The Fuel of Past Regrets (SA Ambrelli)


OOC:  Set approximately and directly after Lines in the Sand


It was sometime later, perhaps half a candlemark, when Ambrelli managed to return to her own weyr from Ked’son’s, the remnants of the encounter still causing her cheeks to redden in some mixture of anger, hurt, and desire, the tumult of emotions impossible to disentangle and distinguish.  She’d walked back, Ilexeth still bothered at her outburst and staying by Thaath’s side.  It gave time for the emotions to cool down under that careful shrouded mask she maintained, even in the wee hours of the morning.  

Except that the moment she stepped through the door and across the threshold into her apartments, the shroud was discarded in disgust, her carefully maintained facade abandoned.  In its place now were emotions that threatened to overwhelm her, and she struggled for a moment.  She took a seat at her small table and poured herself water from the pitcher set there but did not raise the glass to her lips to drink. She looked up at the painting of her parents and her, the youthful jubilation on her face in stark contrast to the pained woman looking back upon it now.  

“Oh Papa, Mama, what am I to do?” she said suddenly, burying her face in her hands, her arms and head now on the table  “I’ve made such a mess of things…”  She had, hadn’t she?  Every move she’d made since their deaths had been fraught with peril, mistakes, and high costs.  Her naive decision to try to avenge her parents’ deaths through the Resistance had been a good outlet for her simmering ange, but she’d been a child playing with fire.  She’d never be able to shake what Fort had changed her into, what she’d changed herself into there.  She had left to seek justice, and what she had found was a living nightmare instead, so much worse than what could ever be described, and her actions had only made it worse, not better.  How could her parents’ death be honored in that?  How could they be anything but ashamed of her?  

She was haunted by those shadows of her past, the nightmare that had woken her not that long ago suddenly rolling back through her mind, the terrible images once again consuming her vision.  But now, her parents and Ranth joined in the procession of the dead, her father looking at her with disappointment in his eyes at this thing his beloved daughter had become.  Her mother held out her arms, but Ambrelli kept falling through them, lacking the substance of an embrace that would never come again.  Finally, her mother just faded into nothing, whisps of memory carried away in the strong breeze.  There too was the young ww Sirasri, her image shimmering between the gorgeous woman she’d been and the tangled and bloodied body she’d last been.  A range of others passed before her, until at last she came to Z’go, Cremsden, and Cuylar.  The three looked at her with suspicion and doubt, Cremsden with more than a little fear.  Z’go looked at her with such sadness on his face that tears sprang to her eyes, but her words of reassurance only seemed to anger him, until he spun on his heels, disappearing on the back of brown dragon that cried out with a keening that reminded her all too well of the dragons at Fort. She cried out after him, missing him, despite the chasm that was between them now, and there was a pang of deep loss so that it felt as if her heart might explode as she watched them disappear between.   

And last, last, was Ked’son.  No longer was he standing over her to protect her.  Now there was only the looming, only the anger that radiated off of him, all sense of compassion keenly absent in his demeanor.  She would find no comfort with him, no solace and safety in that embrace.  And this last hurt was the hardest, all the more so because of how vulnerable she felt with him, so that it broke her heart into a thousand pieces that burst into flames upon the floor. 

She turned to search for Ilexeth, but the green was not there.  Why would she be?  Ambrelli had lost everyone else?  Why should she not lose Ilexeth too?  A dragon who’d only sought her out because she had no choice if she wished to live.  She was not a dragonrider, not suitable for Impression, just the last and only hope of survival of a dying dragonet.  

She felt them then, the sobs that started to roll through her body, the tears that fell untempered from her face like a waterfall.  The despair that washed over her in waves.  Everyone she’d ever loved had rejected her, left her, deserted her.  Her parents had left her; ww Sirasri had left her; Z’go had left her; Ked’son had left her; and Ilexeth too.  All had abandoned her.  All had left her, this broken thing that no one could love.  And why wouldn’t they?  What reason had she given any of them to stay?  Down she went into the spiral, despair surrounding her as waves of self-pity washed over her.  The sobs that went through her body were the kind that rocked from head to toe, and her lungs felt as if they couldn’t fill with air.  She struggled to breathe, the sounds halted and sporadic as they came from her lips.

She didn’t even register the rush of wind or sound of wings or the movement from the wallows.  All outside sounds were too far away, and only the voice in her head that told her no one could ever love her seemed to be heard.  Until… ((Ambrelli.  Ambrelli, I am here, mine.  Come, come here)).  Somehow her feet carried her, still sobbing, snot making it harder to breathe, until she ran right into a dragonic head.  Ilexeth’s grey head connected with hers, as Ambrelli practically collapsed into her dragon, her arms wrapping around the head.

((Hush, hush.  There there.  I’m here now.  I will never abandon you.  Never.  Nothing shall part us, and no words could ever be harsh enough to break that bond.))  Ilexeth crooned softly.  ((I am yours, and you are mine, until our last breath.))  The green settled herself around Ambrelli, surrounding her, and covering her with unfurled wings, so that all she saw was the green’s grey hide, the lacing tendrils of green creating the illusion of being lost in a jungle on an overcast day.  ((Listen to me.  Listen to me, love.  I chose you.  I chose you, not because I had to.  I chose you because you are mine, always.  I would have found you if you were next to me when I Hatched or on the other side of Pern.  I waited so long for you, so long to tell you that you were mine.  I would have died without you, but not because I was weak, but because I would have been without you.  So do not doubt in me, doubt in us.  I am here.  I will always be here… I will never abandon you…)) the green crooned, repeating the last over and over again until the words echoed as loud in Hers as anywhere, until they’d driven out the darkness and replaced it with that never-ending love of a dragon.  Because she was Ilexeth, beloved of Ambrelli, who would never be abandoned again.