What Just Happened? (Cremsden/Margana) #medhunt #passionberries

Laura Walker

Margana woke, cold. And damp. She tried to pull a blanket over her, but the blanket was awfully short.  At least her side was warm. And her feet.

Opening her eyes, she was amazed at how close the ceiling was.  The wooden ceiling. Wait. This was a table. What was she doing under a table, of all things.

Shifting, something dug in her back. She sat up and succeeded in hitting her head on the table.  “Ow,” she groaned. Her foot-warmer moved, and she realized it was Celestia. And Cremsden was next to her.

And she was naked.  What kind of Threadfall-induced nightmare was this?

Noting that the blanket she was trying to use was actually her trousers, she rolled out from under the table and got up to put them on.  Her shirt was hanging over a branch, and Cremsden’s clothing was also scattered around.

There were other people in the same state she was, so she didn’t feel so bad.  But what on Pern happened?

Cremsden had been in a deeper sleep, dead to the world despite their sleeping location. He stirred only when the warm bundle that had been snuggled into him suddenly.. wasn’t and sat up blearily, rubbing his eyes.

And despite the uncomfortable and somewhat chilly sleeping position he woke up happy. Sated. Feeling like he’d just had the best night he’d had in a long time and he wasn’t quite ready to let go of that contented pleased-with-himself feeling. He stretched and smiled at Margana, brain not quite catching up with the whole naked-outside-and-in-public thing just yet. Brain felt foggy. Odd that, but probably too much to drink again.

“Getting up already?” he said, apparently not yet conscious that retrieving clothes off trees might be an odd thing to do.

Margana looked at him, all rumpled and cute, and smiled.  “Yeah, though I wouldn’t mind an encore of last night.”

It wasn’t that she had no memory of the previous night, but so much of it seemed like a dream. Especially since she was still experiencing some residual sexy thoughts.  It kind of amazed her, though. Even during goldflights she never lost her mind like this.

And Cremsden’s reaction to goldflights had always been somewhat muted, which made it doubly surprising. He yawned, clearly not quite awake yet, and held his arms out to her hopefully. “‘S cold over here without you.”

A noise from somewhere else in the camp distracted her. Standing up, she saw other people in various states of undress, looking dazed and confused.  She could tell the riders from the Crafters and Holders: riders weren’t quite as concerned with modesty as Holders were. Crafters fell in between.

Cremsden was a Healer, so she didn’t think he would be quite as concerned, but she’d actually never had the opportunity to figure out where on the modesty scale he landed.  

“You sure?” she said. “I’m thinking that underneath a table isn’t the most opportune place to snuggle.”

“Huh.” His forehead wrinkled and he processed that for a moment. “Why’re we underneath a table?” He reached up to pat the underside, as though to check it was really there, still feeling half as though he were dreaming and none of this could be real.

By now Margana had time to process that something had happened. Something sexy and intense.

“I’m not sure, to be honest,” she admitted.  “It felt almost like a gold flight, but the only golds we have down here are Razelth and Foreth.  And Razelth rose several Sevendays ago.”

{{It wasn’t a flight,}} Zlorenth said.

[[Then what was it?]]

{{I don’t know.}}

“And Zlorenth says it wasn’t a flight.  Whatever it was, it affected more than us.”  She waved her arm vaguely at the rest of the camp.

Cremsden was yawning still, and that really should have worried him more than it did. “So we have to get up then?” he said, as though that was the most important thing.

“It would be best.  Unless you want half the Weyr to see you naked under a table.”  She grinned as she finished retrieving their clothing. At least, she hoped it was theirs.

She was still softly fuzzed, but something was tickling her brain, something else that happened last night.  She shrugged, it couldn’t be all that important.

Right now that felt funny rather than mortifying and Cremsden grinned back as he grabbed his shirt. His fingers didn’t seem to be feeling cooperative this morning but he managed at least most of the buttons even if not quite in the right order. Everything was looking somewhat crumpled and grubby but when you came right down to it no one ever actually died of crumpled, did they?

“Pretty sure I started off wearing pants last night,” he commented, glancing around.

Margana looked at the ones she was wearing. They had seemed to fit a little different.  “I’m wearing them,” she said, and proceeded to take them off and hand them to him, as if they were home in their weyr.  

“I don’t know...oh, there they are.”  Another bush was proudly wearing them. Relieving the bush of its burden, she donned her pants.  

Margana was kind of amused by Cremsden; he wasn’t acting normal.  Well, there were other Healers around, if this kept up she could have one of them take a look at him.

“I wonder if anyone’s made breakfast yet.”  For some reason, she was starving.

Cremsden was still smiling as he took them, still smiling as he pulled them on, still smiling as he reached to pull her closer and kiss her. Apparently whatever had afflicted them last night still hadn’t entirely worn off, but he seemed happy enough about it -- and not altogether in a hurry to go look for his trousers.

“In a big hurry to go eat?”

Margana stared.  OK. Something was wrong. She gave him a quick peck on the lips, then wriggled away.

“Who are you, and what have you done with Cremsden?” she asked, stepping back a little further   “This is not like you. Stop and think a moment.” He wasn’t like this when he was drunk. She didn’t know what he was like on quickwort, but she thought that it made him concentrate more, not be all lovey-dovey.

“What, exactly, were you working on yesterday?” she asked.  During this time she was scanning around the site to see if someone had some biscuits. Or klah. Or both. But no help coming from that area. Where were random weyrbrats when you needed them?

“Checking on apprentices, making sure no-one poured nice clean numbweed in a dirty pot, all the interesting things you do on a field trip.” Cremsden shrugged, stifling a yawn. “It’s fine. I’m fine. Even for Healers, happy is not usually a diagnosable symptom.” He grinned at her. “We’re getting married, I am allowed to be a little more cuddly than usual.”

“True...wait, what?” Margana thought back to their conversation the night before, then looked at Cremsden. He was grinning like a fool, but was that just the slightest bit of anxiety in his mind at her reaction?  No, she couldn’t do that.

“So the only thing I needed to do to get you more cuddly was to promise to marry you?” she said in what she hoped was a teasing voice. “So why didn’t you ask me sooner?” Hoo boy. Now she’d gone and done it. Though, how bad was it, actually? They were already weyrmates. He knew she was a rider. She wasn’t interested in having a relationship with anyone else. And it made him happy.  The only reason she didn’t want to get married was big and blue and sitting on a hopefully no-longer-active volcano rim.

“In case you said no.” Well, that was straight-forward and honest enough at least. Take away the anxiety and there was no reason left not to tell her the truth, and right now the anxiety seemed to have turned itself off. Cremsden located his trousers finally and started pulling them on - a task that seemed to need more coordination than usual today. “I got you a ring at home,” he added. “Didn’t think to bring it.” Well, he hadn’t exactly anticipated this, had he?

“Really?  How long have you been wanting to ask me?” Granted, she already knew about the ring, so it was hard to get excited. Luckily she never got excited about any kind of jewelry.  Yet, now that she had said yes, she wanted the ring. “I can’t wait to wear it,” she said with heartfelt honesty.

She went to put on her boots, but they didn’t fit.  They weren’t hers. But they weren’t Cremsden’s, either.  She put them on the table and searched until she found hers.  “How much longer are we going to be down here?” she asked, grinning.

“Eh. Probably longer than I should’ve.” Cremsden wasn’t blushing today but he did pause and rub at the back of his neck a moment; the gesture as much habit as true nervousness. “Kept talking myself into it and talking myself out of it again. Wasn’t sure how you would take it.”

Margana nodded. She really wasn’t a huge believer in marriage--Turns of being a dragonrider had robbed her of that dream.  But this was important to him. “I think my biggest concern is my, well, craft,” she said, emboldened by his candid behaviour. “I don’t want you to ever think I don’t love you, even if Zlorenth wins a flight. Though, generally, the riders are mostly female any more.”  By design. She wouldn’t be as prone to want a continuing sexual relationship with a girl.

“I guess I always felt that the marriage avenue was closed to me.”

“It’s never been the flights that bothered me,” Cremsden said, his brain still fuzzy enough to be absent-mindedly honest as he pulled on his own boots. Laces felt beyond him at that point and best ignored. “Did you say you saw someone organising breakfast?” Because that sounded good, good enough for him to sniff the air thoughtfully before wandering towards what smelled like food.

“It’s never been...what?” Margana stared after Cremsden as he walked away.  What bothered him? Her link with Zlorenth? Her Threadfighting? What?

What just happened? She ran after Cremsden, questions flying through her head.


Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.