Don't Let Me Run



Date: Immediately following Hide 'n Seek
Location: Eastern Weyr - various tunnels
Synopsis: Ahnika works hard to begin to recover from a broken heart
Rating: PG
Writer: Ahnika

Ahnika’s flight from the Beast Cavern did not stop at the end of the tunnel. Once the tears began in earnest, she found it impossible to get them to stop. The tightness in her chest churned, burned, and stabbed over and over, and so her long legs carried her over and over. She stumbled through tunnels, some familiar and some not, some old and some freshly carved out of the rock and not yet set up with glowbaskets. She raced passed faces, some familiar and some not, trying to keep her face averted, her shame and her distress hidden as much as possible. But through all this, she kept going. She kept going.

When her legs were about to give out on her, and her chest burned with not just the heartache but the exercise, Ahnika finally slowed to a stop, pressing her back to the tunnel wall, she slid down it, ignoring the sharp and jagged edges digging in as she settled on the dirty tunnel floor. Her legs trembled, but she drew them up to her chest, wrapping her arms around them and pressing her tear-streaked face against her knees. Her shoulders shook with the rest of her quiet tears until she had no more in her to shed, grateful at least for the late hour of her heartbreak if nothing else, and allowed a little bit of privacy. Funny how she never really enjoyed the thought of being alone until now.

Tilting her head a little to rest more comfortably on her knees, Ahnika exhaled a shuddering breath, closing her eyes to the memory of those kisses, his lips, his hands, his warmth, his strength, trying to commit it there permanently, resigning herself to the fact that she will likely never have them again. “It’s for the best,” she said aloud to herself, not really believing it, her voice echoing eerily in the tunnel’s stillness. Sniffling, and still feeling miserable and sorry for herself, despite her efforts, she finally lifted her head and looked around, suddenly realizing that she was on the shadow’s edge of a darkened and likely unfinished tunnel. Echoes of skittering down the darkened tunnel pricked the short, soft hairs on the back of her neck. Hunched over as she was, her fingers brushed the Candidate knot, and she shook herself a little, fingering the knot as if needing it for comfort as she shakily got to her feet, silently vowing to herself that a dragon would be the only one she’d let in, or trust, ever again. Whether or not she sticks to that vow, is anyone’s guess, including her own, but for the moment in her hurt the conviction is there. The skittering of dislodging rocks sounded again, seeming to get closer, and Ahnika shook some of the tension out of her legs.

“Nothing can be accomplished here,” said aloud with a sigh and Ahni realized she wasn’t sure she meant this tunnel, or this whole weyr now, but the thought escaped further consideration as she suddenly craved something sweet and extremely, extremely fattening. Sighing again, she made her way down the tunnel back the way she came, following the dim glowlight from the more finished section to try and make her way out. As twisted around as she ran, it was a good hour before she finally got to the kitchen, finding some freshly baked sweetcakes and the overnight Baker to share them and her woes with, at least vaguely, unwilling to name names or give many details for fear gossip will bring fists and elbows to Max’s doorstep yet again. For all the hurt she felt, and all the hope of being able to leave him a memory, she still could not bring herself to seek retribution or even be mad at him, really. Why? Ahnika set aside that question, terrified of what the answer just might be.

Closing Credits Theme Music: Mara “Don’t Let Me Run”

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