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A Little Nightcap

Writers: AL, Devin
Date Posted: 25th November 2008

Characters: Jerroll, Lerra
Description: Jerroll and Lerra have a bit to drink before bed.
Location: Elsewhere on Pern
Date: month 12, day 11 of Turn 4

Jerroll filled his glass halfway, considered the bottle for a moment, then filled it to the top. He took one long sip before there was a knock on his door. "Yeah?"

"Care for some company?" The voice called out, muffled through the wood. Lerra didn't wait for an answer but opened the door and strode inside, bottle of wine in her hand. "I see you started without me."

"And I plan to finish after you." He took a sip, the liquor burning pleasantly down his throat.

Lerra crossed over and plopped down into the chair, propping her feet upon the table. "Pour me one and then tell me what's going on."

He leaned to get a glass out of his cabinet. "One of yours or one of mine?"

"Mine." Lerra motioned to the bottle she had set upon the table. "Yours isn't fit for a wherry to drink."

"That's because it would _kill_ a wherry." He set a glass in front of her and opened the wine bottle.

Lerra snorted and watched as he poured her a glass, then took it when he offered it to her. "What's got to you?" She didn't really need to ask, it was painfully obvious.

"The woman with two names." He took another drink.

"You're getting soft." Lerra jabbed her cup in the direction of her First Mate, then took a long, slow swig. "Since when did you get attached to one woman?"

He chuckled. "Since the last time this happened. You're getting old, and forgetful," he teased. "Granted, it doesn't last long."

Lerra twisted the stem of her glass between her fingers. "Something tells me this one is different."

"Yes. She's not my type at all." And she'd made that very clear this evening.

"I see." No, she wasn't his type, not his usual type, but Lerra could see that there was something more with her than was usual. She downed her glass, then held it out for him to refill. "Guess you won't miss her then."

He poured more wine for her. "I tried to convince her to come with us."

"Why?" Lerra recovered her drink and cradled it in her hands, a frown marring her face.

"Because I'd miss her if she stayed behind." He stared at his glass.

"Didn't seem to miss the other girls." Lerra sipped more slowly at her second glass, eyes never leaving her first mate. "Next harbour, we'll stay ashore a couple of days and you can find someone else. I'm sure you'll forget her soon enough."

He grunted and took a drink. "I won't forget, but I'll get past it. And maybe she'll decide to come with us after all."

"Hm." Lerra's gaze narrowed, then flicked downward to stare into the garnet liquid that swayed with her movements. "She's no good for you, Jerroll." She said finally before taking another swig of wine.

From anyone else, he would have taken that as a challenge or an insult. But this was Lerra. "Why?"

"You said so yourself, she's not your type." Lerra leaned back in her chair, the front legs lifting off of the floor. "She's the kind of lady that needs someone steady, someone who isn't going to go looking at every other pretty face. Someone who's willing to make a commitment. She'll just tie you down."

He shrugged. "I can try."

Lerra's eyebrows shot up. "Did I hear you right?" Her first mate, the man who often paired with fair pieces of flesh at port, willing to try and settle down?

"Clean out your ears, old woman." He smirked, then his face fell. "Doesn't matter, though. She's probably staying behind."

"Staying where she belongs." Lerra mused, draping her arm over one knee. "She belongs there, you belong here. It wouldn't work and you know it."

He took a drink. "You're probably right."

"You're better off without her." Lerra cocked her head, regarding her first mate. After a moment, she let her feet slide from the table to to the floor with a thud. "I expect you to be fit for duty in the morning." She stood and stepped toward the door, pausing for a moment to place her hand upon his shoulder in a comforting gesture.

He lifted his glass. "I just have to be sober by sunrise." Jerroll gave her a half smile.

"Yes, you do." Lerra gave him a pat and crossed the room. She opened the door and while she paused a moment to look back to her friend and First Mate, she didn't say another word, but quietly left, closing the door behind her.

Jerroll finished his glass and poured another. Yes, he had to be sober by tomorrow. Edele might be there, waiting on the docks at sunrise. He didn't really think she would show up, though. If she'd really wanted to stay on the ship and take a chance with him, she would have made her decision tonight. He held on to a shred of hope, though. Maybe she needed time to look around at the home she didn't remember, at the life she didn't remember, before she turned back to the life she did.

At sunrise, either he would find her on the docks and they would take a chance on each other, or he would find the docks empty and he would move on, like he always did.

He held his glass up to the empty room. "Let the sunrise bring what it may."

Last updated on the November 26th 2008

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All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are © Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2013, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author. The Dragonriders of Pern© is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.