Fake it 'til you make it. (Standalone)

The Crafter Complex is a series of buildings that contain craft halls and rooms for the crafters of New Atricis to work. There is a single dorm building for apprentices, while journeyman and masters live in second floor rooms in their respective crafts. Off to the side from the complex is the largest building, the Infirmary, where everyone in the Weyr receives Healer attention and desk workers keep track of who comes and goes at the entrance to the Infirmary.
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Age: 40

Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:48 am

Warning: discussion of fairly advanced suicidal ideation, internalized homophobia

Originally, Derris had refused to talk. For sevendays, the only word he had spoken had been to correct the person who called him by his old name. S'derris was just as dead as Ialath. Frankly, Derris was sure to follow before too long.

But not talking meant that the infirmary never stopped watching him. They would not want him to find a way to follow Ialath, not with so much time in between. So any behavior - or lack of behavior - that made them suspect such a plan led to close supervision.

He didn't understand why anyone would stop him. He should have died with Ialath. If he hadn't been with A'mir, he would have. He would have been in their weyr, as he should have been, and the collapsing walls would have taken him in his sleep, just as they did his beautiful, perfect dragon.

Or if, as in this Weyr, and frankly most, he had not been ashamed of his relationship with the male rider of another male dragon, and Ialath had slept in the weyr with A'mir and his blue. . .

But perhaps in those circumstances, they would all have been in Derris's weyr. And his own refusal to conform would have killed not only him and Ialath, but also A'mir and his dragon. Unacceptable.

He winced away from the pain of the thought of A'mir dying. It shouldn't hurt him - it didn't. They hadn't been in a REAL relationship, anyway. Sneaking around because of their dirty secret. . . Derris had tainted the other rider somehow, just as he had tainted Ialath somehow. That was the only explanation.

But if he acted like he wanted to kill himself, he would never get out of the infirmary and have the chance. So he had to find a way to act like he wanted to live. He had to figure out what the healers were looking for.

He had started talking again when he came to that realization. Not much at first, just answering basic questions. He couldn't force himself to mimic emotions originally. He felt nothing. But that numbness was apparently suspicious, so at this point he was trying to act like he felt something. Grief, he supposed. They expected that.

As if it was possible for him to have lost Ialath and still have enough of himself left to feel anything at all. They should know better than that, at least the ones who had dragons of their own. He wouldn't think about the utter abomination that was those riders who had reImpressed after losing their first dragons.

So he was still stuck in the infirmary, watched closely by healers, until he could convince them he was grieving in a healthy way, whatever that was.

Not that it really mattered. He was already dead, his body just hadn't caught up.
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