Who Inri, Kouzevelth
What Glowing after three and a half turns.
When Winter, 2714
Where Kouzevelth's Ledge/Inri's Weyr

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Steeped in Tradition Weyr (Inri's), Kouzevelth's Ledge

It felt like she was drowning in her own mind, and for a minute Inri was jealous of everyone who experienced a better proddy experience. Nyalle always seemed happy, and even if Jajen was obnoxiously oversexed, she wasn't — she wasn't this.

Kouzevelth's unpredictable schedule, combined with Inri's own long depression having made it worse, that … was the cherry on top of the sundae of difficulty. It couldn't be very well predicted, though dragonhealers had promised that she would rise again. Part of Inri was disappointed by that, even if Kouzevelth rallied against that disappointment. They had a strong Senior in Kayeth, what did Kouzevelth need to rise again for? But she would rise again once Inri herself was stronger, even if it was impossible to say when.

When was clearly now, or at least very soon. How long these periods lasted was also a good question, but the way the tension was building it couldn't possibly be much longer. Good. She just wanted it to end. She was practically drowning herself in the bath as it was. Holding her head underwater to stave off the headache. Taking deep breaths and balling her fists and trying not to break skin with well-manicured nails.

Everyone and everything was too loud and she hated it and wanted it to go away. Once the overwhelmed sensation faded, Kouzevelth's relaxed proddy tendencies would take over and she'd whisk Inri off somewhere warm where she could sit and knit and read and Kouzevelth could sun and just ignore everyone and everything, perhaps occasionally drifting some of her rain and chirping mental avian life into some male Fortian dragon's head, luring him into impressing her. Or some other male dragon that ended up near where they were; somehow she'd find someone, but she would be placid, as always. Her glowing made her as relaxed and easygoing as Inri presently was not.

« We can go any time. You can stop putting your head under water. »

It feels better that way.

« Then put it under some better water. Outside water. We can go visit Ujinath. »

Ujinath is not going to chase you.

« Obviously. I like Ujinath, you like Emerald Isle. You like some of its bronzeriders, too. »

Strangely enough, J'en didn't sound like bad company then either. Like Th'ero, he was mercurial enough they could have just sat side by side and not talked and been perfectly comfortable that way, but she still had the potential to be ruder and sharper than she'd like. Provided Kouzevelth didn't harass Leketh, Inri would have tolerated if they ran into each other … if she had to spend time with a bronzerider. And better Kouzevelth bug Leketh than Zekath; that was a landmine Inri didn't want to step in a second time. Thank Faranth K'vir's dragon hadn't caught.

A private beach would be better.

« Easy enough to find. »

I can't breathe.

« You can. »

I need the space.

« We will find it. Bring your things. »

Inri dragged herself out of the bath, but not out of the oppressively muggy, humid, crashing mental rainforest — but why, why would she want to leave it behind? — in order to gather her knitting and find something to wear, wrap a sizeable coat around it so the chill of her ledge and the chill of between didn't —


Her body was running so hot that a summerweight dress in Fort's cold air was just what she needed.

If anyone saw her mounting up, they might have thought she was crazy — but her closest ledge-neighbors were Nyalle and Mr'az, and they knew what was going on with her, and certainly weren't about to think she was nuts. They at least understood just fine. Nyalle would let her go without question; she got her duties done and then some, pushed at the deadlines until proddiness took her from her capability to do her job.

Let's just be quiet, she repeated, in case Kouzevelth got any ideas. They could talk a little, but when proddy, her dragon's matchmaking tendencies got even worse, and Inri still wasn't having any of that. D'ani's actions had caused far more of a breakdown in her mind than she was ever willing to admit to. She had a child she hadn't properly bonded with; a child who had just turned six, a child whose turnday she was barely able to attend to before Kouzevelth's cycles began to smother her mind. She had been broken and miserable and that had morphed into a true, organic depression like her father had been stricken with when Inyri was a child. It had scared her, and she was sure that her hiding herself in work for a time and being less gregarious had scared others. But she was such a social person much of it had remained hidden from anyone but Kouzevelth (and a couple others, including A'ster, who felt more like family and extensions of herself than anything else, who had known her long enough to read her).

Kouzevelth's response wasn't in words, but in the babbling brooks that wafted over the riverstones of her rainforest.

She took off, leaving the retinal afterburn of shimmering orange-gold glow in her wake.

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