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Can This Marriage Be Saved

Writers: Eimi, Suzee
Date Posted: 20th July 2013

Characters: Porenne, Vestian
Description: Vestian prepares to leave for a trip, but has unfinished business with his wife...
Location: Harper Hall
Date: month 1, day 26 of Turn 7
Notes: Note: Follows the events of "Invasion of Privacy"

Vestian loved his studio. He loved the quiet. He loved the
peacefulness. He loved how it was his alone. His own special place
where his thoughts were free to flow, evolve, grow into amazing images
of lines and light. It was his haven, his home, his own little world.

But he had discovered over the last few days, hiding away from his wife
and the nasty words that had passed between them, that his own little
world was a pretty empty and lonely place.

He hadn't completely shut himself away since the day the maid had
entered his studio, ruining his faith in Porenne to safeguard his
private sanctuary. One did have to eat, and sleeping on a small couch
for one night was more than enough to make him long for his own bed.
But he passed through the cot like a shadow - silent, disconnected. The
only words that passed between he and his wife were the ones that were
necessary, no bright smiles, no warm greetings. The looks they did
trade where full of uncertainty and wariness, which drove him back into
his studio as soon as he could get away.

Vestian was growing sick of his studio.

He had hoped that by hiding out there, he could forget the argument that
had passed between them. While he still did not trust Porenne, he
found, surprisingly, that he missed her. They might not have the best
marriage on Pern, but he had always felt that she was on his side,
silently encouraging, quietly smoothing his way. Now they didn't even
have that. And it hurt deep down in a way.

Of course, he would leave his cot everyday for work. He was preparing
for a trip with his new young apprentice and needed to make the
necessary arrangements. It was a fantastic relief to step out into the
fresh air, clear of the smell of paint, void of tension. But, as he
trudge home, he began to dread walking over his threshold and instead of
returning to a smile and a "How was your day?", it was eyes to the
ground until he passed over into that sharding room once more.

Had his studio suddenly developed a hallow echo? Or was he just
imagining that? It was amazing how one could grow sick of the same four

Finally, the day arrived when he could be free for a while. At last, he
could escape his prison. He had a reason to talk and be talked to. As
he walked around their bedroom, Vestian actually relished the chance to
exchange words with Porenne, even if it didn't show.

"Where's my blue tunic? The one I wore to Master Grayvor's retirement
party? I'll need that. And the brown leather belt that goes well with

Her world had shrunk to caring for her children and going through the
motions of her day. She yearned for someone to talk to that wasn't
either a drudge or a child. Of course she'd spent some time on
educating the new maid to make sure she didn't cross Vestian's path
anytime in the near future. Then he'd returned from his self imposed
isolation and though things were frigid and awkward between them he'd
at least begun to talk to her again. She was still hurt but resolved
to at least meet him half way.

"Oh, that one is in the hall closet," she said as she turned to fetch
it. "Did you want the tan trousers as well?"

"Yes, please. And the white ones as well." He neatly folded another
work shirt and carefully laid it in the trunk. As with most things,
Vestian had a system for packing. It usually went quickly after so many
Turns of packing and unpacking for trips such as this, especially with
Porenne's help. For a moment his hands stilled after smoothing out the
cloth to prevent wrinkles. How long would this take him if she had not
been there to help him, he wondered.

"Here you go," she said as she brought the items back into the room.
"And I thought you might like the yellow shirt as well, you look so
good in it."

"Yes, that's good," he said, not catching the compliment as his mind was
going forward to the next thing he would need. "Do you have a list of
things the children might like me to bring them from Rock Slip Hold?"
Like always, when it came to the children, he relied solely on Porenne's

"I do," she said and turned to her small writing desk. She pulled a
slip of paper and brought it back to him. "Here you go. Lelldora would
really like a book about flits, she's becoming obsessed with them.
You'll be her hero if you come across one there."

"Flits. Right. I'll look," he nodded, taking the piece of paper and
skimming over the others. Porenne's name, as usual, was not on the
list. Vestian had always just brought her back something pretty, and
most likely useless. But she always seemed to say it was the most
beautiful thing she had ever seen. He never could be sure that she
really meant that. Though he always asked her what she wanted, her
answer would be predictably something along the lines of 'I know
whatever you bring me I'll love', so he would really gain no real useful
information. Still, he asked. "Is there anything you would like?"

She looked at him for a moment and thought about the question. She
usually just left it up to him and was happy if he got the children's
presents right but where he was going this time was special. "Isn't
that where they have the Senior Journeyman Smith who blows those
beautifully sculpted goblets? I would love another pair of those if
you can find him Vestian." She had a particular love for things that
sparkled. Gems, cut glass, they just made her a little happy inside.
There was one cut glass piece he'd brought her once that she had in a
window. It threw rainbows all over the room when the angle of the
light was right.

"Uh..." He wasn't sure who she was talking about. All the Holds became
a bit of a blur in his mind. He really only remembered Holds by the
works he had made for them. And sometimes the women he met. "I can
look. Can you write it down?" He handed the list back to her. The
last thing he wanted to do was forget, but that tended to happen when he
got involved in his work.

"Sure," she said and took the note back. Carefully writing in her best
hand so he wouldn't have to puzzle it out she tried to make it as
clear as possible. Clear stems with amber bowl wine glasses. "Here,"
she handed it back to him. Why don't you put it in your portfolio,
then you'll find it when you have need."

He nodded, taking it back and slipping it into the leather case. After
collecting his toiletries and putting everything into the trunk exactly
in it's allotted place, he snapped it closed and brushed off a piece of
dust that had flown onto his vest from the gust of air. "Could you
please find my wheyrhide jacket?" he asked her before lifting it off the
bed with a muffled grunt. That thing didn't get any lighter!

"Of course," she said and retrieved it from the closet where all the
families outer garments were kept. "Here you go," she said as she
brought it back to him.

"Could you grab my portfolio?" he asked, pointing to it with his chin as
his hands were full. A cart was waiting downstairs to carry him and all
his supplies down to where they would meet Elmaldi and the dragon that
had been chartered for them by the Holder. Carefully, he carried the
last trunk down and gave instructions to his driver of how it was to be
tied down before turning back to his wife. He also handed him the
jacket, but carefully tucked the portfolio under his arm. That he
didn't entrust to just anyone.

The candle was burning fast now. "I should be back in a sevenday. I
will send a message if it looks to take more time."

She nodded, familiar with his routine from turns of traveling as a
Journeyman. "Take care of yourself," she said hoping the apprentice
they were sending along with him would at the very least make sure he
ate regularly. Her husband had a tendency to get lost in his work at
times. She was concerned for him and at the same time relieved that
he'd be gone for awhile. It would give her a chance to regain her
serenity or at least she hoped so. The constant tension since the
incident with his studio had frayed everyones nerves.

He nodded, also looking forward to a little time away, and around people
again. But he knew it would just be there waiting for him if he didn't
say something now. Still, it wasn't easy for him to tell her exactly
what he thought or felt. Usually, it didn't bother him, but now, it was
frustrating to not have that easy communication between them. He
lingered, uncertain, and almost gave up entirely, turning to walk down
the steps. But as he reached the last step he found the strength to
stop. Not looking at her as he climbed them once more, he reached for
her hand. A rare gesture when it was just the two of them.

Hesitating for a moment as he gathered his thoughts, he finally raised
his eyes to hers. "I'm sorry I said that our marriage was a farce. I
was angry then. It truly was a foolish thing to say. I wish I hadn't
said it. Please forgive me."

Porennes eyes widened slightly as he began his apology. By the time
he was finished she squeezed his hand and stepped closer. Apologies
were rare from Vestian and it told her he was truly sorry for what he
had said. Her own voice was low and she gave him a soft smile. "Yes of
course Vestian. Have a safe trip." She went up on her toes to give him
a soft kiss.

He accepted her kiss, though made no move to prolong it. Instead he
just gave her hand one more squeeze and nodded his understanding before
walking back down the stairs to the waiting cart.

Last updated on the July 24th 2013

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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.