This story is fictional and may contain descriptions of gay sexuality or acts (b/b and M/b). If this is not to your taste or is illegal where you are situated you should not continue.Some characterisations are based on the ideas and themes of the Pern series of Anne McCaffery. No infringement of her copyrights are intended and no references are made to any of her characters or plots.
HERE BE DRAGONS
Daniel tossed and turned that night, sleeping fitfully, alternately waking in a cold sweat, clearly concerned about the events of the previous day, and worried about disturbing Will who appeared to be sleeping soundly. At least, that is what he thought: he could not detect any cohesive thoughts in Will’s mind. Turning himself yet again, and trying to untangle his feet from the sheets, striving not to disturb Will he settled himself and tried to drift back to sleep. Slowly his breathing deepened and at last he drifted into a troubled sleep.................
D’nel struggled to wake himself up: he was tossing and turning and breaking out into a cold sweat. Vaguely he could feel his dragon trying to nudge him into wakefulness but struggle as he would he could not seem to break out of the nightmare that had him in its thrall.
Wake up! He felt, rather than heard Farth say to him in his mind.
Can’t! He grumbled in his sleep.
D’nel! A more urgent “voice”. Wake up!
D’nel felt something – no someone – shaking his shoulder, and felt lips brush his hair and ear.
“What?” he tried to gasp. What? With more success mentally. His eyelids struggled to part themselves, and he found himself looking up at A’van, who had a very worried expression on his face.
“D’nel, you were shouting out in your sleep!” Did you have a nightmare? A’van used both levels simultaneously.
“Umph! Yes... let me be!” D’nel cried, distressed.
A’van leant down and scooped the boy into his arms. Hugging him tightly, he hummed soothingly, softly stroking his back until D’nel stopped shaking and calmed down.
Do you want to talk about it? he asked, looking into the boy’s sleepy eyes.
Um.... yes, I think so. It was horrible.
“What was it D’nel? It must have been bad. Farth and Moranth woke me. I think Farth may have called to Oran as well!”
Both A’van and D’nel started as they heard a gasp from outside the curtain which covered the door into D’nel’s room. Springing like a fire lizard, A’van reached the doorway in one bound, and jerking the curtain aside, grabbed the arm of a young rider who was crouching and obviously listening to what was going on inside the room.
“S’ven! What are you doing?”
“A’van, I didn’t mean to listen, but I heard D’nel cry out and I thought he might need help,” the boy said, cringing back from A’van.
“And what did you hear?” A’van looked a little menacing as he asked it.
“Nuh....nothing,” the boy stuttered.
“Uh ... well... I heard you say that Farth... called Oran.” The boy stopped talking, and then, as amazement shifted across his face, asked, “Can Oran really talk to Farth? Can your dragons talk to both of you?” A strange expression flitted over his face.
“And I suppose you are going to broadcast that all over the Weyr?”
“No! I wouldn’t do that!”
“Yeah! Right!” D’nel and A’van said simultaneously. S’ven was well known as a gossip among the weyrlings of D’nel’s group. This could be a problem. D’nel looked at S’ven.
“You’re not going to tell anyone about this, are you S’ven?” he pleaded with the boy.
“Course not, D’nel,” the young rider replied, giving both D’nel and A’van a weak grin. “How long have you been able to contact Oran like this?”
“Ah! That would be telling wouldn’t it?” A’van asked him.
S’ven looked askance at him.
“You and D’nel – you’ve got something going, haven’t you?” He smiled slyly at the two. “Yeah! You have. I bet you’re going to have Moranth fly Farth.” He grinned at them, a more friendly smile. “You are really great friends aren’t you. Others feel a bit jealous, but I reckon its only fair that D’nel gets something nice. After he was attacked by that clown.”
S’ven backed away from A’van, towards the door. He gave them a jaunty smile and winked as he disappeared.
“Shards,” A’van swore. “It will be all over the Weyr by midday. Best make the best of it D’nel.” He leaned forward and hugged the boy to him. D’nel sighed and reached up to kiss the adult rider on his lips.
Enough, they heard Moranth say to them. Farth is back with Oran.
They both heard a joyful shout in their heads.
I’m here. D’nel, A’van. Farth came and got me again. You ought to see how Harper Hall erupts when a dragon turns up and demands I accompany her.
As they headed towards the door they heard a laugh and boots pounding up the stairs to D’nel’s level. They both laughed as Oran burst into sight.
Keep your noise down Oran, A’van cautioned. Others are still asleep you know!
I know A’van. It’s just so exciting and thrilling – you know! An exhilirated Oran said to them both.
“Oran, come on in here,” D’nel said quietly. “We have a problem.”
Oran looked at him keenly.
“What?” he asked. “What sort of problem?”
A’van looked at D’nel. D’nel spoke first.
“It’s S’ven,” he said.
“Who is he?” Oran asked, looking at D’nel quizzically.
“S’ven is a young blue rider – he impressed when I found Farth. He knows about Farth and Moranth talking to all of us, and that Farth fetches you when she thinks it necessary.”
“So? What’s the problem?”
“Oh, Oran,” A’van interrupted. “He’s a notorious gossip, and I think he fancies D’nel – blue riders often take up with greens, you know?”
“I didn’t – but D’nel, you wouldn’t want to ‘take up’ with him?” he asked, emphasising the ‘take up.’
No! No way! D’nel thought to them, emphatically. You are the only two I want to ‘take up’ with. The other two could see the inverted commas around ‘take up’ in their minds. D’nel flashed a thought to them and they both felt a tweak and a sudden pressure on their groins.
Cut that out, D’nel, A’van snapped at him. D’nel giggled and Oran felt a sudden rush of blood. I mean it, boys. We have a possible problem on our hands. The Weyr leaders won’t care about how we feel about each other, but they might worry that Farth and Moranth talk to you Oran. And they are going to be somewhat perplexed about how we can talk to each other, as dragons can talk to each other and to their riders.
“Yes that’ll throw them, won’t it?” D’nel giggled again. Oran looked at him, and then A’van.
I think it might be wise for us to get the help of the Master Harper, he looked at A’van, who nodded.
That’s a good idea Oran. I think you’re right.
Why? Asked D’nel.
Oran looked at him and smiled.
Because, dummy, we need to protect ourselves.
What against? D’nel looked puzzled.
Because, A’van butted in, if we are not careful we will find we are being exploited – people will want to use our abilities – especially to communicate over long distances.
Is that a bad thing?
Think about it, A’van answered. Do you want to be at, say, some place on the Southern continent, Oran at Harper Hall, while I am here – just so they can use us for their messages?
Oh. The message suddenly clicked in D’nel’s mind. No I don’t want to be separated from either of you. It’s bad enough with Oran at Harper Hall.
No, said Oran. Being just a thought away is not enough. I want to be able to hold you, and cuddle with you.
So, Oran? Asked A’van, What do you propose – you being the brains of our outfit?
Easy, I think, the apprentice replied. If Farth will take me back to Harper Hall I will talk to Willamore and Aranton to see how we should handle it. He hesitated. Do you think Farth would carry all three of us back without you D’nel?
Of course I would, they heard D’nel’s dragon friend say.
Why shouldn’t I come too? Asked D’nel.
You are needed here, his dragon said.
That’s right, D’nel, A’van said. I rather think we are going to be fighting fires before Oran and Farth get back with the Harpers.
That’s right A’van, Moranth broke into the conversation. S’ven’s Pranth is already spreading the news!
I knew we couldn’t trust S’ven, D’nel exclaimed.
We both knew, A’van said.
“That’s not helping us,” Oran said. “We need to get moving.” He looked at A’van. “Do you wish to say anything to B’tal yet, or do you wish to wait until I get back with Willamore?”
“I think we’ll wait for you to return, Oran. I have a funny feeling B’tal is going to take some convincing!”
“Right, I’ll be on my way then.” Oran turned away but not without giving A’van and D’nel a quick kiss on their cheeks.
Come, Farth, he called to D’nel’s dragon. Are you ready?
Of course, the dragon replied in her fruity tones. We should hurry, Oran. It is best you catch the Master Harper before he breaks off for dinner.
Oran clattered down the stairs from D’nel’s level, taking little notice of his surroundings, and little account of the other residents of the Weyr who were trying to sleep. He ran out on to the sands in front of the Weyr, racing towards the green dragon, and, leaping onto the foreleg Farth held out for him, he scrambled up between her neck ridges. Without ceremony Farth leapt into the air, her wings beating strongly as she rapidly ascended. As soon as she reached sufficent altitude she uttered a brief warning to Oran and immediately went between, breaking out into late afternoon sun over Harper Hall.
As soon as she landed Oran scrambled off her and raced across the ground to the entry into the Hall, pounding up the steps two at a time. As he skidded in through the door a hand grasping his shoulder nearly pulled him over.
“Whoa, young Oran,” Aranton said, pulling on the shoulder he had grasped. “Why are you in such a hurry – and where were you taken off to on a strange dragon without a rider?”
“Master,” Oran gasped, “I need to talk to you and Master Willamore. It’s urgent!” He looked at his apprentice Master pleadingly.
“Well, then, we’d better do something about it, hadn’t we?” Aranton smiled at him. “But slow down – I’m quite a bit older than you, you know!”
“But it really is urgent,” Oran exclaimed. “We need to go back to Farth’s Weyr as fast as we can.”
“Farth? Is that the green dragon out in the yard?”
“Well, where is her rider?”
“He’s back at the Weyr, Master.”
“Alright, Oran, I’ll bite. How do you get to ride a dragon without her rider?”
“Master, it’s a long story. Can it wait until we see Master Willamore?”
“Alright. I guess you don’t really want to tell it twice. Come on then, let’s go.”
They hurried through the hall to the stairs, climbing them rapidly to the Master Harper’s rooms. Knocking briefly, Aranton led Oran into the rooms, calling as he did.
“Willamore, are you here?”
“In the library,” a deep voice called back.
“It’s Aranton, and I have young Oran who seems particularly anxious to impart something to us.”
“Oh, he’s back then, is he? From his jaunt on a green dragon without her rider? I’ll be most interested to discover how such a strange thing comes about.”
Oran gulped visibly and loudly. Aranton smiled at him and patted him gently on one shoulder.
Willamore came in through the door, out of the library, smiling at the Master and his apprentice.
“So, Oran, are you going to enlighten us as to these strange comings and goings?”
“Master, it’s a long story.”
“Well, why don’t you take your time over a cup of klah.”
“Master, I’m sorry, but we don’t have time for a leisurely explanation. I need to get you to Farth’s Weyr to sort out a problem.”
“Which involves you and who else?” the Master Harper guessed.
“D’nel, Farth’s rider, and A’van, rider of bronze Moranth.”
“I think you will need to tell us just a little more, Oran,” the Master Harper said.
“Yes, well, you are quite right. D’nel used to be a pal of mine in the Deep Caverns.”
“Ah, yes. Your father has spoken of him. A crippled boy if I recall.”
“Yes, well just a little,” Oran said. He continued, “A’van found D’nel on a Search and he impressed Farth. D’nel and I were really good friends and once he and Farth had learned to fly and go between they used to visit and we used to go off to wonderful places that D’nel and Farth had discovered.”
“Yes, I do recall that D’nel used to come for you on occasion,” Willamore said, glancing at Aranton who nodded in agreement. “Caused not a little jealousy among some of the apprentices.” He smiled at the boy.
“Well, D’nel and I discovered that we were perhaps a little more than just good friends,” Oran gave a shy smile at the two harpers who looked at him keenly.
“Farth is a green, isn’t she?” Aranton asked with a smile.
“Yes...” Oran said, a trifle nervously.
“Don’t worry about it lad,” Willamore said sympathetically. “Do continue.”
“Master it is a little more complicated than that, because D’nel also loves A’van, and A’van feels the same way. Moranth, A’van’s dragon says there is no doubt that he will fly Farth when the time comes.”
“How do you feel about that?” Aranton asked.
“Oh, its not a problem for me, Master. I love A’van too. But...” he hesitated.
“Yes?” both Masters asked simultaneously.
“Well, you see. We have discovered that D’nel, A’van and I can talk to each other just as the dragons do with their riders.”
“What!” Willamore looked at him, stunned.
“It’s true, Master,” Oran said with a wry smile on his face. “Furthermore, we can communicate – all of us – with the two dragons.”
“Oh dear!” the Master Harper exclaimed. “Please don’t tell me it is even more complicated than that!”
“I’m afraid it is Master. We have kept this secret – for obvious reasons – until today. D’nel had a bad dream while he was asleep. It was so bad that both A’van and I heard him call out. And Farth came to get me without any command from D’nel.”
“You can ‘hear’ him over all this distance?”
“Oh yes, Master.”
“I can see why you are worried,” Willamore mused. “So what else happened this evening?”
“While Farth was fetching me, D’nel and A’van were overhead by S’ven who is a Weyrling mate of D’nel. He is a blue rider and A’van thinks he would like his dragon to fly Farth.”
“A bit of old fashioned jealousy, eh?” Aranton asked.
“I guess. But anyway, he is a known gossip and Moranth said his dragon was already starting to tell the other dragons what S’ven has found out. A’van is worried about how the Weyr Leader will take the news that we can communicate with each other and that I can talk to their dragons. Personally, I am more worried about those who would wish to exploit our talents.”
“And you are quite right to be concerned Oran,” the Master Harper said, looking towards Aranton, “Don’t you think that’s right, Aranton?”
“I do, Willamore. Indeed I do. Congratulations Oran. I think your powers of deduction may well have justified your selection as my apprentice already. Well done lad.”
“So,” Oran continued, “We’d like you both to come with me to break the news to B’tal and Carmanda.” he looked at the two Masters. “Will you, please?”
Willamore looked at Aranton and nodded. Aranton smiled his gentle smile back at him.
“I don’t think we really have any option, do you Aranton?”
“Not really, Willamore.” Aranton hesitated, and then looking keenly at Oran, said, “In fact, I rather think this may well be a momentous discovery in the history of our rather bizarre planet.”
“Oran, how are we going to travel?” Willamore asked the boy,
“Oh, Master,” Oran smiled at his Masters. “We will all fly on Farth.”
“But without D’nel?” the Master Harper asked.
“Oh, yes! That’s why I think B’tal is going to be very disturbed, Master. You see, I can talk to Farth and she talks to me. And Moranth, for that matter.”
Master Harper, what Oran tells you is true. And Moranth and I as well as D’nel and A’van think it absolutely essential you and Aranton come with Oran and me. Both Harpers looked startled.
“Is that who I think it is?” Willamore asked Oran.
“Oh, yes, that was Farth. Master, you need to know that Dragons can talk to anyone if they wish to. However trying to talk to them is not quite so easy.” Oran grinned at his Masters.
“Well then, we had best make haste,” the Master Harper said. “Aranton you’d best get some flying gear and meet us in the yard with Farth.” He turned to a cupboard to get his flying clothes as Aranton hurried out of the room Oran watched as the Master Harper put on a Wherhide jacket and warm boots and then both of them walked out of the room and down the stairs.
“You know, lad?” Willamore said to the boy, “I rather think Aranton may well be right. I think that your discoveries may prove momentous.”
“I am worried, Master, that someone will want to use our abilities to communicate over long distances and separate the three of us permanently.” He hesitated, looking carefully at the Master Harper.
“What is it Oran?” the Harper asked gently.
“I don’t think any of us could stand that Master. And I don’t think the dragons would allow it either.”
We wouldn’t, said that firm voice in their minds. Once again Willamore looked startled.
“Can’t believe that,” he muttered.
Believe it, said Farth.
“Yes, Master. Believe it,” Oran reiterated. He got a faraway look on his face and all expression left it briefly. Then he smiled, looking at Willamore.
“What is it lad?”
“Oh, I’ve just told D’nel and A’van that we are just about to leave. They will be waiting on the sands outside the Weyr.”
“Oh my Lord!’ the Master Harper gasped.
At that moment Aranton came clumping up in his flying boots and the three climbed on Farth, Oran taking D’nel’s usual postion.
Take us home Farth, please, he asked the dragon.
Up, up and away! The dragon said with as close to a giggle as she could manage.
As Farth glided in to the sands outside the Weyr the three Harpers could see A’van and D’nel standing waiting for them. She landed and D’nel ran up and threw his arms about her neck.
Thank you, my heart. He looked up at Oran and grinned widely as his friend slid down off Farth’s neck.
“Oran, thank you for convincing your Masters.” He turned to the Harpers as they dismounted. “Welcome Masters. Thank you for coming so promptly.”
“Thank you, D’nel, for allowing Farth to bring us,” Willamore replied. Turning to the dragon he said, “Farth, my thanks to you for such a speedy trip, and for allowing us to ride you without your rider.”
It was my pleasure Master Harper, he heard in his mind.
A’van walked over to the party.
“Master Willamore, you and Aranton will not have had your dinner. We are just about to have our breakfast, so why not join us in the kitchens. We can talk about what we need to do.”
“Good thinking, A’van,” Willamore said, smiling at the older dragon rider. “Let’s do that.” He took the bronze rider by the arm, leading off towards the entrance to the Weyr. “However, I think I should warn you that Oran had given us a very succinct account of what has happened.”
“Oh, I know that Master,” A’van chuckled. When Willamore and Aranton looked at him curiously he continued, “One of the abilities we seem to have developed is to communicate on both levels simultaneously. While Oran was telling you about the situation he was repeating the conversation to D’nel, Farth, Moranth and to me.” He laughed out loud. “It’s kind of neat, isn’t it?”
Willamore shook his head, his long brown hair flying around his head like a dark halo, laughing quietly. “I guess, A’van, it is neat. Yes.” He looked at Aranton. “I wonder, though, how neat others will think it? How many will threatened by it?”
Aranton shrugged his slight shoulders, nodding.
“I think B’tal, for one, will view it with great trepidation, Master Willamore,” A’van said.
“Yes, well, we will see won’t we? Now about that breakfast....” Willamore nodded his head in the direction of the entrance to the Weyr. “And, A’van, I think you and D’nel are going to get to know us very well in the next little while. I think we can dispense with titles, don’t you think?”
“Thank you for that honour, Mast... I mean Willamore. Yes, thank you – for the support it means to us all,” A’van smiled shyly at the Harpers.
“That goes for me too, A’van, D’nel,” Aranton said. “But not for you Oran!” looking at his apprentice, who looked disappointed. “Oh, lad, don’t worry about it like that. You may most certainly address the Master Harper and I informally when we are alone, or with D’nel and A’van like this. But while in Harper Hall or where others may overhear you must adhere to the usual protocols. You’re smart enough to know when that will apply.”
Oran looked at his two Masters, both smiling kindly at him. “Oh yes, Master... Aranton... I understand only too clearly.” He looked at Willamore. “Ummm...”
“Yes you can Oran,” the Master Harper said with a smile.
“Uh.. Willamore, Aranton, you have no idea what this means to me,” Oran stuttered.
“I think we do, Oran, “Willamore said. “After all, we couldn’t allow D’nel to call us by our names without allowing you same the privilege – at least in private.” He looked at A’van. “Now! That food!!”
“Of course,” the bronze rider said. “Follow me!”
The three men and two boys walked towards the entrance while Farth took off to her weyr by D’nel’s quarters. Inside the entrance A’van guided the Harpers to the kitchens where the smell of fresh, hot klah pervaded an atmosphere already loaded with the aromas of fresh bread and cooking meats. Taking plates from a table he ushered them to serving dishes and invited them to serve themselves. With full plates and mugs they moved to one of the free tables and were settling in to enjoy their repast as B’tal and Carmanda entered the kitchen.
“Ho! Harper!” the Weyr Leader shouted. “Wondered how long it would take you to get here.”
B’tal looked at the Harpers, his large, bluff, body bristling with suppressed tension his green eyes gleaming brightly in his large face which showed signs of anger.
Willamore smiled his gentle smile at the Weyr Leaders. “It is good to see you B’tal and Carmanda. I trust Kanth and Sirenth are well,” referring to their dragons.
“Well, thank you Willamore,” Carmanda smiled at the Master Harper.
“I assume you are here because of the rumours that are rampant about the Weyr this morning?” B’tal continued.
“We’re here because D’nel and A’van asked us to come, B’tal. I know nothing of rumours,” Willamore grinned widely. “Can you enlighten us? Perhaps, however, we should go somewhere private?”
B’tal glowered at the Harper, expecting a trap, but nodded and led the party to his and Caramanda’s weyr. When they were all inside and the door closed, B’tal turned to Willamore who smiled sweetly at him.
“Harper, haven’t these three – including your apprentice – told you what is going on?” B’tal’s scowl deepened.
“I know that A’van, D’nel and Oran have a particularly strong friendship, B’tal.”
“You know they can all talk to Farth and Moranth? And that Oran has ridden Farth without D’nel?”
“Yes, I’ve heard that, and we have all ridden Farth without D’nel being present. Does it pose a problem?” Willamore smiled gently at the Weyr Leader.
“Hmph! Of course it poses a problem.”
“Can’t have ordinary folk riding dragons unaccompanied.” B’tal turned and glared at D’nel.
“Farth does that herself, B’tal,” D’nel broke in quickly. “I don’t order her to.”
“Should have more control over your dragon,” B’tal grumped.
“Calm, now, B’tal,” Carmanda interjected. “Doesn’t Kanth sometimes do things without your telling him to?”
“Not the same thing, Carmanda,” B’tal replied. “Not the same thing at all!”
“Of course it is! In fact aren’t there some things you have asked, or ordered Kanth to do that he has refused?”
“Hmph!” B’tal grunted.
Willamore looked from one Weyr Leader to the other.
“What really is the problem if the dragon decides that some particular action is required without reference to his or her rider?” The Harper looked puzzled.
“Well.....” B’tal started to say, but A’van interrupted him.
“Weyr Leader, Oran is the only one that Farth has fetched without orders from D’nel, and that in what seemed to be emergency situations.”
“What emergency situations?” B’tal demanded.
“The first time, B’tal, was when D’nel was attacked in his weyr. He tried to summon me, and Oran, but Farth beat us to it and before we knew what had happened, Oran was here,” A’van said.
“I remember that,” said Aranton. “It was in the middle of a class and Oran suddenly turned white, gasped, and then said that he had to go urgently. I thought he meant to relieve himself – I didn’t realise he meant he was leaving on a dragon.” He gave an amused laugh, grinning at the embarrassed Oran.
“I’m sorry, Master,” Oran grimaced through his embarrassment. “I didn’t stop to think. I just knew it was important and I couldn’t even wait to explain.” He hesitated. “I can’t even promise it won’t happen again. I am really sorry.”
Willamore chuckled. “Oran, I don’t think you should be too worried about it. If what we think has happened, running out of Aranton’s class without permission may be only a minor misdemeanour.” He turned back to B’tal who was still glaring at the three dragon riders.
“What was the other emergency?” B’tal grunted.
“Last night D’nel had a nightmare, B’tal,” A’van answered him.
“So? We all have those from time to time,” B’tal responded.
“Maybe so, Weyr Leader, but neither I, Farth, or Oran thought it was. It was pretty realistic to us. We thought he was in danger.”
“How do you know that? I assume Farth felt D’nel’s discomfort, then communicated it to Moranth who woke you. But how did Oran find out?” B’tal looked quite pleased with his reasoning.
“Not at all, B’tal. It doesn’t work like that.” A’van had a slight smile on his face.
“Well, A’van, perhaps you might like to enlighten all of us as to how it works,” Willamore broke in.
“The communication is between us, rather than our dragons. You see, B’tal, D’nel, Oran and I can communicate just like the dragons do. We can ‘hear’ each other in our minds.”
B’tal looked stunned. “That... That’s impossible,” he stuttered.
“Apparently not, B’tal, “Aranton said.
“Can you speak to the dragons too?” the Weyr Leader asked Oran.
“Yes,” Oran nodded. “Well, at least to Farth and Moranth,” he continued.
Carmanda looked at the young apprentice harper. “Seems like you may just cause a problem for us, young man,” she said.
“Why would that be, my dear?” Willamore asked her.
“As you well know, Willamore, you perhaps more than anyone else on this planet, there is a mystique about the relationships of dragon riders and their dragons. Knowledge that others than dragon riders could communicate with dragons could undermine that mystique.” She gave him a wry smile.
“It wouldn’t be the first time, Carmanda,” the Harper said.
“True, but not in this way. There are only a few recorded instances, and they were all girls. But this is even more peculiar, because Oran is able to communicate with dragon riders in the same way.”
“What you say is true, my dear.” Willamore turned to B’tal. “I think B’tal, that there are some aspects to this that we must think about very carefully.”
“You are right Harper. But what?” B’tal looked puzzled.
“Oran has already expressed concern that if their particular abilities become widely known others might want to use them for their own purposes. I think he might be right.” Willamore looked very serious and Aranton nodded in agreement.
“So Harper, what does that mean?” B’tal still looked puzzled. Carmanda looked at Willamore and shrugged her shoulders, rolling her eyes up. Willamore smiled at her.
“It means that we really need to keep knowledge of their abilities restricted to those who need to know. I think that would also solve your concerns, wouldn’t it Carmanda?”
“Yes it would Willamore,” the queen rider said.
“How many know the full story?” Willamore asked the dragon riders.
“I don’t think anyone except us know everything,” Carmanda replied. “S’ven spread a rumour that Farth could talk to Oran, and that D’nel, Oran and A’van had a ‘thing’ going. But he doesn’t know that they can ‘talk’ to each other that way.”
“Well, I guess that is just as well,” the Master Harper said. “Do you think that news of Farth talking to Oran will go any further than the Weyr?”
“I doubt it,” Carmanda answered. “Most dragon riders will understand that it can happen – actually, dragons can talk to anybody if they wish to. Those are really the only documented cases, Willamore.” She hesitated and then went on, “There is a case where dragons would talk to a predecessor of yours – but I think that is the only known case of dragons talking to another man. That Farth went for Oran without being sent by D’nel is not known, and can be covered quite well with a simple story, such as D’nel requested Farth to get Oran for him. There have been instances where dragons have carried someone without their riders being present.” She smiled at the group.
Willamore smiled back at her, and looking around, said, “Excellent my dear Carmanda. I think you have it covered nicely.” He looked at D’nel, A’van and Oran. “What about you fellows? Does that answer your reservations Oran?”
“Oh yes, Master. Most certainly!” Oran grinned at the Harper.
“That leaves one other problem to be resolved,” Aranton said.
“What problem Harper,” B’tal demanded.
“The relationship between D’nel, A’van and Oran.”
“Oh, you mean their sexual relationship?” B’tal laughed. “That’s not a problem for dragon riders, Harper. We have many greens and their riders are always male – and often prefer other males to females.” B’tal chuckled. The first dragon Kanth ever flew was a green. It was a pretty stormy relationship as I recall – but he was rather nice!” He smiled at Carmanda. “That was long before he flew Sirenth, of course.”
“But what about Oran. And what will non-Weyr folk think about it?” Aranton looked worried.
“That’s not a problem either, Aranton,” Carmanda interjected. “There have been plenty of cases of a green rider having a relationship with someone outside a Weyr. Green riders get very randy when their dragons are proddy. Don’t they D’nel,” she grinned at the boy.
“I wouldn’t know, Carmanda,” D’nel grinned back at her. “Farth hasn’t been proddy yet, although both she and Moranth tell us that it’s not far away.” He smiled at A’van. “I’m looking forward to it, and I want Oran to be present too. Is that possible?”
“With your communication abilities, I doubt we could prevent it,” Aranton said.
“Not that we would want to,” Willamore interrupted. “In the meantime, we need to keep these three as normal as possible, but I would like to put a few extras into their training – and that includes you too A’van.”
“Certainly, Willamore. Anything that I can do, I will. Especially for these two special guys.” A’van nodded at the two youngsters. ................................
Daniel groaned as he started to wake, a slight smile on his face as his subconscious recalled the joy on the faces of the dragon riders and apprentice harper. Beside him he felt Will turning and both boys felt each other’s thoughts as they struggled into wakefulness.
Daniel smiled at his mate. Morning Will.
Morning Daniel, Will replied and then, as he caught Daniel’s thoughts, his eyes widened. You had a dream, didn’t you?
Daniel looked into his friend’s eyes and projecting his thoughts watched as a startled expression flashed across Will’s face.
Wow! Will exclaimed silently. I hope that if we ever get outed it will be as easy as that Daniel.
“So do I Will. So do I,” Daniel breathed fervently. “But I am afraid it won’t be that simple.” He sighed. “And I think it will happen, and happen soon!”
“I hope not Daniel, but I guess you’re right.” Will sounded a little depressed.
“Hey! None of that!” Daniel reached down and tweaked the end of Will’s penis.
“Get your hand off my dick!” Will grunted in mock anger.
“Oh, would you rather I used my thoughts?” he asked, using a mental tweak on the appendage.
“I think I’d rather you used your hand,” Will giggled, snuggling closer to Daniel, using his own hand as he suggested, “Like this, eh?” He gave a not so gentle tug, quickly moving his groin backwards, out of the reach of Daniel’s questing hand.
A knock on their door interrupted their play.
“We’re awake,” Will called out.
“OK,” his father’s voice said. “Better get up and showered,” he called. “Separately might be a good idea, its getting late.”
“Ok, Dad,” Will called back. He looked at Daniel and said, “Me first, I think,” as he slid out of the bed. He leaned over and gently kissed Daniel on his lips, his tongue sliding gently over his boyfriend’s lips. Daniel smiled and groaned slightly as he reached up and hugged Will.
Will pulled away, reluctantly, and pausing to grab his underwear, wrapped his short robe around himself and bounded out through the door. Daniel slowly struggled out of bed, thinking about his dream. Funny, he thought, that these days he had no difficulty remembering every little detail of them.
That’s not surprising, he heard Will say in his mind, It’s probably some feature of our newfound abilities.
I guess you’re right Will, but it still seems strange that I can do it like that.
I do too, you know Daniel.
His thoughts receded as the necessities of his ablutions took precedence in his actions.
Later that morning, as Will and Daniel walked into school, they sensed something not quite right. Will looked at Daniel.
Did you feel that Daniel?
Yes! What? Do you think?
I don’t know. It’s a bit like a premonition of danger, don’t you think?
Could be, Will. Best be careful.
They walked up the steps to the main entrance of the school looking carefully around them, their minds alert, casting around, sensing, for anything that could be dangerous. For a while all they could sense were the thoughts of their fellow students, and then, suddenly they could sense a malevolent presence.
Shit, Williams! thought Daniel.
Oh, no! Not again, Will responded.
As they turned the corner into the next hall, Rick Williams suddenly pushed himself in front of them, forcing the press of students around them away, using his size and strength as a battering ram.
“Hey, you, bastards,” they heard him shout.
Looks like it’s us he is after, Will said to Daniel.
Shall we? Will? Daniel planted an idea in Will’s head.
Oh yes. I think so, Daniel.
Looking at Williams, Daniel straightened his shoulders, firmed his back and said,
“Oh, look, it’s little Ricky. Who you gonna fuck with this time, dickweed?”
“You’re gonna die, Green,” the fat bully grunted, pushing an unfortunate student violently out of the way in his haste to get to the boys, followed closely by his minions.
As Williams got close, Daniel started to exert some gentle pressure on the mind of the bully while Will concentrated in planting an idea into the follower who was hard onWilliam’s heels. Williams felt a slight dizziness as he leaned forward extending his hands to grab at Daniel. The pressure on his mind increased the dizziness and he shook his head trying to clear it. At the same time his forward momentum was stopped by a hand on his shoulder pulling him backwards.
“Don’t Rick,” the minion said.
The backward pull, coupled with the increasing dizziness Williams was experiencing, caused him to stagger back into the arms of his supporter.
“Why?” he grunted.
“Because those two fairies aren’t worth it,” the fellow bully said, struggling to hold the bulky figure of Williams upright.
“You call us fairies?” asked Will, grinning broadly. “Look at you two, cuddling each other!” he laughed, looking round at the student standing around them.
Several started to smile, and then taking Will’s cue, burst out laughing. Daniel joined them, easing the pressure he had placed on Williams.
“Get the fuck off me,” Williams snarled at his hapless companion. “Stop fucking hugging me, you idiot. You want them all to think we’re fucking queer?”
“Uh! No!” the poor supporter gasped. Opening his arms and stepping back, he let Williams crash to the floor. The laughter from the surrounding students increased. Daniel and Will started to slowly back away from the two and work their way through the throng.
“Help me up, you fucking moron,” they heard Williams cry, the laughter increasing from the crowd around them.
“Uh... n... n... no!” they heard the minion reply. “You help yourself. I’m no faggot to help you.”
“Fuck you!” Williams shouted. “You’ll fucking be sorry for that!”
At that moment a teacher showed up on the edge of the crowd.
“Williams! That will enough of that language,” he shouted. He looked around at the crowd. “OK, break up, the show’s over. I think you all have classes to go to.”
The students started to disperse, Will and Daniel leading the way. The teacher apprehended Williams and his crony as they, too, tried to walk away.
“I want a word with you two,” he said.
“Waffor?” Williams mumbled.
“About how this little gathering started, and what you were doing shouting foul language at the top of your voice.” He beckoned to them and started to walk away, the two thugs in tow.
Ha! Won that round Will. Daniel looked triumphant.
Yes, but it isn’t over yet, is it? Will looked a little worried.
No, its not over yet Will, but, well, look at the bright side. Your Dad will be pleased that we handled it without resorting to physical stuff.
That’s true, Daniel.
Will looked at Daniel and, looking to see if there was anyone in the vicinity, pulled him into an alcove and flung his arms around him, hugging him tightly.
“Daniel, I’m always so scared in those situations.”
“So am I Will. But we know how to handle them now.” He hugged his friend back in return.
“Ho!” a triumphant voice said. “So Williams was right!” It was another of Williams’ cronies grinning at them with an evil expression. “You two are fairies! Wait till I tell him....”
Copyright© 2004 ilb3000.
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