Steven pulled us Between. Just a section of void, no buildings, no people, nothing. It was disconcerting, because there was no u or down, but there was a personal gravity. "Down" was toward our feet, no matter the angle we stood at.
Rhaelgyr groaned and growled, clawing at the iridescent fluff that comprised this stretch of Between. Steven stood over the dragon, and I approached the both of them. "Do you know what's wrong with him?" I asked, kneeling beside the dragon.
"I figured since it was your dad, you'd know." Steven braced himself, lips pulled back in a snarl. "Kurlog's going to join us."
Rhaelgyr jerked when I touched him. "You want to run, or fight?" The dragon was growing violent, bleeding from where he'd gnashed his lower lip. His mind was still a riot, not a place I wanted to be.
"I think run until lover boy is up." Steven's voice rang with confidence. He still looked like a youth, but he was definitely taking charge. "I'll carry us. You get him back on his feet."
Looking up, I met Steven's serious eyes. He was already summoning the magic need to take us away from here. Kurlog was raging, his anger echoing through the aether. There wasn't time for messing around. I nodded.
Ignoring the vertigo of dimensional travel, I reached for Rhaelgyr's mind. The pain was horrible, and nearly drove me back. Sweating, I turned Rhaelgyr over, holding him in my lap. "You need to come back, baby. We need you. I need you."
The dragon stirred, moaning. His eyes fluttered open, but the pain continued to hold him hostage. Rhaelgyr couldn't come out on his own.
Meaning I'd have to go in after him.
I pressed deeper, seeking the dragon. Beyond the pain was a jumble of memories; traumatic moments throughout his life. Death and loss, and heat-sinking depression. All together, like they were fresh, tearing at my dragon.
~Rhaelgyr!~ I shouted, opening myself as I looked for him. Where could his persona be hiding amidst all this? ~I need you to come back.~
I felt him. Distant, echoey, but there. Seeking him in this jumble was rough, especially as his memories tried to pull me into them. Getting trapped in the mind of a depressive dragon was not appealing.
The scenes flew past as I searched, repeating, growing darker. I called out to him again, using my emotions to fuel my search, to keep myself shielded again him.
Rhaelgyr called to me, voice soft. ~Go back.~ Misery followed his words, trying to keep my away.
I wasn't stopping until I had him. Pressing deeper, following the lines of his thoughts, I noticed his memories were all the same now. All focused on his lost soulmate.
~You can't stay here,~ I told him. Falyra flew. Falyra roared and sang. Falyra swam, and grew, and looked beautiful. Beneath the pain, I became aware of his enduring love. ~This is death, sure as Kurlog coming.~
I found Rhaelgyr watching his soulmate die. Her piteous whimpers filled the lair, the clan singing somewhere outside. ~I think I finally want to die.~