Ay'shen could not stop the tears from welling up in his eyes, so he let them fall silently with some sad, strange smile tugging at his lips. Ambrelli understood. She really understood. She believed in all of the good and noble things he once believed in when the Resistance lured him in.
"They didn't tell me, either," he said. "About the Massacre. I found out the same way I learned the secrets I passed on to them. Ohselth heard it. They knew I would try to save..." Ay'shen's voice caught in his throat.
"To save the ones I knew were good. I tried to... But I only had so much time." And I didn't dare stay long enough for them to catch me.
"You know, Igen was my first home. Not the weyr, but..." Ay'shen wiped away his tears. "It's funny that you fled there while I came here to your home. Ohselth took his coordinates from the ones I warned, so... this is where I ended up. I think in my heart, I thought they would forgive me here. This is the place the Fort riders – the bad ones – always held up as the example of danger... So I thought... If they thought this place was dangerous, it would be safe for me."
"And, to be fair, they didn't stake me out for Thread. But... I didn't stay and fight like you did. I ran away that night. I'm no hero. I don't think I have a home any more."
"I stayed even after the Hall ransomed the other Healers back. There were still dragons, still a need for them to be healed. At that point, I think I stayed because I was more scared of leaving then of staying. Eventually, some of the riders I still respected left for Igen and I went with them. The Hall asked a lot of questions, and I lost Turns off my rank. But they couldn't prove I'd done anything really other than stay and heal dragons. And there were people who spoke up for me, whose dragons were alive because I was there. That counted for something I think." There was a weak smile, as if the last sentence was to reassure herself and not him. "I stayed there for some Turns, stayed around the only people I knew anymore. Until eventually I ran out of excuses."
She looked up at him again. "And I finally came home."