedly been reminded of, the wound could stand a bit of cleaning — well. If you are willing, lady lovdle. I don't think I could eat now." Or ever again.

"I'll tuck you in till the end of time." Sara says, turning his tease into a sincere statement. Eisheth gets a look of Thanks as he forestalls any arguments from A'lory about accepting her help. "I'm not healer trained," she'll warn him for this, just a woodworker here yo, "but if you'll tell me what I do wrong I can at least do that." She steps back, though her hand does not leave off touching him.

Eisheth out-grunkles the Grunkle. It is law. He's curled up with all lids half closed, crooning softly: a calming sound to combat his irascible rider's upset. They will fly again; they will destroy Thread, whenever, wherever it falls. " Clean with redwort, reapply numbweed. That easy."

It's good there is SOMEONE who can tell A'lory what to do. Sara tugs gently at A'lory's uninjured arm, she'll lead him into the weyr to do just that. For now, the worries that had swamped the pair, the uncertainty between the them will simply have to wait. Because A'lory and Eisheth fought thread and returned. Everything else just isn't as important.

A'lory allows himself to be led — a rarity for him. Once in position for her to work her will on him, he looks to her with a wan little smile. "I find myself wanting to hide here with you until Thread passes us by. Maybe then we might get to be lovers without concern for crisis." His brows rise, briefly.

Sara leave's A'lory's side just for a moment, fetching water and other instruments of healing style to his side. "I cannot say I would object to that particular line, though others might object." As in… everyone else.

A'lory laughs softly as Eisheth raises his head, then lowers it again. "Including him.". A long moment passes before he speaks again. "Sara… I love you. I want you as my mate, always." His tone is soft, hesitant. "I know I'm not easy to live with… " Somehow Thread has made the preceding months' unreasonable behavior clear to him. And from that clarity, understanding. "I will probably never be. And yet, I… would know you're still willing."

Sara's hands clean very, very, very slowly, doing her best to not add to any pain to the experience. Even after he speaks, asking his hesitant question Sara remains silent for a long time, her eyes on his wounds. "A'lory. I have never wanted anything more then I have wanted you. Even if you test my patience to its limit I never." And at his her green eyes look upwards into his blue. "want to do without you."

With that, A'lory can rest content, smiling a little at her faith in him. Oh, how it eases the mind! "Come, lie down with me? I doubt I will sleep easy tonight — " There's a faint shudder as memory tries to intrude, is forced back. " — all things considered."

Sara stands, clearing up the instruments of healing. Her hands still shake slightly from the stress of the evening. Setting everything aside she lays down next to him, curling her arm around his waist gently. "I'll stay awake till you sleep." She murmurs, leaning her head against his chest to listen to the beat of his heart- one more evidence that he is here.

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