Walking Alone (Vignette)

Soriana doesn't meet anyone on her way from the tavern carrying a box of leftover dinner.

Good.

She escapes the clearing without incident, and heads down the path to her weyr. There she meets someone - Luraoth, waiting by the door of her barn. Soriana reaches out, touching her dragon's muzzle with one hand… then shakes her head. Not yet, though the touch of her dragon is calming. A little of the tension carried in jaw and shoulders eases.

Luraoth follows her to the cottage, waiting outside as Soriana sets the box of leftovers on the counter. She reaches into a cabinet, taking out a tea-kettle… and she gets as far as filling it before she shakes her head abruptly. She leaves it on the counter as she leaves her cottage once more.

She goes down to the shore, walking through farmland gone wild until she comes to a place between two dunes, sheltered and hidden.

…not that it's all that possible to be hidden, when a gold dragon comes to stretch nearby.

Soriana sits on the sand and wraps her arms around her bent knees, looking out over the water.

It's a peaceful sort of backdrop, and Soriana frowns, because the still waters make an empty stage for her thoughts to play against.

You really have nothing to worry about.

A soft bed. Good meals. She should be grateful. There are people who'd give their own right arms for a chance like this. Starving holdless children.

You're exactly how you hope to be seen.

Trusted. Respected. When she speaks, people will listen. Those she's never even met will have opinions about her. People will call her ma'am. They already do, if she doesn't stop them.

Thea'll be proud.

Perhaps she will. The story of tonight might reach her ears. The bartender was there; so were kitchenworkers. Rumors fly… or if not tonight, another time. If there… no. When there's another time.

"Fine." Soriana speaks it to the growing darkness, though it's Luraoth who lifts her head, listening. Her rider's confidant, tonight.

Perhaps her only confidant. It seems that's a part of this; Soriana's words are listened to and remembered… so she must guard them. People respect her… so she has to earn that respect. They trust her… and how can she abandon that trust?

There's always a choice. Always. She still believes that. She has a choice now. She's had a choice, these past months, but it's one that she's been evading, stepping by instead of facing it. She's been doing what she must; what she's supposed to do.

She's been seeking approval, wanting to make people proud of her. She wants to make them happy.

Only, she can't make everyone happy. She couldn't tonight, and she knows that's not going to change. She has to choose who to favor; who to make happy and who to upset. She can try to get them all, and perhaps sometimes she'll be able to do that, but sometimes… she won't. Sometimes people will be unhappy, and sometimes, so will she. Sometimes, even though she's done what she thinks is right, nobody will be happy. Not even her.

It's time for Soriana to make her choice. She stares out at the lake, and lowers her chin to rest against her knees. Her voice is soft, the words of her decision said only for herself and her dragon.

"I'll be a Weyrwoman."


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