Two Freaks in the Dark

Xanadu Weyr - The Lonely Caves
Tucked in beneath the Lonely Island and accessible only by a small opening in the cliffside, it should come as no surprise that the caves are filled up to the ankles with cold, flowing water. Whatever they lack in comfort, however, is more than made up for by their sheer magnificence. At first, one might wonder if their eyes weren't playing tricks on them, as tiny blue lights begin to dot the ceiling of the cave system, but the further one progresses through the narrow rooms, the more multitudinous the lights become, until the very last room in the series of caves is awash in awe-inspiring twinkles, a veritable night sky of pale blue glows. The slow-moving water deepens here into a proper pool, its glassy surface only serving to reflect and refract this ambient glow, giving the entire cavern a mystic, otherwordly feel. Naturally flat boulders jut out of the water at the pool's center and far side, with just enough room for two humans to perch side-by-side on each.

Chalk it up to enthusiasm, excitement, or the fact that Ru'ien IS lengthening his stride to avoid another tussle, regardless of which it is, those caves are found! Not without, perhaps, some backtracking as it’s not as though they can ask for a direct map and not arouse suspicions! The small opening doesn’t even have the greenrider hesitating before he’s creatively ducking inside. A small nose wrinkle for the fact there’s water in here but as it goes no further than ankle deep, it’s ignored. “So…” he asks, once he’s assured it won’t just be his voice answering him back (not that it echoes but whatever). Squinting in the dark doesn’t help, but this wasn’t his idea in the first place! “What was so great about these caves?”

The size of the entrance more than the lack of light within or the water at his ankles slows F'yr down enough that he does not, in fact, catch his quarry where there's room enough to rough house. He's not all that far behind his friend, though, so when he speaks into the darkness his voice isn't distant. This wasn't that kind of 'trick him into it' sort of prank, then. "Oh, you know. New thing to see before we get to seeing the big wide world. I've never been in a cave. Is it always this dark?" Then, "Maybe they was wrong about the glowing." The source of the cave fables. Or maybe it was that rider who was having a good joke at the weyrlings' expense… but would anyone risk the ire that lost weyrlings would bring down on heads that would surely roll by the end of the interrogations? Figuratively, at least. Probably not. Then one of F'yr's groping hands finds Ru'ien's arm and briefly freezes. "Oh, hello." Found you?

Ru’ien scoffs, "A cave is a cave!” he quips in mild challenge (and stubbornness) and yet he’ll follow F’yr in further. He COULD turn around and turn back, leaving the bronze weyrling to abandon his ‘quest’ or go on alone but despite his dwindling intrigue, he’s sticking to it. “Did you fall through the floor of the room with the dolls? I’m all for surprises but not the literal floor dropping out from under me! And well… blood’s startling too if you’re not used to it! Got over it once the shock wore off.” Uh huh. V’ro and Rhodelia might have different stories! The tug on his hand is enough to spur him into changing leads, giving control over to F’yr without argument. “Jays, do you think I’m that heartless not to call for help?” he teases, jerking at his hand as if to use their joined hold to punch him in the side — not that he can see and so he’ll miss and grab nothing but air. “That’s solid rock for you? I heard that’s why it’s so easy to get lost. Can’t tell your ass from your head.” Meaning sense of direction is worthless in total darkness!

"If you have that much trouble with anatomy in the dark, make sure Kiha rises during the day." F'yr can afford to quip this back because out of all of those here on the island today, he's the only one whose dragon isn't going to initiate that particular dance in only a couple of months or more. The bronzerider stops, without warning, of course, to make a hmm sound, "Maybe we should come back with glows," or flashlights. Or something. Still, he presses forward a few more paces before really calling it quits. Before he can make that call, he squints (not that anyone can see him). "I think I see something. Does it look like … I don't know, a blue… thing? Up… well, I guess I don't know if it's the ceiling or not." But that's about where he means. "More than one I think. I think?" He's not sure. But maybe they can hallucinate together?

So much for silence! The cave is filled with Ru’ien’s laughter for that quip and it takes him a good handful of seconds to gain control of himself again. Even so, as he speaks up, his voice is broken by a few snickered breaths. “Wanna practice, then? Don’t know if I’ve ever tried a little fun in absolute darkness before.” Only with F’yr would he be so utterly brazen with his goading, though he takes the edge off by scoffing next. “And like I got a say in what Kiha does! Please.” They all know it’s going to be some form of a wild ride! How and what, well… that’s future Ru’ien’s delight to figure out. He’ll run into F’yr, of course, grunting in surprise. “Hey, what — What glowing? You eat something out there we’re not supposed to?” Nothing like hallucinating weyrlings to add to the list of ‘things future classes will be told about’. Ru’ien’s about to suggest they turn around, the words half formed and even an inhaled breath heard but that soon morphs to an audible “Huh”. F’yr’s hand will be tugged on in a distracted way, as curiosity takes hold and he just drifts further in, looking up or, presumedly. ahead. “… I think there’s more?”

Distraction thy name is light. All the conversation subsides as the bronzerider moves through the narrow spaces in silence with Ru'ien, tension easing as more light is gained. Finally, there's a caught breath from F'yr as the last room comes into view with its wash of awe-inspiring twinkles and stops abruptly again when setting a foot down results in a depth of flowing water deeper than his ankle. He glances away from the ceiling to take in the reflective surface of the pool and let go of Ru'ien's hand to settle himself into the cool water and scoot forward, finding the drop off and easing into the greater depth. "Come on," he murmurs to his fellow explorer, swimming for that naturally flat boulder with slow strokes. It isn't until he's perched on the edge of that boulder and laying himself back to look up at the ceiling off the cave that he asks, "You're not worried about it? Kihatsuth's first flight and all that?"

Even Ru’ien is silenced by the wondrous find they stumbled upon, mesmerized by the glows themselves. It’s not until F’yr calls to him to follow that he blinks and focuses on the natural pool. “Alright,” he breathes, a more visible half-grin on his features as he crouches down to follow in the other weyrling’s wake. Stretching out on that boulder, he’ll sigh expressively, once more entranced by the sight above them. His hands fold over his chest, his whole posture and demeanour lazily relaxed. “Mhm?” His excitement at their find has turned inwards for once, drawing him somewhere far away only to return when F’yr’s words sink in. “Oh? OH! No, not at all.” his tone is almost dismissive, which makes one wonder if he’s evading something. Only he smiles then, with a hint of mischievous teasing pointed at himself. “Guess that makes me a freak? Should I be worried? Because I’m not. She’s gonna do her thing and I’ll just have to ride it out — no pun intended on that! Only thing that’s really got me thinking is how it’s going to mess with me, y’know? Can kind of hazard a guess but who knows. As for the rest, well… I’ve got half of it taken care of.” Too much info? Well, F’yr asked and Ru’ien doesn’t do half measures.

F'yr is more tuned in now. His attention isn't perfect, and he certainly has his moments because grief does not pass in a day and still many days see the big blond more melancholy than not, but sometimes, he's able to keep his thoughts in the moment. His hands fold over his abs absently and his eyes don't leave the stars above. "I think a lot of people get worried about it, but it's… I mean, it's just a fact of our lives? Just one more potentially embarrassing adventure with them. I think Glorioth showing any interest in anyone besides himself is going to be…. mind-blowing, really." Oh, F'yr of little faith; not even flights will make Glorioth more interested in anyone other than Glorioth, but the misconception is understandable. "I used to feel like I needed to find people to teach me about sex who could laugh with me about whatever I was doing wrong, learn to do it well with them so I wouldn't fuck it up with other partners, you know?" Does he? It's a little weird. Maybe they're just two freaks in the dark. "I guess I feel like everyone in our class has already seen me in my most embarrassing, most ridiculous moments, so learning…" He shrugs. "Just so long as I do and I don't hurt anyone during a flight. I am a little worried about that, given Glori." And his propensity toward exceptional violence with herdbeasts and whatever other live critters he's allowed to make dead. There's a beat and then hurried, "Promise we'll be okay even if flights make things crazy for a bit?" Meaning: if Kiha pulls tricks, or Glori makes F'yr hurt someone, or whatever other unpredictable circumstances might come up after.

“Yeah, just another one of those things that can’t really be controlled. It’s gonna happen and better to make peace with that and settle for having to deal with the outcomes.” Ru’ien murmurs and while initially harsh with his blunt honesty, he tempers it with a softer spoken: “But I get it. Some might have a little more to freak out about, I guess.” A slight chuckle at the mention of Glorioth’s attention wavering and maybe even HE has his doubts! Lapsing silent while F’yr talks, his gaze will remain upturned to those distant star-like glow points. “Yeah, I get wanting to do that too and there’s nothing wrong with finding an experienced partner. There’s something about the inexperience though too? But you’re right.” About them all witnessing things in each other that are likely to be just between them all, as clutch mates. “Mhm. There is that, too.” No false words of comfort, no untrue statements — just Ru’ien stating it as it is: it COULD happen and it might not happen. He’s no more aware or assured than F’yr is of what could be outcomes either of them will face. Yet on the cusp of asking for a promise, Ru’ien’s hand will brush against the other’s arm, eventually seeking to clasp his hand again. Something a little more than a pinky swear! “Gonna take more that a botched flight or two to chase me off, Fear!” It starts off as his usual humor and there’s even a grin, as he tilts his head to gaze sidelong at his friend. Something lurks though, beneath the surface — a deeper something, that is darker and grim. “Now,” he begins, “Promise me that if shit goes awry and you’re finding you can’t cope with it after all you come find me — or whoever you might trust. Okay?” His hand will tighten, squeezing firm.

"You've said that before," F'yr might roll his eyes, but he's looking at the ceiling so it might be hard to tell for sure. "Maybe I'll offer my stud services out once I have any clue what I'm doing." Given that the bronzerider snorts when he finishes speaking, it's a joke. "It' weird starting to think about things like that after so many months of making myself not think about anyone or anything that way. Not…" He starts, his hand tightening on Ru'ien's, in a way that indicates a buffet from that aging wound coming from left field. He falls silent a long moment, holding to the lifeline that is his friend's hand, and at last he can take up the thread of the conversation again. "I saw Risa and R'hyn after the leadership flight. I have a lot of useful resources if shit goes sideways." He manages it with false brightness, because this, too, is humor but it's also true. "I'm sure I'll figure it out," isn't a promise to talk to someone, but maybe it sounds enough like one? "If it's rider stuff, I'll reach out for help. It's just the home stuff… I mean, I did reach out. To the right people, the healers." Not to anyone for himself, because why would he do something sensible like that? "I had to… I had to keep myself together. If I had to keep myself together, I knew I couldn't afford to break apart to begin with. Glorioth is a lot of things, but understanding of emotions isn't one of them. He really only gives me as much latitude with m-my loss," DEEP BREATH, "because he's convinced his father is dead." Has F'yr ever mentioned the on-going saga of Glorioth's poor, deceased daddy? Maybe in passing as reference to one zany quest or another, but perhaps not as baldly head on as this.

“Have I?” Ru’ien’s perplexed look might not be wholly faked this time! Even if it’s ruined in the next breath by his bemused laughter, a little hushed, for F’yr’s quip on stud services. “Mhm, it is.” he agrees again, halted in saying more by that tightening grip. He’ll let his return gesture speak volumes instead: he gets it. As for Risa and R’hyn, there’s no comment on that except for an understanding nod and a faint grimace on his part. The rest, he will glance sidelong to him but not press further and merely accepts the answer and ‘promises’ given; no pressure, no push for clarification. Why would he, when he himself would likely give similar grey area responses? “You did a damn good job at it, Fear, given the circumstances? I dunno if many could’ve done the same.” Does Ru’ien count himself among one of those? Quite possibly! One has to wonder if he does show any negative emotions and just how it manifests. A brow quirks and he smirks, looking back to the glow speckled cavern ceiling. “… dare I ask what happened when you tried correcting him about his father?” Maybe he has caught it before but figured NOT to mention it for the benefit of all involved.

"It was… all Glorioth. For Glorioth, because of Glorioth. It's the first solid, inarguable proof of what I already knew." F'yr's reply might be a touch husky, but he swallows away the roughness of his voice, mostly, "There's nothing that could compete with what I need to do and what I need to be for him." There just isn't. This is a stark truth that isn't quite this bald for every rider. Maybe in time there will be things that come close, but if the brother that raised F'yr can't… it's hard to imagine what could? There is, thankfully, a distraction ready to hand for all these serious things. "The first time I tried to correct him, Xermiltoth was actually there. Glorioth was convinced his father came back from the dead by the power of the love he held for Glorioth, because naturally whatever story that he came up with to explain it has to center around…" Everyone knows the end of that sentence. "Then he forgot the whole thing all over again, but he's sure Xermi is of the dearly departed. I'm not sure what explanation will come up next time. Sometimes when they interact… he just… has no clue." He shrugs. "It's not like he routinely spares much thought for other dragons," as has been said. Sires are no exception. "And the last time you mentioned what there's to be said for inexperience, it was in a different pool in a different place while we tried not to wake any dragons while letting our thoughts stray." His hand squeezes Ru'ien's but then moves to separate and abs flex to bring F'yr to a sitting position, his eyes going down to where his legs vanish in the reflective surface of the pool, slight movements blurring the blue glow caught from the ceiling and cast back out.

Ru’ien won’t interrupt those important words, nor remark upon the roughness behind the delivery. He leaves F’yr to speak, even if it’s a struggle not to interject with his usual humor. “I think I understand,” he murmurs after a quiet lingering moment. “And I think I’d do the same if it were Kiha and I.” He’s pretty good at clamping down on certain emotions but he’s not here to brag about that at a time like this. Wrong place, wrong time! That and when is the last time Ruin ever spoke of his family? His actual family? “Huh. Just when you think you have them all figured out, they still pull something fast on you.” he muses, watching as his friend moves to a sitting position. He’ll do the same, but significantly later and on the heels of his reminder. “Ahh, right! That was… mhm. It feels so long ago, doesn’t it?” Simpler, far more chaotic times! Resting his arms over his bent knees, Ru’ien peers into the darkness for a spell.

The last place Ru'ien talked about his family was probably the last time he and F'yr, when they were their pre-rider selves, were in another place with dark corners and far simpler chaos to contend with. Speaking of ''that'' variety of chaos though, after some beats of silence where each weyrling leaves the other to their individual contemplations of their present surroundings, F'yr speaks. His voice is quiet, but more than that, the tone comes with no real weight. "When we can, do you still want to? We've all changed a lot, but I'm still… I mean, it's still weird to think about kissing people again, let alone doing more. But we're getting weyrs and then only our dragons care, if they care." TRUST US, F'YR, YOURS CARES, SORRYNOTSORRY. That phrase is wistful for than anything. "We talked about no strings, but… life has changed a lot. I still… like the sounds of no strings, but… What about you?" What about him? Where does he stand now that he's no longer Keruthien, but Ru'ien with a dragon and a dragonrider's life to attend to?

Ru’ien blinks as he’s pulled back from his thoughts, casting a sidelong look to F’yr and while his expression is neutral from his inner musings, it doesn’t take long for the grin to return. “Do I want to, what?” he murmurs, being terrible with his teasing initially but swift to put him out of his misery of dreading to spell it out. “Kiss you? If that’s what you want, then yeah.” No shame, no hesitation in this one! Not an ounce. “If you want more, well — I like to see how it goes and let the moment decide. Mutually, of course.” He’s an asshole, but not a monster, folks! He chuckles, genuinely amused, though sobered just-so that he hopes to avoid offending. Sometimes he forgets that not everyone approaches life so loosely as he does. “No strings. Won’t change anything between us, either.” Big words, larger emotions, to be so confident in and assured. Yet that is what Ruin is — confident. His smile says as much. “Besides,” he adds, lightly teasing again. “Glorioth could catch Kihatsuth, y’know, if he’s so inclined to chase her.” That joke (or is it a threat now?) again? Only he adds, softer, with a mischievous smirk just before pushing off the boulder and back into the water. “…and I wouldn’t mind that.”

"I was thinking about more than kissing," F'yr's response is a touch wry, but there's no sense of expectation in the words. "I was thinking about fucking," so if Ruin thought Fear couldn't man up to speak the words that describe the act in question, he's teasing the wrong bronzerider. "But I'm fine… with whatever happens. It was more the strings I was concerned about. I'd rather not hurt feelings if I can help it, or make things awkward for anyone. Risa once pointed out to me that I shouldn't go around kissing everyone." F'yr briefly chews his lower lip before shrugging again and sliding into the water himself. "I think I see the point of that more now than before, but probably for the wrong reasons." He doesn't sound sorry about it. "Glorioth's tolerance can be stretched, I think, but if I spend all my time wrapped up in other people for one reason or another, he's bound to object." And no one really wants to be on the receiving end of a Glorioth objection if it can be helped. "If Glori catches Kiha, I'm only concerned about hurting you. But I'll make sure I know what I'm doing. I owe that much to anyone I end up with because of dragon stuff." Then he laughs even as he swims slowly in the vague direction of where they came from. "I owe that to myself and whoever I'm with just because of me." But it was the afterthought. Hopefully no one noticed that!

“Oooh, were you now?” Ru’ien cannot help but tease again in open friendly sarcasm, if only to hide that he’s visibly surprised AND impressed that F’yr actually spat it out for once! “Glad we made that clear!” There’s a low laugh for that and a bemused sigh. “Not that you had to worry on misunderstandings!” Which is a solid truth. “Mhm, she has good advice! I might be a little jealous that you have enough of a connection with her that she imparts such wisdom to you!” Now that he’s no longer alone in the pool, he will drift closer to F’yr, though plays fair and does not cross those unspoken boundaries. “And what wrong reasons would those be? Besides the obvious.” Meaning Glorioth, perhaps! Ru’ien smirks, his gaze lingering a moment before turning upwards again to glimpse the natural wonder that is this cave; he could be evading too, since they’re tip-toeing deeper conversations. “I’m tougher than I look, y’know!” Did he notice the afterthought? He won’t address it, even if he did. Instead he will swim alongside his friend, not intending to take them back into the caves but leaving the option open for Fear to take. Ruin is just as happy to linger here, a little longer, even as their conversations ebb and wane.

Ruin earns an eyeroll from Fear. "You just like hearing me say the word 'fuck' because you thought I couldn't. You know, I did go to the healers and come away with one sharding intense book, and then had Ajral teach me how to say all the technical words correctly. Learning the slang on my own…" That's a different story and one hand rises briefly out of the water to make a tipping so-so gesture. "I'm not afraid of it - sex - or all that worried, really. Mostly just… trying not to make it weird for people who like strings." As opposed to no strings. "I don't like talking about my interests outside of… that one person. You know? I don't know. Feels weird a little." He'll figure it out. He'll have to, if he means to go on as he has been going on. That plus Glorioth are probably the whole reasons for his hesitations. "I can't really picture you jealous. Not really. Risa just… turned into my first friend here. One of my best, really." He shrugs his shoulders. It's a sudden jump back to the previous topic when he shoots Ru'ien a serious look and says, "You know just because I don't like to talk about my stuff with people doesn't mean I won't listen if you need to talk about yours. I don't think…. I don't think I'm the jealous type? I mean… I sort of know I'm not." That makes his cheeks touch with color, hopefully not obvious in the blue light. "Anyway, I've got your back, whatever happens, or doesn't, with us. No expectations. I'm your friend first." Whatever else after, or at the same time? However that works. F'yr doesn't seem to really know. "We should head back?" It's a question, but he glances in the direction they've slowly been traveling.

Ru’ien can’t help but laugh again, “It’s because it sounds so different coming from you! So yeah, I’m not sorry for it.” And he’s probably going to try prodding F’yr now to swear more, until he’s told to knock if off! “The Healers have intense books!? Damn it and here I thought you had to be all sneaky and in the know to find that material!” Wait, he’s… oh, poor thing, he’s NOT on the same page (har har) here and thinking the bronzerider has got his hands on something else entirely. He tilts his head, sobered again as his brows furrow in thought and a subtle nod given. “Oh, I know what you mean on that. The strings, I mean?” Never mind that Ruin’s gone and done stupid things in recent past and doesn’t realize the consequences of his actions — yet. “Then don’t talk about it? Not gonna pressure you in spilling that if you don’t want to.” Which is a typical Ru’ien apology, with an appropriate smile to go along with it. No harm, no foul? He snickers a little. “Because I’m not! I chose not to dwell on things like jealousy Turns ago, among other things! I’ve seen what that shit does to people.” Quite the oath to swear and at what terrible, terrible cost? What has he done to himself, emotionally? Not that he allows a glimpse, from the way he grins and keeps that devil-may-care air about him. “But good on you!” For the friendship, heartfelt and genuine in his sincerity. As for him? He chuckles softly. “Maybe someday but honestly a lot of my problems are… petty. Family things.” Not important. Is F’yr catching that? “Same, Fear. I’ve got your back and you’re my friend, no matter what.” Another unwavering truth, despite the bright smile that may confuse and make one wonder otherwise. “Yeah, probably… Rhody’s likely done with her swim and who knows when our esteemed ‘babysitter’ is going to start a head count.”

IS HE? IS HE REALLY ON THE WRONG PAGE? Who knows what books get handed to UNSUSPECTING, IMPRESSIONABLE MEN BY WELL INTENTIONED HEALERS? It's probably closer to the right page than the wrong page really. There are… well, several things in what Ru'ien says that could raise some very significant questions. In the past six months, the bronzerider would have missed them all. Now, there's a silence that grows as F'yr takes that all in. He's never been great at processing in the moment, though, so there's a good chance that all those quite serious topics will spring back up when Ru'ien is least expecting to encounter them with the bronzerider with the penchant for asking questions that have never been posed before. Finally, when he breaks the silence of the cave which has an eerie quality to it it, with only the movement of the water to create any white noise beyond their own breaths, it's to say. "Okay. Heading back then. But… I mean, we found this very dark cave, that I'm sure has a lot of nooks and… I mean, my dragon can't get to us." Famous last words, but maybe it will work out for him this time. "Not to tempt fate, but maybe… just one?" He suggests, turning toward Ru'ien even as he gets to the place where he can settle himself on the edge of the underwater ledge that leads to the places that are only ankle-deep, watching the greenrider.

Ru’ien doesn’t process in the moment either, for the most part. Not anything that lurks too far beneath the surface of things, anyways. Which is why he rarely catches himself, before doing something and thus remains oblivious that he may have tipped something to F’yr for later discovery. It will require luck and some craftiness on the bronzeriders part though; if those tougher questions are ever asked, the greenrider is adept at escaping along tangents when cornered in conversations. “Shh,” he shushes him, playfully, with a lone finger held up to his own lips. “Don’t go suggesting and then jinx us!” Not that Pernese are overly superstitious to begin with, it doesn’t stop him from ribbing his friend one last time. “Have to admit… this place does have the right ambience, doesn’t it?” It’s a distracting tactic, as once F’yr has settled on that underwater ledge, Ru’in is breaking those imposed boundaries without another breath of hesitation. Close, closer and then he is much closer than he’s been to anyone, in this vein, for months. “Just one,” is the agreed promise, murmured soft and quiet as he leans in and only moderately up to press his lips to his. It lingers, but not overly long. Doing so would tempt too much and risk far more!

"Just right," F'yr agrees of the ambiance, but distractedly. For once his distraction is not inward thoughts of grief unshared or tears unshed, but much pleasanter distraction of anticipation. Ru'ien isn't a tease, but he is a teaser, so F'yr might not actually believe that Ru'ien's going to go through with it until the point at which the greenrider is suddenly close, so close. There's a hitch in the bronzerider's breathing and Fear's hands go to Ruin's sides, helping keep him just where he needs to be for that kiss. It's not just the press of lips to lips, but the play of tongues, the graze of teeth. One kiss that tempts men more than dragons, to be sure, but just one and F'yr breaks when one is threatening to become a tumble toward two or three or more. He pulls back enough that he can't just go right back and he stills, expression inward, checking. Is there a bronze dragon diving toward the crevice down which his rider went adventuring? The sigh of relief says thank Faranth, no! Fear and Ruin may live to tempt fate another day. There's a dizzying grin from F'yr as he releases Ru's sides and he slides back on the ledge enough to get up and offer his hands down to the other man, still grinning. "That beats out the glows for best thing about coming into this dark cave." He murmurs, voice laced with humor and a buoyancy of spirit that's heartening to hear.

“I’ll second that statement…” Ru’ien quips back, though in a voice that hints that his thoughts have scattered a little and his mind is still on that kiss. It’s not unlike being tipsy and it’s not so unusual a feeling that it alarms Kihatstuh, so they are doubly lucky that way! Such relief, all around and while he is debating giving in to temptation again — just one more little one, how could it hurt? — he resists. So it’s with a wistful sigh that he takes the offered hand and grins back, pulling himself out of the pool with F’yr’s help. “Let’s go, before I find more reasons to dawdle…” He means it too! He’s a weak willed man here, Fear! They will have to face the darker tunnels again, but that only lends the excuse to reach for each other — at least, Ru’ien will be shameless enough to exploit that. Returning to the surface, to true light, will see them having to adjust again to the brightness. Likely to so much comedy, as Ru’ien curses and swears, having not thought to stop and venture forth slowly. At least he won’t go blindly crashing through the woods (or, Faranth help them, off a cliff)! Surely they can make it back to the beach without incident… or another round of ‘where did they get those bruises’?

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