The Death of Dreams

Xanadu Weyr - The Lonely Island
Smack dab in the middle of the Sea of Azov sits a tiny island. Only just big enough to contain a freshwater stream, the island is overgrown with trees and shrubbery. Evidence of animal life exists, for those smart enough to look, small traces and paths zig-zagging through the dense forest to and from the water source and wild, edible plants. Mushrooms, berries, and the occasional fruit tree spot the island, along with several other plants that are only edible when one is particularly desperate. While the western side of the island drops off in sheer cliffs that plummet into a deep ocean pool, the eastern side slopes slowly into the water in a long, white stretch of beach. Pockets of sand create excellent fishing spots, while others play home to tiny ecosystems in the form of tidepools.

AN: I borrowed the pic for the weyrling beach >.>

In the weeks following that fateful meeting, Kovagath has been varying degrees of accepting on how much contact — literal and figurative — is okay between Sh'y and Avi. In the beginning he was more or less tolerant of their being together. Touching. Kissing. Cuddling. All of this was theoretically fine with the blue. But as more time passed, those insecurities would creep up so that on occasion, a snuggling session is interrupted by a giant blue head physically shoving itself between the pair. Or a sudden emergency that required Sh'y to leave Avi and attend to Kovagath instead (all emergencies inexplicably proving to be misunderstandings afterwards).

This is more or less tolerated by the weyrling who has accepted that his dragon is… basically acting like a jealous toddler who isn't happy that his parent's (or weyrling's) attention is on something or someone else. It has come to pass, as Sh'y had warned, on a few days in which being near Avi is unacceptable to Kovagath. Those days are spent working on things like straps or visualization or enjoying a moment of respite from lessons, and writing letters that are delivered by a consenting if somewhat contrary Nope, or left on Avi's pillow to be found at the end of the day. The letters are never very long — because thinking about Avi in that way for more than a few minutes will have Kovagath getting fussy — but they are full of sappy words detailing the many things that Sh'y loves about the little artist (his hair, his smile, his laugh, his kindness, his patience) and returned declarations of love that are not quite flowery, but are definitely earnest.

Today started out as one of those days, with distance required and the blue pair taking off to do their own things. But by midafternoon, Kovagath is reaching out to Mirieth with something of a controlled distress and asking her — and, more importantly, Avi — to meet him and Sh'y at a rather peculiar location. It isn't that the little island in the middle of the Sea of Azov is special, so much as it is alone. Abandoned. Empty. The perfect place for an upset weyrling and his dragon to retreat to, where no one can see them cry.

Knowing that Sh'y and Kovagath will be back? That this is just part of the growing pains they all have to endure? It makes it more then acceptable for Avi. To the point that while he relishes the moments they can be together and be touching? He makes ample use of the time they have apart. He and Mirieth have their own exploring to do, their own conversations to have and their own lessons to plan and practice and be anxious about. And when the letters come, they are always met with tender smiles as Avi snuggles up next to his darling little green and reads them aloud to her. Course, Miri is tickled at the experience and is more then happy to have them read to her over and over and over.

It is Kovagath's reaching out that has the pair looking startled, then worried, then moving to get on straps, grab waterskins and food, a blanket (just in case) and head out. Distress from Kovagath is not something Avi is accustomed to. Because of him? Sure. To him, even via Miri? Definitely not the norm. So it is that the green pair are soaring out over the water toward the island, searching for signs of the blue pair almost as soon as the island comes into view.

They will not be hard to find. Kovagath is laid out on the beach, facing the water and half-curled to provide a back-rest for Sh'y. He is not hiding him. He is not trying to hoard him. He is simply sitting with him, the blue almost languid in appearance as he rests on the warm sand and soaks up the summer sun. It is Sh'y that wears their upset — his upset — with the curling of his form; the holding of his legs; the press of his chin to his knees as he stares out over the water. He could just be resting. It is the tear-tracks that give him away; the shallowness of his breathing as he struggles to rein it in. That is why they are here. That is why they are on an island, where they are supposed to be alone.

The sight of the green pair has him startling, stiffening until he recognizes Mirieth's diminutive, pale-green form, though even then there's an effort made to right himself in some regard; to rub the evidence of upset from his face. To look normal rather than the wreck that he currently is. It gets a snort from Kovagath, even as he stretches out as Sh'y rises to meet them.

It is a good thing that Mirieth is small, because Avi is throwing himself from her back almost before she has hit the sand. That he stumbles for a step, or two is something he cannot help and does not try to hide. Instead, he heads straight for Sh'y, his arms winding around the bluerider as pale eyes search his face. It is the sight of tear tracks, despite the attempts to hide them, that has his heart clenching and his arms tightening. "What happened?" The question, though, is quietly uttered and accompanied by the drift of his hands over Sh'y's back, across the expanse of his shoulders.

For her part, Mirieth's advance is a bit slower, a worried little worble uttered toward Kovagath as she moves around toward the stretching blue. « Are you alright? » The question for Kovagath, though, is uttered as she hunkers down next to him, shimmying in over the sand until she is pressed right up against his side.

« Of course I am, » scoffs Kovagath, with just a bit too much defensiveness to be accurate. He snorts at the very idea that he would be anything other than fine, a flippant sort of dismissal given. « It's him that's upset, » he states simply. « Just feel for him, is all. » Of course. Couldn't possibly be anything else. But he consents to having Mirieth cuddle against him, repositioning himself so that he can accommodate her form, one wing stretched out over her with only a little hesitation in case she might object to it.

Sh'y shoots his dragon a look briefly, but the moment Avi's arms are around him — and his are around the artist — there's another stuttering inhale and a hitch of breath that might be a sob except that Sh'y manages to hold it in. He presses his face into blond hair, eyes closed as he just breathes him in for a moment, arms fiercely tight around Avi's shoulders. "Nothing," comes in hoarse, muffled return, a slight shake of his head given as Kovagath snorts behind him.

« He went to go visit the four-legged friend that smells like food, » he says simply, though there's a flicker of upset in his own tone. « She didn't like him very much. » It is so much more than that, but Kovagath does not really understand the complexities of the emotions going through Sh'y right now. And it upsets him.

« Of course, » Mirieth agrees in soothing tones as she nestles in under the expanse of one blue wing. « You're much braver then I am, Kovagath. I get all squirmy, whiney, scared when Avi gets upset. You know, that kinda upset that makes your tummy all wriggley and unpleasant. »

While Avi is listening to the dragons, sort of, his attention is mostly on Sh'y, the 'Nothing' met with a faint frown and tightening of his own arms around the bluerider. "Something…" And as Kovagath explains, Avi's face falls, the hurt and upset immediately visible in the watering of his eyes and the pinkening of his cheeks as he looks back up at Sh'y's face. "Oh.. Oh no.." Red. He had not thought about that, at all, not the presence of mind to consider how the beautiful mare might react to the smell of dragons. And while he slants a grateful look at Kovagath for the information, his attention is right back on Sh'y, the sweep of his hands over his back slowing to a firmer, more comforting kneading motion.

Kovagath is not a mean dragon, but he is not the selfless, kindest dragon on the planet, either. So while he definitely hears Mirieth, there is no consideration or question for when or why Avi might be upset. There's just the quiet hum to acknowledge having heard her, but nothing else. The end of his tail twitches, his wings flinch and rustle like he can't quite settle, but eventually he lays his head on the ground and slants a whirling eye at the pair of humans.

Sh'y just shakes his head, a slow sort of defeat in the gesture. He press his face into Avi's hair and holds him tight for another moment or two, fighting back the emotion that seeks desperately to be unleashed. He's tense; strong body turned to steel as he fights it, but in the end there is nothing he can do. Kovagath's mention and Avi's immediate understanding and similar sorrow, has all those emotions rushing back in a shuddering sob that has the tears spilling over once again. So pardon him as he just stands there clinging to Avi for a few minutes, crying into his hair and no doubt half-crushing the poor artist against his chest.

Mirieth is not going to push it, nor is it her intention to distract. That being the case, while Kovagath focuses on the humans, the little green wiggles in closer, watching him while he watches them.

Avi's arms tighten as the tears finally spill over, his hands pressing firmly against Sh'y's shoulders and moving in slow, steady circles meant to be soothing. For now, there is nothing he can say. What could he possibly offer that would be remotely comforting in this situation? Right now? Right now it is time to grieve for the things they cannot change, but must, eventually, face. Instead, he holds him as tightly as he possibly can, his own tears ignored in favor of doing what he can to offer as much comfort as possible in that moment.

Just being here is comfort enough. Sh'y doesn't need words. He has plenty of those already, tucked up in his head and unspoken. He doesn't want or need to hear more of them. But having Avi in his arms, holding him back, is worth everything. He lets his sorrow pour out of him because he knows it is safe with the artist in his arms. He lets his tears come because he knows Avi can handle them, and that he won't think less of him for them. He clings to him because he knows Avi understands why this is upsetting; he knows that Avi knows it goes so much deeper than simply not being able to be around Red. That it is everything, his whole life, his dreams — Everything — that is being given up. Or, more accurately, has been taken from him. Even if Sh'y wouldn't trade Kovagath for the world.

Eventually he calms down. The sorrow is still there, the heartache is still pressing, but it's not so overt as to come with tears and sobs. He catches his breath. He loosens his death-tight hold. He manages to speak, somewhat. "Let's sit," comes hoarsely, but at least it's understandable.

Avi understands. He understands the gravity of what Sh'y is going through, the sorrow over what is being left behind and the helplessness involved in knowing that there is nothing he can do about any of it. This was chosen for him, not with him. And he knows enough to know that he will never truly understand the depth of what is being lost, the dreams that will not happen, that can never happen. Not now. And whether that would be changed, or not?

Whether new dreams can be forged, or not? Those are not the issues of the moment. At the moment, it is about mourning dreams that are no longer possible. And it is that that has him making low, soothing noises in his throat. It is that that has his hands smoothing over the expanse of Sh'y's shoulders. It is that that has nimble fingers drift along the length of his neck, kneading at his scalp, offering whatever comfort he possibly can.

It is the hoarse suggestion that has him dipping his chin in a nod, his arms loosening before letting go entirely. "I'll be right back," he promises before circling around the dragons to pull the waterskin and blanket off Mirieth. When he returns, he sinks to one knee, pressing the skin into Sh'y's hands and wrapping the blanket around his shoulders. It is only when that is handled that he sinks down, as well, nestling in to wrap his arms back around his mate.

Kovagath gives a low, throaty sound as they approach. He shifts in the sand, kneading at it beneath his talons, and watches with a twitch of his head as Avi goes for the blanket and water. Sh'y drops to the ground nearby, facing the water but watching Avi, too. When he returns, the wrap of the blanket gets a hoarse little laugh, and he shrugs it off just a little to let it pool around his waist. It's way too warm right now for that, and he'd much rather hold Avi instead. He turns to collect him, head bowed so his face is pressed into the curve of the weyrling's neck, leaning forward into him and half-wrapped around him.

But there are no words coming, because he doesn't know what to say. There's a weight on his shoulders and he doesn't know how to lift it. Giving up this dream is one of the hardest things he'll have to do, and he has no idea how to fill the hole that's left behind.

In time, new plans will sweep in to fill the space where old ones had been. In time, life will sort itself out to the point where they are calm and comfortable and hopeful rather then empty and filled with despair. Avi knows it. He has faith in the thought that things will work out. In time. Content to hold and be held, his hands continue to drift along the length of Sh'y's back, soft murmurs meant to comforting humming in the back of his throat. For now, he has no intention of trying to get Sh'y to talk. He'll speak when he's ready to speak and not before.

Later, when things are less immediately bleak, he will bring up futures and plans. Later, when the hurt is not quite so fresh, he will urge Sh'y to talk about making other plans, other goals.

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