Glorious Gut-Punch

Disclaimer: Adult language and some feelz.


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Xanadu Weyr - Meadow
A large, slightly rolling meadow is set high enough above the riverbank on both sides to avoid suffering from flooding, healthy ground cover and grass spreading out from either side of the dividing river. Scattered amongst the meadow are a variety of weyrs, each with a narrow path leading up to it from a main, winding road. Some are set under a few trees, while others sit by themselves. The meadow continues with gentle rolls and dips, grass tall and short waving in the slightest of breezes, and eventually those hills grow higher and steeper, ending in a large ridge that provides a fine view of that meadow and the rest of the Weyr, gazing out over the multicolored roofs of the houses and the cliff that holds the caverns.

Runner stables with the paddock beyond are to the south beyond the meadow weyrs, and a smithy and a woodcraft shop are settled closer in towards the path to the clearing. Trees border the northern side of the meadow, and more of those low, rolling hills can be seen to the northwest. A road passes through the meadow, coming from the east and used by traders and crafters alike. Wagons laden with felled trees from the forests or ore from the mountains are hauled by burden beast up the road through the meadow, over the bridge spanning the river to be processed in the appropriate workshops.


BEHOLD, FOR THE TIME OF HEROES IS NIGH! OR AT LEAST ONE HERO. EXACTLY JUST ONE HERO. BUT ONE IS ALL YOU NEED WHEN THAT ONE IS THE ONE AND ONLY GLORIOTH. It's easy to mark his descent from the so blue summer sky this late afternoon to the training grounds because his off-key THEME MUSIC PRECEDES HIM. It's also how you know that's a wave of radiant valor he's (only figuratively) riding. The landing is larger than life, clean but in a way that leaves him posed JUST SO, showing off the tiny bronze's EXTREMELY HEROIC GRANDEUR. The timing is frighteningly precise: just long enough after weyrlinghood obligations have ceased that most have had time to get their things settled, but not so long that most have escaped elsewhere. What is a hero without his FAWNING FANS TO SING BALLADS OF HIS PRAISES, AFTER ALL?? Ignoring the nonexistent laurels tossed at his also nonexistent toes, the faux-helmed head of the bronze swings so whirling eyes can seek his quarry. « WHAT HO, INSIGNIFICANT INFANTS, I SEEK ONE AMONG YOU. » Yes, he's booming HEROICALLY loud. Yes, everyone can practically can't not hear him. Yes, he means: « KOVAGATH, GUARDIAN OF THE COMPULSORY CRECHE, COME FORTH! » He'll wait. But only as long as it takes him to roll his shoulders and shift to look that much more dashing. It's fortunate for everyone that Glorioth generally takes no interest in anyone but himself the young of his kind, but today appears to be different. Perhaps it's because these babies can now fly a bit on their own? It's possible he was put to it by his rider, but at least initially, the only sign of him can be found in the distance. On his way, but not there in time to save the blue (and his rider?) from having to deal with … whatever this is on their own.

Does having a dragon of his own make Sh'y more or less concerned about Glorioth's sudden appearance? On the one hand, now knowing more intimately the ways of dragons, he's pretty darn certain that Glori won't, in fact, eat him. But on the other hand, he's calling him out (or calling Kova out, but what is Kova without Sh'y, and Sh'y without Kova?). « Infant? » It's a question on word choice, rather than defensive return to a perceived insult. « I think we're at least to toddler-stage by now. » Dry amusement colors the words and, while they're definitely spoken to Glorioth, there's no real expectation that they will be heard or responded to. Soon enough the blue makes his own heroic appearance, with far less fanfare and probably far more stealth if he can get away with it (being a rather, winged creature). « Guardian of the Compulsory Creche. Hm. Not the worst title I suppose. » He'll allow it, and perhaps quietly preen about it, when he's not busy investigating this very large, very loud, very glorious Glorioth. And Sh'y? Yeah. He's totes here, too! Keeping well out of accidental-squishing range.

If Sh'y would like to continue to believe Glorioth is a danger to himself and others, the bronze doesn't care enough to object (and honestly, probably wouldn't because he's got a REP to protect~ and fear looks a lot like awe to him). Perhaps the bronze was not supposed to respond to that, but he does. He does only after he sees Kovagath and sizes him up, head drawing back a touch in what might be a touch of confusion. MAYBE KOVAGATH HAS LOST HIM? It would be preferable, probably, to his own question of word choice. « GUARDIAN KOVAGATH? » The word he's trying to reconcile here is 'we.' « DO YOU IDENTIFY WITH THE INFANTS YOU GUARD? » It may be that the infants greeting was generic to any and all residents of the place they keep the dragon babies before they're ready to be warriors. But, « THIS CANNOT BE. I WAS ASSURED OF YOUR VALOR AND HEROIC PEDIGREE. NOT AS PRESTIGIOUS AS MY OWN, BUT NONE CAN HOPE TO RISE TO THE INESTIMABLE HEROIC HEROISM, » SPEAKING OF QUESTIONABLE WORD CHOICES, « OF MY OWN DEARLY DEPARTED FATHER AND MYSELF WHO NOT ONLY FOLLOWS IN HIS WINGBEATS BUT SURPASSES EACH AND EVERY ONE WITH THE RADIANCE OF MY VALOR. » Even if one skips the fact that Xermiltoth is very much alive, it's probably difficult to ignore the fact that Kovagath is, in fact, Glorioth's half-brother through that exact parent. Unfortunately, F'yr still isn't here to comment. AND MAYBE IT DOESN'T MATTER, because, « WE HAVE BEEN CHOSEN FOR A MOST URGENT QUEST, GUARDIAN KOVAGATH. » This is where Glorioth's voice should drop, but it doesn't. The theme music that is undercurrent along with battlefield smoke, the clank and clash of weapons, the shrieks of herdbeasts in their death throes and a smell that can only be the definition of toxic masculinity doesn't even appropriately diminish. « WE MUST BE ON OUR GUARD, GUARDIAN, FOR THERE MAY BE SHIFTY-EYED FOE-VILLAINS SEEKING ENCOURSION TO OUR MOST SACRED HOME THIS VERY MOMENT. COME, WILL YOU FLY WITH ME TO SEEK THEM? » And woe be to any shifty-eyed foe-villains (AND YES, SH'Y DOES RECEIVE A WEIGHING LOOK WHEN GLORIOTH STARTS TALKING ABOUT THEM) the pair might find.

TO BE FAIR, Sh'y's fear has probably transformed from that of life and limb to more of the sanity variety. As in 'will my head survive this onslaught?' (to which we all know the answer is NO yes. Probably. Maybe. Hopefully). BUT ANYWAY. Glorioth is here. Kovagath is also here. And adding an insightful, « Ahhhhh, » in understanding about who the infants are, though that dry amusement persists. There is perhaps a tone of 'is this guy for real?' in the cock of his head and the flavor of his mind, though he's perhaps wise enough not to let it carry beyond his very own Sh'y (who long-sufferingly answers, 'yes. He is' to that unspoken inquiry). « Oh, yeah. Totally! That's me. Valor and… heroic prestige. » It sounds good. He's totally going with it. He might even get a little (just a little) puffed up about it as he RUDELY ignores the rest of whatever Glorioth is saying about himself. At least until the end. « Wait. Isn't that guy still alive? » But semantics aside, that part about SHIFTY-EYED FOE VILLAINS has his attention, even if Sh'y is definitely not among his list of suspects. « Oh. It is on! » Intruders? He's been preparing for this for life! "Don't kill anything," is the weyrling's (very dry, somewhat longsuffering, definitely already bracing for the fallback) contribution before Kova is taking to the sky on a QUEST FOR GLORY hunt for intruders.

Unbelievably and probably with apology, the answer as Sh'y wisely responds is YES, Kovagath, there is a Glorioth. HE IS REAL. Even if no one else takes him as seriously as he takes himself, there is exactly zero trace that there is anything deeper under what for cleverer other dragons might be a front to depths unplumbed. WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU UNFORTUNATELY GET AND GLORIOTH IS NOT SORRY. He also doesn't appear to register the dry amusement. YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED THAT SUBTLETY HAS LOST GLORIOTH SINCE THE DAY HE HATCHED NEVER TO BE KNOWN. He also doesn't appear to know that Kovagath has done any less tha listen to his every word with anything but the deepest reverence AS IS THEIR DUE, B-T-DUBS. « LONG DEAD. » Glorioth has no doubt. Doubt is something he's also never known in his life. How he's lived so long is anyone's guess. That's not the point here. The point is they have a JOB TO DO. A job that involves HEROICS that they could not be better suited for. « BUT WE ARE NOT. » … Just… listen, he's leaving the scene. Just let him go. AND HE DOES. LAUNCHING WITH A GREAT LEAP AND CRISP SNAP OF WINGS OUT TO LET HIS RADIANCE BOUY HIM UP AND AWAY. Hopefully, they'll tire each other out and be back before the still growing dragon is in any kind of distress. Maybe F'yr is keeping tabs. HOPEFULLY, F'yr is keeping tabs. Sh'y surely will, right? SPEAKING OF F'YRSOMELY DOOMED LIFEMATES, F'yr's timing is impeccable, arriving at the edge of the training grounds just as the dragons take off. (GOOD LUCK, XANADU.) The riders are likely to get into LESS trouble. A hand is raised by the big blond, dressed casually for summer in cargo shorts and a tank-top but with a laughably tiny backpack on his back with a canteen strapped to its exterior and mid-calf boots made for walking. There's a gesture that is PROBABLY meant to indicate, 'Hey, bro, wanna walk?' but he doesn't shout it, just makes that gesture and waits where he's at for Sh'y to decide, get whatever he needs, if he needs anything, and for the younger man to join him.

Perfect! They shall get along swimmingly so long as Glorioth remains ever-unaware of the dry tone and subtle (and sometimes, not-so-subtle) amusement with which Kovagath might approach their (many?) adventures. The blue is happy to assume the mantle of 'trusted side-kick' (or, let's be real, even just 'allowed to tag along') for now at least, and so long as Glori is none the wiser to his (probably many and increasingly less favorably-flavored dry commentary) they shall get along swimmingly! Hopefully the Weyr survives. Sh'y will definitely be keeping tabs, if just so he can run for the fire extinguisher hills. The blue and the bronze depart, and are hopefully unsuccessful in their searching for shifty-eyed foe-villains, and Sh'y is left to ponder the choices in his life that have led him here, to this moment. Sigh. The appearance of F'yr is somehow not surprising, though there's a lofted brow and a pointed look to the pair of dragons flying away to doom and destruction glorious glory, and wonders, "Guess I solved the mystery of who chose Kovagath for this most important of missions," is drawled out with enough of a smirk to be perceived as amused. A snort and he heads that-a-way, hands shoved into convenient pockets, his own person sans anything resembling a back-pack, so hopefully supplies are not needed by the weyrling. "Cute," is definitely offered for that laughably tiny accessory, once he's close enough to talk and stuff.

Kova's probably already lost him, mentally. Physically, it's practically impossible to misplace Glorioth for so many reasons, so at least they won't lose each other up there. Not lost, either, is that pointed look on F'yr, who misses some but not nearly as much as his shiny hided, not-empty-headed-enough lifemate. His response however is just a pressed lip smile and shoulders rolled in what could be a 'whatcha gonna do?' shrug. When the younger man is near enough for words the smile twitches wider. "I have Inasyth on standby in case they do happen across anyone they think are suspicious." FORETHOUGHT, these things require it. "I thought they might like a chance to stretch their wings and we could stretch our legs." There's more implicit in that, of course, an opportunity to stretch far more than just legs. F'yr's eyebrows lift an almost calculated degree for the description of his very-functional-thank-you-but-definitely-made-for-someone-excessively-smaller-than-he backpack. "Just the right size for what I need." And lightweight. There's nothing defensive in F'yr's tone, of course, he's quite comfortable with his tiny backpack that looks like it sees its fair share of use, really, with repairs to the straps and reinforcements to its exterior. He makes a gesture away from the training grounds before turning enough to head that way himself aiming to be casually alongside the weyrling, his hands tucking into pockets. "How are you, Shy?"

HEY, WOAH, HEY, WOAH. F'yr can't defend against them shots fired. "He's probably not in a position to stop him either," is candid and some mixture of bemused and resigned. "I've developed some techniques though, over the turns." He must have, to have a nearly five turn old Glorioth and no one yet reported smoooshed within an inch of their life. "And there aren't eggs at stake now." Thankfully. Perhaps Sh'y should be grateful F'yr has never seen his white cowboy hat or else the smirking at F'yr's dainty backpack might come with return ribbing. As is, there's only a brotherly gentle buffet with an elbow not designed to do more than nudge the other man to get off it, in an equally good-natured way. Truly, F'yr of the Many Siblings And Cousins doesn't mind in the least, but there's appearance to be maintained here, a form to follow for these sorts of interactions, and he knows the pattern enough to play along - play being the operative word. Maybe Sh'y needs a little play now. Maybe F'yr does. They both can have some courtesy of the other, especially since the rest is … heavy. Or at least a lot, somehow. "It goes fast," F'yr agrees. "Even now, I look back and there are some months of that I can't remember more than a handful of moments from because I was just so bloody tired." That's rueful, empathetic. "But all things considered, that's a good response. "On the bright side, you all managed not to burn down the barracks and have to live in tents all summer." Evidently, this was F'yr's experience, so kudos to this class. That's levity to ease the impact of his next question. "Have you had time to sort the separation of yourself from him? The you stuff you're chewing on rather than the we stuff?" It's something they touched on just a little in those days after Sh'y impressed and though F'yr surely hasn't been totally absent since then, he hasn't asked this so directly yet. (If Sh'y is inclined to a one-word response, he can expect to endure F'yr's beat of silence and his brotherly, "Aaaand?" YOU ARE WARNED, SH'Y.)

"Not yet, at least." THERE IS STILL TIME. THE BARRACKS MIGHT STILL BURN! "They did a number on the office, though." But that's ancient history in weyrling-time. "Couple more months and we'll be out." Sh'y should probably be excited by this, and there is a part of him that probably is, but he can't quite muster up the enthusiasm to look it. Moving out is just another thing in the timeline; another milestone in a rather long, heady string of milestones that started when Kovagath cracked his shell. There's a squint at the sky for the question on the we-stuff, as if he might find his wayward blue over his head even if all he sees is… sky. There's another long pause as Sh'y searches for the answer, and a little shrug that comes with his, "Sorta." But while he might snort at the expectation of more, he doesn't decline in giving it. "It's easier," he admits. "Knowing what's me and what's him. I dunno if that's cause he's gotten older and more… himself, or if it's cause I've just gotten used to it." There's another squint, a little scrunch of his nose in a mild grimace for a thought unspoken, and a snort of something like amusement. "Either way, s'better than it was."

In true once-farmer fashion, F'yr's shoulders roll in a subtle shrug. "The 'why' probably matters less than the 'what is.'" Though they could collectively wax philosophic about the unknowable whys at length if that's what they wanted to do, no doubt, with silence punctuating the whole thing with casual comfort, but this might not be that moment. This time there's more than one beat of silence, and it could here lapse into that aforementioned comfort even without the long-day's-labor philosophizing, but it doesn't. The bronzerider's quiet instead gives way to a scarcely louder question, "Is it something you want to talk about?" There's ever so slight an emphasis on the word 'want' because F'yr isn't one to lasso feelings and drag them out by force, but he's here, literally and metaphorically walking beside the weyrling. Maybe because, despite the moments of closeness they have shared here and there across the time of their acquaintance, they're still sort of friends that are becoming close, rather than those already knit into one another's lives, that he adds, so there can be no mistake, "We don't have to talk about anything." Anything he doesn't want to, or probably also just anything if the silence is better in the moment of now.

Silence is rarely ever uncomfortable for Sh'y, who doesn't see much need to fill it. Even the sort that might hang over one's head after the asking of important questions is often not enough to make the now-weyrling squirm or stutter. And this silence is a companionable sort, given with whom he's walking. His head tips in a subtle side-to-side, the weighing of options, before it's back to the sort of silence that comes with thought. "Seems to be working itself out," he says at last, which isn't really an answer to the question, but perhaps it is as close as Sh'y can get to it. But after a moment or two, a few more steps in relative silence, there's another shrug. "In the beginning, felt like everything was him. And when it wasn't him, when I slipped into something that was more me, he didn't like it much." Which, Sh'y seems to realize, makes Kovagath sound all sorts of terrible even if he doesn't mean it to. "I mean things like… Red. And Avi. My family was a little easier. There's distance there. But the things he thought would get in-between, he didn't like. Still doesn't, but it's better. Not as panicked. Just… Fussy." And maybe there's a question there, a 'does that get better' that wants to be asked, but doesn't, because Sh'y's at least learned enough in his eight-plus-months of being a dragonrider that all dragons are different.

There are times in life where a person says exactly what you want to hear. Then there are other moments when someone says words you might not have even realized you were dreading. "Glorioth was the same way." Fortunately for any impending heart attacks, F'yr tips his head a little and amends, "Well, maybe a little different. I don't think I'd say he didn't like it when I was more me, but he didn't care for my attention being anywhere but on him." He apparently doesn't care that this makes Glorioth sound exactly as bad as even fully grown Glorioth is. It's really just to say he can relate. "The hardest part for me was that he wouldn't let people touch me. And he's… a very physical dragon." This is a kind way of saying that Glorioth would not hesitate to physically make the touching stop if he had to. "I didn't really expect it of him. He didn't seem that sort, but he just… you know," does he, tho? "I'm his lifemate. He just needed me." And how could F'yr ever hold that against him? "It makes it hard," this with a brief hand to Sh'y's forearm, a light squeeze meant likely to be support. "About the time Glorioth started chasing in flights he decided there were times it benefitted him for me to be distracted." The lopsided grin is a look of resignation, make no mistake. Glorioth is really not a sneaky dragon by any stretch of the imagination, but when a person is sufficiently distracted, even a Glorioth crashing through the forest doesn't necessarily make enough noise to be noticed. "It'll probably change for you." Conspicuously absent is a promise that that will be for the better. "It all… just goes the way it goes and you do your best to herd it the way you want to." Both men must know that herding does not always get the desired results. His eyes slant off the distance across the meadow toward Sh'y's once and perhaps future place of work, the stables. With a nudge of an elbow, and a gesture with a nod, he asks, "Want to stop by?" Since they have time with dragons— well, hopefully still not remodeling Xanadu with their enthusiasm.

There is something reassuring in that knowledge, or so suggests the longer sigh that comes in the wake of it. That Sh'y is not the only one who has dealt with these things. He's undoubtedly been told this by several people, and surely he is aware that this is not an unusual occurrence — there are rules for a reason, after all. But knowing a thing has happened to other people and knowing a thing has happened with people he knows (or at least, person-he-knows) are different enough that having the latter makes the former all the more believable. And he does know — and will acknowledge this with a quiet little grunt — because Kovagath is quite confident as well, and yet still requires more of Sh'y that might be considered 'fair'. "S'long as it keeps changing in the right direction," decides Sh'y, though he won't go holding his breath that things will get better until they do. His gaze lifts, following F'yr's across the meadow, the familiar path that leads to a life that was, or at least the symbol of it. There's a moment of thought, a long-drawn breath that's held in his chest, the weight of consideration in his expression. And then a sigh and he decides, "might as well," since they have the time. So far, at least, nothing concerning has happened in the depths of his mind, where Kovagath lives. (Which means they are currently safe, or the blue has gotten far better at keeping secrets).

The way F'yr reaches up a hand and scratches at the back of his head before finger combing the short locks back in place is not reassuring. Then again, this man thought he was done with the weyrling day woes of Baby Glori, and then Glori made babies of his own and it was the most expected and unpleasant throwback for all those months of eggs on the sands. So lips just press together in an expression that probably conveys, 'Don't count your chickens until they've hatched, and even then beware of chicken-adopting golds that happen by,' or something to that extent. ANYWAY, he won't crush Sh'y's hope, so that's something~ Maybe Sh'y will be one of the Lucky Ones~ "In a way," he hazards as they alter their path toward that familiar destination, "it's a little like human babies. When they're little, they just want who they want. Mostly the people who look after them. As they grow, they want other people. Some dragons grow a lot in weyrlinghood and others do growing over more time, seems like. It just depends on how Kova turns out." He will ask now, in a way that has a certain gentility to it. "How are things with Avi?" F'yr probably hasn't seen much of the Harper-turned-weyrling beyond the occasional in-passing hello here and there.

Sh'y shall forever be grateful that his beloved Kovagath cannot create babies (though he may come to lament how often he makes the attempt). As their steps assume a familiar, if somewhat nostalgic, path, Sh'y shoves his hands a little further into those pockets, comfortable in the walk. And then there's that question, which has him sucking on his teeth and making another of those almost-grimace faces as he thinks on the answer. "Complicated," is what Sh'y finally settles on. "Kova… well." He just kind of explained what he problem with Kovagath is likely to be. "Seems to be easier with Avi and Mirieth in that way. But… I think that makes it harder for Avi. He's doing okay from what I can see." Which might just speak volumes about what goes unspoken. There's a little shrug, not quite dismissive but more 'what can you do?' or 'who the heck knows' because Faranth knows, Shy doesn't. "Things are getting better with Kova so I hope… I mean, s'not really fair to ask that of Avi but, maybe someday when this is over…" Another shrug, another 'who knows' because Sh'y's at least wise enough (even if he's not all that wise) to know there's no guarantee of anything.

It would probably help if Sh'y had given up all the pieces so they could be put in the proper order. He could blame the head-fog that is weyrlinghood, but the truth is simply that sometimes he doesn't know how to give all those details. Makes sense in his head. Sounds weird out loud. But after a pause (to make sure F'yr isn't about to crack his head open with that missed step) there's a little puff of breath and another (probably, thoroughly unhelpful) shrug, before he lets the facts be laid out so he can fill-in the blanks. Yes. Yes — to both. Yes. But the last one has him blowing out a breath because, "No. Well. Sort of?" which is unlikely to be any more helpful. "He doesn't like how much I like Avi." Maybe that helps? "It's hard explaining love to a dragon." Especially a baby one whose frame of reference for 'love' is probably his lifemate. "It's not as bad now that he's a bit older. But still… touchy."

There's silence from F'yr. It's going to take him a moment to process that despite the fact that these aren't really unusual circumstances all told. His eyes are on the path now, perhaps just to be sure that no piece of it jumps up to trip him. The question that comes may not be the expected one though because the bronzerider seems to need to take a quick side-jaunt in the conversation to wrap his head around everything. "Is—." He starts slow, letting the words find themselves, "—Kova in your head that way? No… distance between what you feel and how it is conveyed to him?" He probably still feels like he's missing more than one something because his expression is such that if a person didn't know F'yr to be a thinker of deep thoughts, they might expect smoke from his ears any moment now.

He did say it was complicated. And maybe prior worries that this was abnormal, mitigated briefly by the idea that it is normal, are starting to creep up again, even if the evidence of such is the resumption of stoic silences and furrowed brows and maybe that little bit of strain across his shoulders. Another breath and a little shake of his head because it's complicated. "Not anymore. There's a little space now." Sh'y won't call it a wall, if just for the imagery that conjures. He slides a look toward F'yr, a study complete with squint and furrow; a frown and a pause. "You ever try to tell someone you love that you also love someone else, and that loving that person doesn't change how you love them, but they just don't get it?" Another of those shrugs. "That was Kova in the beginning. He kinda gets it now. But he didn't before. And he needed all of me, and it wasn't fair to ask Avi to tough it out if I didn't know how it would end." Which is a lot of words, but maybe Sh'y's had a lot of time to think about it.

Was Sh'y expecting F'yr's, "Yup," complete with popped 'p' sound at the end as if it were the most normal thing in the world to tell someone you love them but you also love someone else and that loving that person doesn't change how you love them, but they just don't get it? "Not long before that night we talked on the starstones." This clarifies that F'yr's someone was not Glorioth, but the bronzerider doesn't linger. This is about Sh'y. And it's awkward. It's awkward because for all the handful of moments where they've delved deep and not shied away, they're still becoming close and this next is what a close friend says. It's why F'yr is rubbing his beard before he speaks. "Shy, I think you tripped on your good intentions." Ya dun messed up, son. There's an apology in the tone of the words because F'yr hates to be the one to tell him, but apparently someone should. "I mean, maybe I'm wrong," BECAUSE IT'S DEFINITELY POSSIBLE, "but love isn't black and white that way. Kova can need all of you and get it and it doesn't mean you're asking someone to wait or making promises. It means that you get back to basics. You do what you can do. Did I miss the part where you decided there was no chance?" Because that seems to be the scenario in which Sh'y's actions would make sense to F'yr's paradigms. None of this is accusatory, truly, the tones only ranging from puzzled to bewildered and back, maybe with a touch of frustration on his friend's behalf. (That would be Sh'y's. That friend's. But who knows if they're going to be friends after this~~)

Sh'y doesn't trip, but that's probably because he's stopped walking. Hopefully F'yr's stopped walking, too (if they were still walking at all) because the weyrling's just gonna stand there for a moment frowning at him, fingers tucked into pockets and shoulders doing that half-rounded thing like he thinks it might rain. At least it's not an angry sort of staring. More like a 'mulling it over' sort or staring. "What was I supposed to do?" The question is half-genuine, even if it's sort of pointless given it's gone and done and happened already. And maybe a better question is "What do I do now?" even if there's a war being waged over whether he should do anything at all. If there's frustration, it's for the situation and not the one calling him on it. He did not miss that little nugget of information on F'yr having had experiences, but now seems to be an inappropriate time for him to ask about it.

If frowning is the worst that comes of all this, maybe there's hope for their friendship yet~ F'yr does stop when Sh'y stops - or rather, a pace beyond, turning back to face him the moment he realizes the other has stopped walking. He already answered the first one, but in case Sh'y missed it, he'll reiterate and expand, "You do what you can. So you can't kiss them anymore. So what? So your dragon gets annoyed when you think about them or feel for them. So what? You do what you can. Maybe it's bringing them an oil refill or a mug of klah, maybe it's having your dragons sit together for storytime or picking their pace when you have to go run in the bowl. Whatever it is you can do that's okay for your dragon is what you do." He probably only bothers to explain because it's relevant to the next. And here, F'yr is going to step back toward Sh'y and place his hands on his friend's shoulders so he can silently ask for him to meet his eyes. "You do- what you- can." He punctuates the sentence slowly, carefully, giving a very gentle shake to those shoulders that's really more sympathy than shaking. "Weyrlinghood is a mess. If it's not oil and shoveling out couches, it's the emotions you have to lock away rattling at their chains or the ashes of the barracks." It can be funny now, right? "You just do the best you can, Sh'y, and you try to help the people you care about do the best they can, to help in whatever small ways you can with whatever battles they're fighting, and all the while, you do all you can, the very best you can for your lifemate. For theirs. You're all in this together even if you're in it alone." His hands drop away and find his own pockets. "It's not easy, but unless you're trying to put complete distance between yourself and someone you want to be distant with, you work with what you have and you hope they'll do the same." The admission comes last, "I was a weyrling with some of the people I love. It was almost a turn before we could hug and we put our lifemates first, but none of that meant we couldn't put each other second." Third. Fourth. LISTEN. He doesn't order these things, not really, but that's the general idea anyway.

There are moments in life when one realizes just how badly they have screwed up; when it hits like a kick to the gut (by a draft-breed, even) and Sh'y is definitely having one right now. It's there in the brief but complete crumpling of his expression before he fits it back into something more stoic, though he can't quite erase the crease across his brow or the tightness around his eyes. "Well… fuck." That pretty aptly sums it up. But while he might be prone, for a moment at least, to linger in that moment of gut-wrenching realization in which every move made is suddenly screaming to be scrutinized, he does not, in fact, spend time scrutinizing for more than a moment. Because the past is just that, and moving forward is what Sh'y tends to focus on. How to solve the problem, rather than the problem's cause. Even if that might be a bigger question than he's able to answer. There's a moment of false stops and starts and the frown of someone struggling because, "What if it's too late?"

There are moments in life when one realizes just how badly they have screwed up; when it hits like a kick to the gut (by a draft-breed, even) and Sh'y is definitely having one right now. It's there in the brief but complete crumpling of his expression before he fits it back into something more stoic, though he can't quite erase the crease across his brow or the tightness around his eyes. "Well… fuck." That pretty aptly sums it up. But while he might be prone, for a moment at least, to linger in that moment of gut-wrenching realization in which every move made is suddenly screaming to be scrutinized, he does not, in fact, spend time scrutinizing for more than a moment. Because the past is just that, and moving forward is what Sh'y tends to focus on. How to solve the problem, rather than the problem's cause. Even if that might be a bigger question than he's able to answer. There's a moment of false stops and starts and the frown of someone struggling because, "What if it's too late?"

Even with his hands tucked in his pockets, a subtle shift in F'yr's stance plants him as very firmly there. He's not invading Sh'y's space, nor distracting from the moment his friend is having, but the shift says one thing if or when the bluerider comes out of his own head enough to notice: he is not alone. Not that he would be, of course, with Kovagath, but F'yr is here. Some epiphanies are found only in solitary moments, and some are not found until pointed out and it's watching that wave crash on Sh'y that prompts the move, that has the big blond's face settling into the sort of expression a farmer wears waiting for rain - unhurried patience. The rain will come when it comes. Sh'y will speak when he needs to speak, or he won't. When he does, the bronzerider's lips shift a little, serious still, but framed with a gentility it would be easy to think beyond him. "You do what you can." He could get points for consistency with this. Maybe it's not the most comforting thing he could say, but who is F'yr to know or even guess at the future. His hands leave his pockets again to become weight on Sh'y shoulders once more, this time perhaps meant to be grounding. "Stop." It's a single word. Maybe it helps, maybe it doesn't. "Stop thinking big. You're a weyrling. Today matters, the next, the next. You're worrying about a problem that is months or turns off from finding an answer. 'Too late' is only something we can know looking back. For now, you do what you can today. Then you do what you can tomorrow. Leave goals and hopes and dreams out of it and just—" The rueful look is F'yr cutting himself off from reiterating too much. "Just deal with now. A kindness or a gesture of friendship is not any less that or any more costly if in months or turns from now things aren't the way you want them to be, Sh'y." Probably the most bouying thing he can manage is the squeeze of those hands on Sh'y's shoulders and his quiet but firm, "You've got this." F'yr believes in him~ His hands don't drop away this time — at least, not until he's sure that Sh'y isn't about to go to pieces then and there.

It is a weight that keeps him standing, ironically enough. That brings a staggering breath and reminds the weyrling that he is not alone… in a very literal sense. Even if the revelation might have him wanting to break down, if just for that cathartic release, he won't. Not here. And not because he is too proud to be vulnerable around a friend (as if he wasn't that already). No; he won't break down because somewhere there is a still-baby-blue patrolling and the last thing Sh'y wants is to have him come barreling down upon him and proclaiming this epiphany to the world out of good-natured but no-less-obnoxious attempts to fight off an enemy that does not exist. It seems there is enough distances between Kovagath and Sh'y to keep the blue on his course, even if there is a bit of a bobble, a bit of distraction in his patrols. Like he might be re-thinking his priorities and ready to double-back, his attention divided. "Right." Baby-steps. A scrub of his hands over his face ends in a hearty sigh and, while it is a bit shaky on the end, he's stable enough. Enough that F'yr's confidence brings a quick, humorless laugh because Sh'y is not quite as sure of that.

It would be nice to say that Glorioth is a responsible chaperone tuned in to the emotional variance of his companion, but it would be an outrageous lie. Glorioth is as Glorioth always is: self-absorbed radiating valor on one and all. It's for the best; Kovagath is really still too little to receive ENCOURAGEMENT from the tiny big bronze. F'yr is more than slightly more in tune with his companion of the moment and when Sh'y shifts to scrub his face, the man lifts his hands away. One might think it was all that time on the farm that taught F'yr to look at this moment, and then the next, and then the next, but no. Judging by his suspiciously bland, "You know who taught me not to look beyond the moment I'm in?" Sh'y is about to step into some kind of trap if he opens his mouth. Fortunately, F'yr isn't waiting for him to do so before quirking a grin that's equal parts 'gotcha' and goofy. "Glorioth." HE HAS HIS USES~~ The humor infused in the delivery is meant to distract. Nothing is going to make this revelation better for Sh'y, but if F'yr knows anything it's that a well-timed distraction can be helpful. "Want to go on?" Beat. "If you want to take the rest of the time they're flying for yourself…" He gestures in a way that releases the weyrling from any sense of obligation to continue on with F'yr in this moment, but leaves the decision firmly in his hands all the same.

The revelation of where this wisdom originated earns another humorless laugh, this one of the tired, 'of course it was' variety. There is probably something he could say here. Something dry or witty or both, but really… Sh'ys well has currently run dry in that department. He's still reeling from the first revelation and trying to reconcile all the ways the pieces of his more-immediate past no longer fit together as they should, the re-arranging of reality that has him looking equal parts manic and morose. "Think I want to go back," he admits, with enough apology in those not-quite-stable words to say he recognizes this to be at least a little bit rude. "Just… sit for a bit." SIT WITH ALL THIS KNOWLEDGE AND MAYBE CRY ABOUT HOW DUMB HE WAS. But it's fine. He'll figure it out. He will do the things he can do and maybe, someday, it will al be okay.

F'yr's, "Do you want company for the walk?" is a simple, direct offer, but there is no weight of expectation in the words. Whatever it is F'yr can do for Sh'y, whether by walking silently at his side or giving him his space, that's what the blond wants to do; there's no sense in the demeanor of the man that an apology is in any way wanted or needed.

A few seconds of consideration are given before the quiet, "no," is given, a word more weary than anything else. "Thanks though." Because there is something to be said about not being alone (even if Sh'y is never actually alone anymore), and the offer is appreciated. But the thanks is for more than just that. It is for the wisdom given, even if it hit like a ton of bricks, and the advice offered, even if Sh'y is going to kick himself a few more times before taking it.

The press of F'yr's lips communicates ready acceptance - it's the physical evidence that F'yr has buttoned his trap and is letting Sh'y have the silence, the space. There's just a little dip of the bronzerider's chin and his lips shifting just enough to imply an understanding smile. The only thing he ends up saying as he tucks hands back into pockets is, "I'll keep tabs on them." The dragons, as if he wasn't already -hahaha-. This probably is meant to convey that he's trying to give Sh'y a little breathing room for needing to watch so closely to that presence that shares his headspace so he can have a moment all of his own as the weyrling heads back to the barracks and F'yr watches him go, turning only after some distance has separated them to stroll without apparent destination across the Weyr's wide meadow.


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