This is a third short story based on a fantasy created by Anne McCaffrey. It is fiction and no reference to any person living or dead is intended nor to any of the characters in McCaffrey's novels about Pern. I have used only the concepts created by McCaffrey and I apologise if it impinges on her copyright too closely. It is by way of tribute rather than imitation and is a measure of the enjoyment I have received from her novels over many years. It has overtones of gay sexuality (b/b and M/b) but no explicit sex.


An Interlude



“You read Anne McCaffery don’t you?”

“Yes. Why?” Daniel looked at Will quizzically.

“Have you read all the Pern novels?”

“Yes, I think so. Why?” Daniel asked again.

“Well, I was just wondering....”

“Wondering what?” Daniel was beginning to get a little irritated.

“Um... well..... you know the green dragon riders....?”

“Oh, for heavens sake, Will. What is it you are trying to ask?” Now he was getting irritated.

Will hesitated. He was looking embarrassed. In fact he was starting to blush.

“Go on,” Daniel said.

He started to speak, and then hesitated again.


“Well, do you think they are all gay?” he gabbled the words in a rush.

“Why?” Will looked a little startled.

“Well, I just wondered.”

“Will! Yes, but why?” Daniel was starting to feel a little more than irritated with him. What was it he was trying to say?

Will hesitated again. He looked even more embarrassed. His eyes were looking strained and looked as though he was going to cry. Daniel wondered if he should push him.

“It’s sort of hard to say,” he hesitated. He looked at Daniel, and then seemed to gulp, swallowing quickly, as he noticed the irritation on Daniel’s face.

“You won’t laugh at me?” he asked.

“I don’t know – I can’t say until I know what it is you are talking about!” Daniel wasn’t helping him!

“Oh! Well, it doesn’t matter.” He looked away from Daniel. Daniel looked at him carefully – he was still not looking back – and wondered where this was taking them.

Will had been acting a little strangely around Daniel lately. Daniel wasn’t quite sure what was going on with him. He would start to speak, and then suddenly stop, blushing, and turning his head away so Daniel couldn’t see his face. He would drop his head and his dark hair would fall over his eyes and cover them. He was a little shorter than Daniel. If Daniel wanted to look into Will’s eyes he had to bend his knees and crouch a little. He didn’t do it often, but he had tried to on a couple of occasions and Will had only turned further away from him. Once, Daniel thought he saw some tears in Will’s eyes, but he wasn’t sure.

He softened my voice. “Of course it matters, Will. But what it is you want to say? I can’t answer you if you don’t tell me.” Daniel smiled at him, and, looking back up, Will smiled a little bit, his lips just crinkling up at the ends,

“Daniel, its.... oh, I don’t know, I’ve just been feeling a bit strange lately, and I wondered.... well, I wondered if the things you have read in her books made sense to you.”

“Most of what she writes makes sense to me, Will. But what is it about green dragon riders?”

“Well, you know how she sometimes talks about their.... um.... their sexuality?”


“Well, do you think that means they are gay?”

“Probably. Well, at least I think so?” Daniel still wasn’t sure where this was going, and he wasn’t sure he wanted it to go anywhere.

They were sitting on Daniel’s bed. It was a Sunday afternoon. It was raining and Will and he had been talking, playing games and generally goofing around since lunch. They were best friend – but almost completely different. Daniels mother says she doesn’t know how they get along. Will was smart – but then so was Daniel. Will was small and dark, Daniel taller and fair. Will never seemed to burn in the sun. Daniel needed litres of sunblock. Will was great at most sports. Daniel wasn’t too bad at some and lousy at the rest. Will was very down-to-earth and practical. Daniel was a dreamer. And yet, here Will was looking and sounding lost – as though he had lost his confidence and his way – as though he didn’t know which way to head. And now Daniel was beginning to feel uncomfortable.

“But?” he looked at Daniel. That small smile was still quirking his lips, but his eyes looked sad.

“But?” Daniel asked. He still didn’t know where this was heading. “What are you getting at Will?”

“It’s, well,..... Oh, I’m not sure. Do you really think they are gay?”

“What does it matter what I think, Will? It’s what Anne McCaffery thinks is important. After all, she is the author and they are her ideas.”

“Yes, but, is she really saying that green riders are gay?”

“Well, she says some of them get really randy when their dragons are proddy.” Daniel grinned.

Will looked uncomfortable. “That’s what I thought. But why would she write about that?”

“Oh, Will! For heaven’s sake. How would I know? You should email her and ask her!”

“NO! I couldn’t do that.” Will suddenly looked terrified.

“Why not? Well, perhaps she just wanted to round out her stories, and to describe how openly the Weyrs felt about things like that.”

“Yes, I suppose.” Will still looked dejected.

“What on earth is wrong with you Will? You’ve been moping around for days,and now you start asking funny questions.” Daniel suddenly wondered if he should have asked that question. It might open a can of worms.

Will dropped his head again. Daniel heard him mutter something very softly. “I just wanted to try and understand.”

“Understand what,” Daniel asked gently. He was beginning to get a feeling that he knew what this might be about.

Will’s shoulders suddenly heaved, and his head dropped even lower, his hair now covering his eyes completely. Daniel thought he was quietly sobbing. He moved closer to his friend and put his arm over Will’s shoulders. Will shuddered.

“What is it Will? What is it you are trying to say?”

“Daniel...... Daniel, I am afraid to tell you.” Will shuddered again.

“Will, are you....?” Daniel hesitated. “Do you wonder how the green riders feel when another dragon flies their dragon?”


“So do I!”

“You do?” Will sat up straighter.

“Oh, yes, I sure do.” Daniel gave a bit of a giggle. He hesitated himself, and then said, “Do you know? I even dream about it?”

“You do? You really do?” Will started to sound excited. “What do you dream?”

“Well, I dream that I am on Pern, and that I impress a green dragon.”

“A green! Why a green?” Will looked at Daniel.

Daniel grinned – a wide amused grin. “Dunno! That’s just the way it happened in my dreams.”

“Dreams?” Will caught on to the plural. “You’ve had more than one dream about it?”

“Two actually.”


“The first time was when I was flying to see my aunt and uncle – you remember?”

Will nodded.

“As the plane took off I wondered what it would be like to fly on a dragon.” Daniel smiled at the memory. “I dreamed I was an orphan and that I was searched and found a green.”

“When was the next time?” Will seemed excited.

“That was one morning when I was having breakfast. I was supposed to be going out with Mum, and I was reading Dragon Drums. I suddenly found myself about to fly between on my dragon for the first time.” Daniel sighed. “It seemed so real....”

“But why a green?”

Daniel sighed again. “I have no idea Will. Perhaps my subconcious was telling me something,,,,,” His voice trailed off, and he suddenly realised he may just have said something he shouldn’t.

“Subconcious?” Will snapped upright. “You mean, perhaps it thinks you are like a green rider?”

Daniel looked carefully at Will. It was now his turn to feel embarrassed. “I... I ... I don’t know Will.”

Will grinned, broadly. His depression seemed to have lifted from him. “Have we been wondering about the same things?” he asked.

Daniel grimaced. “Perhaps, I don’t know.”

“Well, what happened in the dreams?”

Daniel looked at Will. Suddenly he made a decision.

“I’ll show you,” he said. “But you have to promise me that you won’t tell anyone about this.”

Will gave him a quizzical look. “I won’t Daniel.”

Daniel got up from the bed and walked over to his dresser. From the bottom draw he took some sheets of paper. He gave them to Will.

“These are what I wrote down – what I remembered of the dreams.”

Will looked at them and started to read. There were only a few pages. He quickly scanned through them, and then reread them. When he’d finished, he looked at Daniel.

“Wow! They were some dreams! Do you really think you are D’nel?”

“Oh, yes!” Daniel said. “Or at least, I wish!”

“So you really are like a green rider?”

Daniel hesitated. “I... I think so,” he said quietly.

Will looked at him, and ducked his head. Daniel sighed. Will looked back up, and Daniel could see the moisture of tears in both his eyes.

“I think I am too, Daniel.” He gave a muffled sob. Daniel sat down beside his friend, and put his arm back on his shoulders.

“Have you had some dreams too, Will?” he asked?

“Not like yours,” Will giggled. “But, yes, I’ve had some that have made me wonder what I really am like.”

He looked at Daniel. “Do you think you are gay Daniel?”

Daniel hesitated. Will didn’t wait for a reply.

“I think I am, Daniel.” He shuddered, waiting for Daniel’s reply.

Daniel looked at him, and then a small smile started to form. “I think I am Will. Did you dream about me?”

Will blushed – a deep red blush. “Yes,” he said. He giggled, “Yes, I did!”

“I think you were in my dream, Will.” Daniel leaned towards him.

“Oh? I was? Who was I?” Will caught his breath.

“I think you were Oran,” Daniel smiled at Will.

“Oran? Your very best friend?”


“Oran? The one you took to the lake, where.....” Will’s voice trailed off.

“Yes!” Daniel laughed. “Where we swam, and where we.....” He stopped, giggling.

Will looked at Daniel with mixed emotions fluttering across his face. He smiled, then grinned widely, then giggled, then suddenly fell silent.

Daniel looked at him, concern showing on his face. “You’ve only just realised haven’t you?” he asked Will.


“But how do you know if you are gay?” Daniel asked.

Will looked at him. “How do you know?” He waited a bit, and before Daniel could answer said, “How do either of us know. We are only 14. Have you done anything with anyone? I haven’t? How do I really know?”

Daniel smiled. “I think I’ve known for a long time Will.” He shook his head gently. “I think that is why I like reading those books that have boys in them.”

“But I do too, Daniel, I don’t think there is anything unusual about that.”

Daniel nodded, but then shook his head. “It’s not just that, Will. It’s a whole lot of things.”


“Well, I think of you a lot?”

Will laughed. “Well, I think of YOU a lot, too.”

“When you play with yourself?”

Will stopped laughing. He shuddered again, and seemed to space out for a second or two. “Do you do that, Daniel?” he asked in a small voice.

“Yes.” Daniel looked embarrassed again.

“So do I,” Will whispered.

Daniel looked at him. “What do you think about ?” he whispered in return.

“You. What you look like. How your dick would feel in my hand.” Will hesitated, then looking at Daniel and taking a deep breath, “What it would taste like.”

Daniel smiled shyly at him. “That’s what I think about too, Will.” he said.

He leaned towards Will and gently took his hand. Gently pulling the boy towards him he dropped his head onto Will’s shoulder. Will shuddered, and then nudging closer to Daniel he put his arms around him and gently hugged his friend.

“Daniel, does this mean you really like me?”

“Will, I’ve always liked you – you’re my best friend!”

“No, Daniel, that’s not quite what I meant. What I mean, is do you REALLY like me.”

“No, not much!” Daniel chuckled at the startled expression on Will’s face. Softening his laugh to a gentle giggle he told the boy, “No, it means I think I love you Will.”

“Oh Daniel,” Will gave a slight hiccup. “I think I love you too.”

Daniel gave a great laugh. “We are such dopes!”

“Why?” Will looked puzzled.

“Donkey! Why haven’t we told each other before?” Daniel laughed again. “Were we so afraid that the other wouldn’t understand?”

Will nodded his head and smiled. “I guess we were – well at least I was.” He looked at Daniel and smiled, a few tears forming at the corners of his eyes. ‘But I’m glad we know now.”

Suddenly he looked sombre again. Daniel, noticing the change, nudged him.

“What’s the problem now?” he asked.

“What do we do? We can’t tell anyone. We’d get shit at school if we did. What would my parents say?” He looked at Daniel. “What would your mother say?”

Daniel smiled at him. “Don’t worry,” he said. “We don’t have to say anything at school. And you don’t have to tell your parents.”

“But what about your mother?” Will was obviously still worried.

“We don’t have to worry about her,” Daniel said with a large smile on his face. “She already knows about me.”

“She does!” Will almost shouted it at Daniel. “When did she find out?”

“I told her... Well, sort of,” Daniel said.

“Sort of?”, Will queried. “What does that mean?”

“I showed her the stories I wrote about my dreams.” Daniel smiled again. “It was she that told me she thought I was probably gay, after she’d read the stories.”

“She did? Wow!” Will looked at Daniel with an expression close to that of respect. “I don’t think my parents would think like that. How did she know?”

“Dunno,” Daniel frowned. “She asked me how long I thought I had known, and then said that she thought I might be, years ago, because of the way I acted and the way I treated people.”

Will thought about that. “The way you acted?” has asked. “I wouldn’t have thought that anything about the way you acted would show you were gay.” he mused. “You don’t act like a queen or anything.”

“No, it wasn’t that way, she meant. She just thought I was gentler than perhaps a little toughy like me should be.”

“Yeah! You’re a real macho type,” Will laughed. “But it is true. You are tough, and yet kind of gentle. That’s why I like you so much.”

“Thanks, I think!” Daniel laughed. “But you’re the same, Will. And I suppose that’s why I like YOU so much.”

The two boys looked at each other. Will grinned, suddenly, and once again his eyes showed sign of moisture. Daniel smiled back, and suddenly felt a pricking in his eyes. When he thought about it, Will was very like Oran in his dreams. Daniel had suffered tragedy – he wasn’t an orphan but he had lost his father in an accident many years before. He didn’t think about it often because his mother went out of her way to compensate for the loss. Will’s father was a teacher. Oran’s father was a Harper – also a teacher. That’s sort of like a Harper isn’t it? Yes, he thought, there are definite similarities. But his name in the dream was the same; why wasn’t Will’s?

“I wonder ...” Daniel hesitated.

“What?” Will looked puzzled.

“Well, there is no doubt that you are in my dreams.”

“How do you make that out?” Will asked him.

“Well, you are my best friend, and Oran is D’nel’s best friend. And Oran’s father is a Harper, and your father is a teacher. But the names aren’t the same.”

“Yes, I see,” said Will. “But aren’t you forgetting something?”


“My middle name!”

“Your middle name?” Daniel looked puzzled now.


“Ah! Um.... Oh, of course. I didn’t even think of that. William Orrance Harp. Shit! Even all your names make sense now. Hell! My subconcious really was working hard, wasn’t it?” Daniel gave a loud shout of laughter, his sides shaking with mirth. “Oh! God! I didn’t think of that at all!”

Will gave him a shy smile. “So you were really thinking of me, weren’t you?”

“I guess I must have been. Oh, Will, I am so glad!”

He looked at Will and leaned in to hug his friend. Who returned the hug with interest.

Daniel felt a stirring in his loins, for the first time. “Um... Will!”


“I think I’m getting hard thinking about you.”

“Oh,” Will sounded a little disconcerted.

Daniel looked at him, worried that perhaps he had said something he shouldn’t have.

Will laughed, seeing the look on Daniel’s face. “Why did it take you so long?” He looked down at his shorts and then back to Daniel’s face. Daniel, following his gaze, looked at Will’s groin and suddenly giggled, seeing the bulge which seemed to wiggle at his look. He laughed.

“So we really do like each other? Or is that a pickle in your pocket?”

Will looked puzzled.

“Quote from a Mae West movie – yonks old!”

Will laughed, and then batted the front of Daniel’s shorts gently. Daniel giggled and reached out and trapped Will’s hand. He looked at Will, deeply into his eyes this time, and then slowly pushed the hand onto the front of his shorts. Daniel gasped, and then groaned quietly.

Daniel looked at him, and releasing his hand asked “Would you like to stay the night with me?”

“Could I? Can I call home and see if I’m allowed?”

“Sure. You know where the phone is.”

Will got off the bed and, straightening his shorts in front of him, walked out the door, heading for the phone. Daniel lay back on the bed and sighed. All his best dreams were coming true. Well, not all the BEST dreams, but the ones that had held him the longest – that of getting much, much closer to Will. He had thought that would never happen. He thought about what was ahead for them both. It wasn’t going to be easy...........

“D’nel, wake yourself up!” The voice was imperative and it took a few moments to realise it was A’van calling to him.

He shook himself awake, looking over the the bench where Farth was still fast asleep.

“What DID you fellows do yesterday that has made you so tired?” A’van asked, looking at Farth, and then back to D’nel. “Just how far did you go?”

“Only to the deep caverns to pick up Oran, and then to the lake.” D’nel still sounded a little sleepy.

“And back again, of course,”A’van commented dryly.

“Well, yes, of course!”

“Hmm. Well you certainly got up to something to make you so tired!”

D’nel looked a little embarrassed.

“Aha!” exlcaimed A’van. “You got a bit friendly, didn’t you?”

“Um! Do I really have to answer that?”

“No, D’nel! Of course you don’t.” A’van looked chastened. “I’m sorry, I didn’t really mean to embarrass you. But Oran is a really good friend, isn’t he – a really, really good friend?”

“Oh, yes, A’van. He is.” D’nel smiled at the brown rider.

A’van smiled, but there was a wistful quality to the smile..

“What?” D’nel asked. “Do you think its wrong?”

“Oh, no, D’nel. Not at all. I’m very, very happy that you have such a good friend. I know how he helped you in the past, and what he means to you. But...” his voice trailed off.

“But?” asked D’nel, suddenly concious of some strain in the atmosphere.

“Ah! Umm... Oh, damn it. D’nel, it is nothing, really, but I am just a little bit jealous of Oran.”


“Well, I know he is your best friend, and I know you love him a lot. I guess I would just like to be able to share a little of that love.” A’van looked sadly at the boy.

“But you can, A’van. I love you too!”

“Yes, but isn’t it a little like a big brother, or perhaps a father?”

“That too! But more as well. I think I would like you as much more than a brother or father.”

“You do?”

“Oh yes! And Farth thinks so too!”

“Farth? She thinks we should be more than just friends?”

“She says she knows so!”

I do too a sleepy voice mumbled in their heads.

A’van looked at D’nel, and the boy gave him a grin.

“You know, A’van, she told me my thing wouldn’t go soft when Moranth flys her, like I said it did when we go between!” D’nel gave a sly grin.

“What do you think she meant by that?”

“Well..... she means, when she and Moranth.... Um... well, you and I...” D’nel stuttered.

D’nel, you don’t really need to tell him, Farth said in her sleepy voice in his head. He already knows.

A’van, who had heard the silent exchange nodded to D’nel. “Yes, D’nel. I know what she meant.”

“Do you mind?” D’nel hung his head and looked at his feet.

A’van put his hand under the boy’s chin and raised his head. Looking at the boy in the eyes he said, “Of course I don’t mind.” He sat down on the boys bed and pulled him down beside him. He placed his arm around D’nel’s shoulders and hugged the lithe body to him.

“Of course I don’t mind,” he repeated. “D’nel, there’s nothing I would like more....” He hesitated.

“But?” asked D’nel.

“Well,” A’van hesitated again. “I think we should not be too precipitate.”

“What does that mean?” D’nel looked a little put out.

“Nothing much, really, but I think you are not ready to be too friendly with me yet.”

“Why?” D’nel’s lower lip started to tremble.

“I think you have more exploring to do with Oran yet, don’t you?”

The boy smiled shyly at him.

“Well, he is your best friend, isn’t he?” the brown rider asked the boy.

“Oh, yes. He is, he is!”

“Perhaps more than just a best friend?”

“Yes! Well, at least, I think so.” D’nel thought for a moment. “Yes he is. He was upset that we couldn’t get together often.” D’nel thought for another moment. “Actually, I think he may be a little jealous of you.”

“Now why, young D’nel, would that be?” The brown rider chuckled.

“Um. You know!”

“I do?”

“Well, yes of course you do. You’re with me most of the time.” D’nel laughed at A’van.

“And of course I do know,”A’van laughed back. “But he doesn’t need to be jealous of me. No matter what happens to us there is nothing that can get in the way of your friendship.”

“But that’s just the trouble, A’van. He knows that you and I will probably get closer – maybe even lovers – while he cannot be much more than just a close friend.” D’nel gave a muffled sob and buried his head into the dragon rider’s jacket.

A’van hugged the boy more tightly and then, more-or-less thinking aloud said quietly, “Then we must show him how much he means to both of us, mustn’t we?”

D’nel nodded against the jacket and said quietly, “I do love you, ... and him.” ........................................

“DANIEL! Wake up!”

Daniel’s eyes snapped open. Will was standing over him, looking exasperated. “Where were you just then?”

“I... I was dreaming again, Will.” Daniel thought, trying to focus on Will. “I was on Pern again.”

“Wow! In just those few moments?” Will looked astounded.

“Few moments? I must have been out for hours.” Daniel looked confused.

“Hours? I was only gone five minutes!”

“Five minutes? But I spent hours talking to A’van about Oran.....” Daniel sighed, and lay back on his bed.

Will looked down at him, and then noticed how Daniel was pushing out the front of his shorts. He gave a laugh and sat down on the bed beside Daniel. Putting his hand over Daniel’s groin and pushing gently he said, “Must have been some conversation, you’re as hard as a post!”

Daniel giggled. “Did you call your mum?”



“I can stay tonight, and possibly tomorrow night as well.” Will grinned widely at the still stunned and sleepy Daniel.

“That’s great.’ Daniel smiled gently at the dark haired boy sitting beside him. He sat up and hugged Will into him. “I really want to get to know you better Will. We’re going to have a great night!”

Copyright © 2004 ilb3000