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Temeraire scans the land anxiously, ducking under a well aimed swipe. Impatient, he spirals into the sky, before tucking his wings into a dive and far out speeding the desperate dragon trying to fend him off. He doesn’t not have time for this, not while Laurence might be hurt or bleeding or dea... or dearly missing him.

He soars over a field, and for a moment he swears he hears his name and a direction from one of the workers, and that moment is enough to have him veering sharply off, until he lands by a large crack in the ground.

Because the crack smells of blood and Laurence, not a combination that belongs, not here nor anywhere else.

Sure enough, there is his crew, all of them huddled into a corner as if guarding someone, and there is Harcourt and...

Laurence isn’t there.

Laurence isn’t there.

Harcourt squints up at him, as he desperately peers into every crack and corner of the cave, as if Laurence had folded himself in half and hidden in some dark place.

“Temeraire? Good god!” She turns to the crews, and makes motions to move them apart. “Go, go! It is alright, it is only Temeraire.” She turns to Temeraire, but her words don’t quite come across. Something about Laurence and leaving, but that makes no sense, because Laurence hasn’t left, he’s sitting right there.

He’s sitting right there and he’s... he’s not moving. There is no outcry of his name, no “My dear,”, no life.

It’s then that the smell of blood comes back to him. Ferris is still by Laurence’s side, murmuring something, but it doesn’t matter because Laurence is dead, Laurence has died, because Temeraire left him behind and was too slow, too slow to find him, too slow to come back, too slow...

Faintly, he is aware he is crooning Laurence’s name, and oh-so-gently he reaches a hand into the cave, to scoop Laurence into his hold and protect him from anything that may hurt him further, but that won’t do anything, because Laurence is dead

He is tackled away from the ravine by a heavyweight, and he can’t stop the divine wind that tears out of him like a scream.