- Fuzzytimed back to Mid-Autumn
As the sevendays passed, most everyone kept a close eye on the dappled queen, but none moreso than her very own rider. Safryn was worried that perhaps her decision to lock her door had impacted her queen's Flight, the outcome of her clutch. though she would never admit that to H'tai. She knew the brownrider well enough to know that he would be fretting just as much, if not more than she would, and would maybe even make her promise never to do it again if it worried her so, if Soquilith's clutch was less of one because of the choice she'd made. While it looked as though Lennoths' clutch was a decent size from a brown sire, the truest test would be a strong bronze mate like Behemoth, and the whole Weyr seemed to be watching.
While the woman worried, the dark queen was quite sure of herself and her accomplishments, strutting around the Weyr much as she had many times before. As her belly expanded, that strut turned into a waddle, yet lost none of it's pride. When it was time to take to the Sands, the dappled beauty was cooing that surely this time, with such a strong sire, who'd given Phoenith a golden daughter with his first catch, he would surely give onto her what she desired most.
Safryn was woken in the middle of the night by the pains in her stomach, and for a brief moment she almost panicked and her hands flew to small swell of her belly. It took another moment or two to realize those were just a ghosting sensation from her queen, and the woman was sliding from the furs to join the golden mother during those hours of labor. While the dappled gold worked each egg from her body, the redheaded woman hummed and sang to her, a moment reminiscent of their first clutching together. There was hope in the woman's heart, confidence in the dragons' and when the dawns ray began to lighten the sky, Soquilith was able to look over her handiwork as a whole.
Twenty one eggs in all, but none of them carried that tell tale golden shimmer along their shells, and the dark and dappled gold gave a haughty snort and even though she was tender as she began to carefully bury the mottled shells, there was a hint of displeasure in her demeanor as well. The gold huffled and snorted as she pawed at the sand, her tail flicking back and forth like a whip and Safryn took a few steps back to make sure she didn't feel the brunt end of that forked tail. She knew how much Soqui had been yearning for a daughter, a true golden daughter to call her own, but sometimes it was just not in the fates, though she knew in her heart it would happen for them both when the time was right.
It took some time to placate the queen, and Safryn sang to her some more while the gold continued to fuss and snort over her eggs, pining for one of them to shimmer back at her. By the time the afternoon sun hung high in the air, Soquilith finally made her announcement, that twenty and one eggs were nestled onto the sands, and she summoned Behemoth to finally get his glimpse of them. The dappled gold, while disappointed, was still quite protective over her clutch and only a select few would be allowed to enter the sanctuary of the Sands until the time was nigh they would hatch. As the days went by, some of that disappointment was shed in light of mothering over the eggs she did have, and by the time the Hatching was nigh, she was proud as any golden mother should be.
Even when the dappled golds' voice rang out clearly one evening to tell the Weyr her eggs were Hatching, Safryn still felt the doubt pulling at her insides, that perhaps it had been her fault there was no golden shell, or a larger clutch on those sands. While twenty one was not a number to laugh at, it was still shy of the largest Soquilith had had so far, and the lack of a daughter with a sire as strong as Behemoth....The goldrider couldn't help but feel that her decision could have played a hand in the outcome of this clutch. Safryn would keep those doubts to herself though, she wouldn't confess them, not even to H'tai or Eavan. While she wasn't sure what this would mean for future flights, there was no regret in her heart for spending at least one more Flight with her love, the man she wanted to be with instead of the one chosen for her.
The Weyrwoman Second stood proudly beside her queen during the Hatching, smiling at A'ric and sharing conversation with him as they watched the little ones break shell before them. Soquilith had all but forgotten her woes, and at the sight of a zultanite Hatching, the golden queen was assuaged even further, a pleasurable croon escaping her as she watched one of her daughters Impress. Some of Safryns' doubts were also lightened at the appearance of the zultanite and two bronzes, for it was still a strong clutch regardless of the number or lack of shimmering shells, so maybe it wasn't so bad after all. By the time the last egg broke apart and the little one had Impressed to their chosen, Safryn was feeling some relief and was able to breathe again, and Soquilith was swelling with pride for her children, nuzzling against Behemoth before sauntering out of the cavern at last and gladly gave her wings a stretch and took a much deserved soak in the lake.