Idiotic Chaotic Misfortunes

Disclaimer: post-flight~ nudity, adult themes, glossed over sex, etc.

Xanadu Weyr - Guest Weyr
Rustic and simple, this one-roomed cottage sits at the edge of the forest near the feeding grounds. The decor is spartan with a wide, comfortable bed and a couch, table and chairs and small kitchenette. Kept stocked with food and drink, the bed freshened with sheets and coverlets after each use by the weyrstaff, it's nothing more than a place to give riders participating in mating flights a bit of privacy when they need it.

It could have started off like any other day: clear skies, high winds and typical autumn cold. Clouds drifted in by the afternoon, but nothing untoward given the season! Most of the Weyr was going about business as usual. Standard and routine (and so boring, according to one resident virus green)! No wonder then, that a wrench is thrown and chaos sowed, rife and ripe for the harvest. Kihatsuth breaks one of her habitual preferences by calling to her prey court well before the onset of nightfall. She draws as many to her, as she wrecks havoc upon those feeding grounds, now painted with her artistic flare.

Under one particularly strong gust of wind, she is spurred on by inspiration. Kihatsuth’s cackling challenge reaches far, as she rises to pit her strength against that of nature itself — and those males foolish daring to take her on. She is not kind or merciful with her flights; they burn, testing limits of all, herself included. Many are lost early in, unable to match the strenuous changes in altitude, the steep dives and arcs. Ones that are further disrupted by troubled thermals — but that’s the point, isn’t it? Kihatsuth wants to be outsmarted, whether by the successful male’s own prowess or just plain chaos’ fortune.

Which is it, then, that has Xath crossing her path? Kihatsuth’s wrath is but another of her many masks, but he could be spared the worst of her talons yet.

And all the while, Ru'ien held his own court. Some small part of him, one not completely drowned out by Kiha’s influential viral take over, is thrown off by the timing. He’d curse the disruption, if he could drum up the energy to fight her, but is well and truly her proxy puppet. Like all times before, Ru’ien is there to welcome the riders whose lifemate’s are caught in Kiha’s net. He does not keep his distance, mingling among them; taunting, teasing, brushing along invisible boundaries or fleetingly crossing them if given the right cues. Shameless! Brazen. Yet some control remains, however slim, and for so many reasons. A white-knuckled grip on a sliver of awareness that waivers when the catch is made.

Then, to the victor, a broad sultry smirk that isn’t wholly Ru’ien’s, though his arms lift to welcome a not-so entirely unfamiliar face. He will go with the level of intensity that is offered from the brownrider; full submission is not immediate. He will push and test those limits, studying, learning about just what kind of partner he will be taking on this time — and then meeting those thresholds. Eagerness is not lacking, here! He is flexible in the amount of give and take with passion and rigorousness; but he will rise to meet whatever level M’tras brings.

That would be Option C, Kiha, Chaos' misfortune. Xath did not want to be here. Xath did not mean to be here. In point of fact, That Idiot, Xath, almost certainly didn't even realize that he was coming here that he was doing this until it was entirely too late to do anything but shut up, fly fast and recklessly and try not to die. There are many things Xath is willing to give up to keep his head down and be utterly unremarkable to every quick glance in his direction, but he's not willing to die for it.

Thus, when it happens that his sense of direction and purpose ends up co-opted by one very clever virus and a spread she might not even know ranges far and corrupts even the noblest of intentions to ignore biological drive in favor of callings of the heart, Xath finds himself not only blooding, but tossing himself into that very rat race. And truth be told, sorrynotsorry, Kihatsuth, he does not want to win.

Okay, listen, that part of him that doesn't think so good when there's a gorgeous glowing green who probably terrifies him more than a little does and maybe it can be given the blame when after the kinds of zipping, careening, and tight-angled turns that a brown as large as he just should not be able to manage, a turn gone wrong has him literally colliding. If only it were just the kind of accident that could take him to the ground and let him limp off in relief with minorly wounded pride and call it a narrow miss when he makes his apologies to the green who's captured his interest on the regular.

But no, this is not so easy a snare to escape because the collision he does have involves scary excessively long talons probably digging into his mocha daydream hide, and wings tangling and a submission to the necessity of the act just to go on breathing and not hit the ground in an entirely unappealing hide sack full of broken bones. AND SO IT GOES, with desperation and a drive to survive, the normally charming Xath is Kihatsuth's latest victim lover. At least this much can be said for him, that desperate or not, he does know how to show a lady a good time, because his pride in that particular skill set is probably one of the only other things he's not willing to surrender to anything short of death itself.

It will come as a surprise to exactly no one that Rau is not playful. In fact, his arrival was with stony face that might be indication he's not pleased to be here. Yet, Rau would never be that rude, not here, in the flight weyr. As the flight goes on, though, that hard edge diminishes. It never softens, but he relaxes into the rhythms of the pursuit above, probably a helpful anchor for his panicking lifemate. So Ru can taunt, Ru can tease, and he'll even earn bemused smiles from the tall, dark and handsome brownrider keeping to the chair he's appropriated for himself in the kitchenette, sitting on it reversed, arms lazily draped across its back. It's only once Xath has realized his mistake good fortune that hands move to push through short-cropped locks and he rises to catch up that not entirely unknown man and crush one mouth to another in a kiss that is demanding, desperate but in the best way, the way that makes a person feel alive.

Together, they live; together, they die. Here and now, the struggle for survival can be played out with titillating tableaus of making spark into flame and the joint rush to the peak where they may fall and turn it into flight. Never once will M'tras make his partner feel unsafe for all that he will not be yielding in his need for control. Here, now, it's not domination he seeks, but aegis for seeing himself and his partner through this not only satisfied but whole and well. Truly, some of this is entirely out of his control whether he likes it or not, but in control— in the self-possession and complete assurance that never verges into overconfidence or an excess of ego, there's likely to be something comforting - something a person could relax into. That being said, Ru is not leaving here without war wounds but it's from the war they fought together, not because they had to fight one another.

For all that flights are flights, this is the sort of experience ON THE GROUND, AT LEAST that a person might find themselves feeling a touch of melancholy to see it come to an end, but end it must and does, in the way of things. Breathing hard, the brownrider shifts carefully to remove the safe? weight of him from over his partner-of-the-moment's frame, backing onto knees, one hand trailing as it goes, a last lingering moment before he's just Rau, there with Ru'ien, dark eyes watchful, expression lacking its usual neutrality in favor of something not exactly more readable, but far less intense. He'll wait for the greenrider to make a move either toward sleep or other before murmuring, "Doing alright?" It's not like he suddenly manifested a more social tongue, but perhaps his simple brevity in a voice made delightfully rough by what's transpired will be for the best.

Oh, such a poor and unfortunate soul in Xath! Kihatsuth doesn’t care if he didn’t want to win — IT HAPPENED and he'll just have to suck it up, won't he? oh my, a wrong turn? who would have thought~ If he wants to bemoan his fate, she won’t stop him from indulging it’d greatly amuse her and he’ll want to please her, no? She may give him further inspiration by threatening to offer something to really complain about. Of course, Xath could choose to ignore those talons digging into his lovely mocha daydream hide — and while she compliments him on such wonderful colouring while maring it’s perfection!

Luckily for him, Kihatsuth doesn’t torture her victims linger long with her lover-of-the-moment. Good time shown or not, it’s a preferred choice of ‘wham-bam, thank you sir~’. No offence to any particular strengths of Xath’s! If he knows what’s best for him, he’ll take his chance to scurry away the moment they’re safely landed. She’ll be all too happy to provide the necessary encouragement, should the hint not immediately sink in. No cuddling this one! He’s provided his services use nicely and she (not so) kindly demands asks for space. but expect much implied air kisses and sultry winks and two-faced wicked smirks farewells~ don’t be a stranger now~

Elsewhere, events kick off with that kind of kiss and Ru’ien certainly feels alive, electric even, as he drowns in overloaded senses and feedback’s buzz. Though Rau remains largely in control, Ru'ien will bend and give gradually in ways that only heighten the mutually shared experience. When it’s evident just how all will unfold, the middle ground is found between them; one where Ru’ien ultimately yields in the cumulative end and that near-comfort provided in this current flight-matched partner. and a few war wounds are the expected outcome after such a unified fight

There isn’t melancholy, so much as there is satisfaction, at some sublime level that is not unlike having a deep itch thoroughly scratched. Full release and sense of relief with it, when at last he is blissfully freed from viral proddy-flight influence. Once Rau’s weight is lifted, Ru’ien tilts forwards to sprawl lay against the bed with a deep groan. Breathing slows from ragged to steady, a few moments spared to collect some piece of himself.

At the prompt, he makes a low throated sound as he stirs. Sated exhaustion is in every movement, the look he casts from over his shoulder and the angle in which he arranges his frame. Resting now on his side, curved and languid, his heavy-lidded gaze lifts to meet Rau’s. “Mhm. Feels like I'm in one piece?” he muses, one hand doing a less-than cursory slide over his top-most thigh and hip on it’s way up to casually brush some of his hair back from his face.

He isn’t expecting much social tongue here. For once, Ru’ien isn’t exactly openly offering much in turn; and the reasons behind it are mixed. He is stripped, vulnerable, and still piecing back his masks. Slower, because Rau is not a stranger and so there is no immediate urgency, but he is … not a desired choice either, because of the knowledge he has. There is no avoiding that. Names are known, loosely, by prior acquaintances. He’s not sure how he feels and on the heels of that — promptly shoving all of that internal thought under a facade of blasé attitude. There’s a flickered moment where his conflict shows but it vanishes swiftly enough beneath a lazy smirk. Slowly, but surely, he is coming back to ‘himself’ (on the surface). Evident, in the way he purrs a returned: “You?”

As long as Xath's wrong turn doesn't turn into a dead end, he'll manage. It's indisputable he wants to please her if only to be able to flee all the faster, and to that end as soon as he sorts she's that kind of green, he obligingly squirms if not with perhaps the kind of enthusiasm as some might have for this particular kind of twist. He should know better than to run his mouth, but inevitably at some point as talons dig, he wheezes (mentally; physically, he's probably fine), « You know, I've always been more of a vanilla sort of dragon myself, but my cousin— » and probably about there, he realizes that this is not the moment.

If there's anything Xath knows how to spot, it's an escape. With no pride to save, no romantic adieus to give, he seizes upon the offered one with alacrity and only the smallest nod to decorum as he tosses Kihatsuth a, « Glad to have been of service, ma'am, » in his wake. ALL IN A DISASTROUS DAY'S WORK. And he's gone gone gone~ Off to the dragonhealers no doubt to have the wounds checked and tended. He may have been infected, but he'd like to consider himself cured now, thankyouverymuch.

Rau isn't nearly so chicken quick to seek escape his partner-of-the-moment's immediate presence. The lips that rarely seem to manage to find any other shape than a line distinctly curl at the edges, not a large smile, but not a ghostly barely-there one either. "That's a start." He acknowledges of the greenrider's answer and his tone holds enough bemusement to be obvious even to one who's not accustomed to listening hard for it.

"Satisfied," is what he settles on a moment later. "Xath hasn't been chasing greens other than Koth much since we arrived." Much, but not never. This, it must be said, qualifies in Rau's world as being downright chatty. He may be making an effort to put Ru'ien at his ease, an effort that is not unsuccessful in making himself seem much more approachable than his usual stoicism often makes him seem.

The brownrider shifts, stretching a little as he shifts out from between the sprawled man's legs and twists around to settle on his rump beside the other man. He's not so close as to invite more intimate touch, but close enough that it's comfortable, or as comfortable as these things can be when one ends up sharing intimate and vulnerable experiences with near-but-not-total strangers.

Although he doesn't seem concerned about his state of undress, nor Ru's particularly, he does reach for the blanket rumpled at the end of the bed and tugs it, offering it toward the greenrider. "Can I get you anything, Ru'ien?" The way M'tras' dark eyes watch his companion's face with focus might mean that he caught that moment of conflict that was there, but while his expression suggests and openness that allows the room to speak or share, it also respects the choice to not, leaving it all in Ru'ien's figurative hands.

Sure, it hasn’t happened yet that someone has bolted so quick after the deed but Ru’ien wouldn’t hold it against Rau even if he were that chicken the kind to seek a quick escape. Some small part of him if relieved it isn’t the case, here, even under the potential awkwardness (that he refuses to further acknowledge exists).

It’s a start! There is hummed agreement from him to that answer. Now where does it go? His expression holds a drowsy edge, mouth visibly slanted in another smirk to the brownrider’s bemused tone.

“Good~” Is it? That may very well be spoken truth! Ru’ien would be remiss if it wasn’t satisfying (in some way). It’s not like he hasn't shamelessly engaged in second rounds before and that buzz is still present, awaiting a spark and regardless of satiated exhaustion. Everyone copes differently and his way has always been not to dwell on the hard thoughts; the darker ones, seeking another moment of invited distraction to avoid them lurking at the peripheral edges of these thoughts.

No such escape here, this time. Ru’ien’s reaction to that tidbit of fact is to chuckle low, while tucking much of it away to mull on later (or not at all, he’s of a mind to make it not his business to know). “Try not to let Kihatsuth ever hear you say that.” he points out in husky-sleepy tones. “You’ll feed her ego.” Which mask one? “And then she’ll really never leave Xath alone.” MIGHT ALREADY BE TOO LATE! buried Conflicted emotions or no, Ru’ien appreciates Rau’s physique. Why not? They’ve just bared all between one another! He does, however, keep his hands to himself, where normally now there’d be high potential of intimate touch. He’ll settle for comfortable — welcomes it, in fact! The blanket is welcomed too, gathered with an appreciative and thankful sound as he tugs it up just over his hips. Not to hide his modesty (of which he has none) and because it’s cold in here or cooling thanks to the autumn season outside.

That offer to speak, to share, is understood and Ru’ien wordlessly declines it. It’s no offence really to Rau, but they’re not on that level of trust for the greenrider to open up — stripped or vulnerable as he may be, he’s not letting the brownrider in if it can be helped. As socially talkative as he is, it’s so very rare that Ru’ien ever speaks in depth of himself; an old survival tactic, not so easily ‘turned off’. “Well…” he muses thoughtfully, while stretching out his legs with slightly muffled groaning under his breath. Resettling gradually on his back, with an arm propped behind his head, he turns that drowsy gaze sidelong and up to M’tras. “A drink would be fantastic?” he muses, with a slight grin. be a dear and fetch, so he can get a grip on himself No elaboration or specifications, simply: a drink. Was this an option, though?

A singular brow arches at the advice offered by the greenrider. He might let it go at that except… he owes Xath better than that. "We're hoping Koth isn't the jealous type," but they must not be that optimistic, "But we would take any advice you'd care to offer as to how he might escape her attention." This, of course, almost requires that his lips soften into a small smile again. "Not that this wasn't enjoyable for what it was." In the moment and all that. For the first time since Xath fled parted ways with Kihatsuth, he reaches to touch Ru'ien, hand aiming for shoulder, not for a caress, but for an amicable sort of squeeze.

He moves in the moments that follow, sliding away, off the bed and rising to stretch before he's heading for drinks, a casual examination of the space allowing him to hook a garment here and there with his toes, kicking them into the air to catch. One happens to be his pants, so he steps into them on the way, tugging them up but not bothering to do up the belt overlaid with the length of rope just yet.

Given the way M'tras moves, it might be divined that it's not modesty that prompts the act but rather a gentle reinforcement of the tone of all of this particular post-flight. He's not hurrying to dress and be gone, but they're not about to engage in round two - not that anyone here thought they were, but in moments like this, it can be helpful to casually send the right signals so everyone is comfortably ton the same page - no expectations or misunderstandings lingering in the space between bodies that were so intimate a short time ago.

He returns with the few garments he's gathered over an arm (short of full outfits, alas; there will still be hunting to do), a bottle of booze under an arm and two glasses currently a little more than half full with water. He extends the glass to the greenrider as he re-settles on the bed, keeping more to the edge, but not on it, not sending any of those miniscule signs that he's imminently vanishing, but also not creating an intimate space beyond that of what friends might share.

Relieved of one mug, he adjusts, dumping garments on the bed, resting booze bottle against his thigh while he sips from his mug. There is an easiness to his demeanor now not routinely present and that is there within his voice as he asks, "May I keep you company a while?" Within the neatly refined choice of wording and tone (probably developed over turns) is room for 'No,' for 'I'd rather be alone,' but also respects a space for, 'I'd rather not be alone right now.' There are booze coming after the water's been drunk - maybe more booze, or less, depending on the answer. Within that question is acknowledgement that Rau doesn't know what Ru needs, and it's a subtle request for that information to be shared at least to the extent of 'stay' or 'go.'

Ru’ien chuckles, at least, to the statement of reassurance towards the level of enjoyment found in their previous situation and maybe more in agreement with the sentiment too. It could’ve been worse! He’s been lucky so far and it will probably run out one day; but like much in his life, he won’t allow himself to think that deeply for long. He smiles broadly, more himself even in that brief moment, for the amicable squeeze to his shoulder and unbothered by the gesture (and perhaps even appreciating it, in a way).

So he’ll be forgiven, right, if his gaze follows Rau for the time it takes the brownrider to slide away, stretch and those first few garments hooked? It’s not long after that that his gaze slides away and he begins to talk, belatedly in answering but no less honest in his reply. “I can’t vouch for Koth,” On Kiha, however: “See? That’s the tricky part!” he admits with a sigh that isn’t feigned for the long-suffering edge. “I would tell you if I could — but I can’t! What would work one day? Won’t work next with her! She’s too mercurial.” Yet there’s affection in his voice, pausing only to sit up, blanket still tugged over much of his lap.

“I mean, Xath could try to predict her moods or whatever it is that’s inspiring her attention in that moment — but that could backfire, too.” Spectacularly! His expressive tone hints that much in silent warning. “Being bland as possible could work? Bore her. Don’t react!” Don’t feed the virus muse and it will wander away in hunting search for other victims playmates. Sounds simple, right? (ahahaha, if only!) Ru’ien’s scoff indicates that even he’s unsure of that tactic being foolproof. Even throughout his rambling talking, he’s picked up on those signals and they’re well understood; had he been in his usual form, he might’ve cracked some joke about lamenting over pants now being involved but there’s nothing of the sort now (yet). His hands have lifted up to his hair, where he busies himself with untangling the snarls some of his hair has tangled itself into.

“Ahh, wonderful~” He sighs in genuine delight when he spies the bounty drinks Rau returns with, lowering his hands to take the offered glass while the brownrider resettles. No doubt he’s equally grateful for the garments gathered (especially if his shirt is in there) as he is the alcohol! Ru’ien has settled, neither fully on or off the bed, himself and with only one leg currently dangling over the edge; the other is bent at an angle beneath the blankets. Basically? It’s a comfortable and casually relaxed pose, one that doesn’t hint at any outwardly tension or signs that he plans to bolt the moment the opportunity presents itself.

It appears too that his requests for drinks wasn’t all joking — he’s downed most of the water by the time Rau speaks! His answer starts first by way of a gestured toast-like tilt of his near empty glass and it’s not until he’s cleared his mouth that he actually speaks. “Don’t mind at all~” Which is not a lie! Whatever is tumbling about in his head, he does not pin it on Rau; that would be unfair, if not a touch over-dramatic. He gestures next for one of the bottles, happy enough to pour for himself or to allow the brownrider to do it. The ease of which he does gives a ‘rather not be alone right now, anyways’ vibe, complex feels or not. Rau’s company is not that undesirable. —what could possibly go wrong?—

Rau might just be asborbing all that Ru'ien offers about Kiha maybe he's just slow? because he offers no immediate comment. It's not until after he's back with the drinks and has clarified his welcome to stay for one beyond the water that he makes any reply. He pours the drink for the greenrider with a level hand that does an impressive job of adjusting to even minute shifts of the glass beneath it, though dark eyes stay trained on the task so perhaps that's why.

"Xath can do bland," M'tras says as he tips the bottle upright from the pour and shifts to pour into his own glass. The smirk though is telling. That Xath can 'do' bland is a wild understatement; it's his calling in life, to behave as blandly as possible, to be utterly unexceptionable, to attract as little attention as possible; he makes it a damned artform~~ …which might explain any pre-flight attention Kihatsuth might have seen fit to direct his way. She would love to shake loose a particularly well-honed mask, wouldn't she? OH WELL, RIP Xath, you tried~

It could all fade into (un)easy silence then, of course, given the general lack of words Rau seems naturally given to, but after he re-caps the bottle and takes a drink he offers an olive branch an avenue of potentially easy conversation. "It used to drive me crazy when we were weyrlings, because I knew what he was capable of, but he didn't want anyone getting any 'ideas'—" the airquotes are audible - and he's making an effort to add a little color to his deep voice, possibly easiest when his lifemate is the topic since there's obviously as much a bond between them as is natural for most pairs, affection inherent, "—about his being competent lest they expect him to be competent." Horror of horrors. Rau lets the edge of his lips tick up just a little, enough to define (if subtly, in case anyone was expecting otherwise) the lop-sided touch of a smile.

“Can he?” Ru’ien is amused and intrigued, despite the almost dubious frame of his likely-rhetorical query. Might be that it’s the telling smirk of Rau’s that fuels it, more than the words themselves. It could be Xath’s undoing, as Kihatsuth will be drawn by his artfully perfected mask (how could an artist such as herself resist, hmm?). He’ll be able to survive some pre-flight attention in the future, though, right? There’s no guarantee that he’ll ever win again! RIP all of them, Xath in particular, all the same She’s the kind to get just as much satisfaction in making the brown squirm, while everyone else might sweat thinking she’s pulling favourites (spoiler: this queen of chaos has no favourites, just temporary muses)!

That olive branch offer of easy conversation isn’t spurned by Ru’ien. He’ll tilt his head, clearly listening avidly as he indulges in that so-kindly poured drink. Rau’s effort to make this comfortable isn’t lost of him either and maybe that helps the ease in which he laughs, a far more genuinely blasé smile now curving his lips from around the rim of his raised glass just before he tilts it back. Lowering it, he gives an acknowledging hum before he starts in on his reply. “I don’t envy you that frustration! Though - and don’t hate me for saying it -“ Ru’ien pauses to fleetingly grin for effect. “— That was pretty damn clever of him.” Of course he could relate, in a way, to the brown’s tactics!

Was this the aim? For a little neutral-ground sharing? His lips purse, as he mulls over which tidbit to bring up on his end, breaking that lapse in conversation first with a light scoff and crooked smirk to some jogged memories. “Kiha’s always been … reactive towards scenarios on an emotional level, even when she isn't proddy.” Ru’ien grimaces, but there’s a complex cascade of other emotions flickering beneath that expression. “Weyrlinghood was a bit of a catch-all nightmare sometimes when it came to daily interactions. Couldn’t predict her! Had to learn to become adaptive, find her weaknesses…” And exploit them, when he has to play hard and dirty to get her to stop. His shoulders lift in a shrug, hands splaying outwards (even with glass in tow) in a ‘it is what it is’ gesture. “And it’s been a wild ride since!” Then, he tilts his head down, as feigning horror and embarrassment both (okay, so the second one might be a little true) in his playfully-touched expressiveness gee, wonder where Kiha got her inspiration? “Don’t even get me started on her artistic tastes!” he stage-whispers around a low chuckle.

The grin and compliment for Xath is met with the slightest of shifts in the subtle smile on the brownrider's lips, highlighted by the way a singular finger comes up to lay across his lips and small sway toward Ru'ien, creating the sense of conspiracy. Shh. There's no sound, but it's plain enough even without the sound that Xath's cleverness should be their little secret; can't have things like that getting out~

The assistant weyrlingmaster is attentive - perhaps surprisingly so, though it might be chalked up to professional interest - as the greenrider shares the verbal snapshot of his lifemate's time as a young dragon. He could say something trite like, 'Sounds like she kept you on your toes,' but this is Rau, so there's nothing of that useless ilk, only a slight flexion of his lips to shift into something of a merciless smirk. "And were you keen, adaptive and mentally agile before you impressed?" Did she teach him or has he always been so?

If M'tras' dark gaze drops to his drink a moment before drawing his eyes back to the greenrider in the bed, "That sounds like something you'd need another drink to divulge." Mind, he does have the bottle right there, but still, he won't offer that refill until Ru'ien is ready for it. Still, there's no trace of reluctance or any hint that the warning has intimidated the greenrider's self-possessed partner-of-the-moment, so he's probably fine to delve in if he dares.

Ru’ien will play into that sense of conspiracy with an echoed grin around the rim of his glass, miming sealing his lips and placing a hand over his heart once Rau has finished sharing. It’ll be kept a secret! He knows all about not wanting things getting out (whether true or in jest) and more so with their respectful lifemate’s inclinations.

“Fuck no!” Ru laughs, “Might be why she chose me. What better a puppet, hmm?” He keeps it up for a beat or two longer before dropping the facade with a chuckled scoff and crooked smirk. Now there’s a hint of seriousness to his voice that was absent before (and so one could hazard, that this part is the truth!) “Adaptive!” Is what he is and has been much of his life. “Keen and mentally agile? Ehh…” One hand is raised and tilted side to side. “Arguable! Depending on who you ask~ So,” Rau’s turn! “Which was it for you? Were you keen, adaptive and mentally agile?” It’s a light tease, with a dash of genuine curiosity without strings; the brownrider can choose how to answer — or not!

He laughs again, finishing off his drink but not taking up the offer of a refill. The glass is set aside, as Ru’ien takes that moment to stretch out his back, then his legs, while sliding purposely to the edge of the bed. “Probably a lot more to drink and half a day to get through it all.” Set to the subtle cadence of ‘not now, maybe another time!’ and around a broadly flashed grin Rau’s way. There is no suggestion that they need to hurry, either! Even if Ru’ien’s next movement is to reach for the nearest bit of gathered clothing and, when he finds the top he had been wearing, slips it on.

The eyebrow that arches is all imperious arrogance. The slip from self-assurance (a property the brownrider is never without) to arrogance is so easy one might well imagine this is a path well trod, and it's not hard to guess which was the original sin personality trait. "Isn't it obvious?" The beat allowed isn't really for Ru'ien to hazard an answer as a hand comes up to gesture crisply to the vague whole of himself. "I was perfection personified. How far I must have fallen in a decade and a half for you not to recognize my magnificence." And he says it all with a straight face.

Granted, Rau says most things with a straight face, but for the execution of this humor, he has to earn bonus points. He twitches his lips into a smirk when he's finished, just in case the joke of his fourteen turn old ego hasn't conveyed itself. Some people never lose it, after all, but the not-yet-thirty turn old brownrider, whose demeanor never lacks in confidence but has yet to cross the line into idiocy undue arrogance in present company, appears to have grown out of it.

Since Ru'ien is up off the bed, it seems to be M'tras' cue to get up and help retrieve outstanding clothes, tossing the article he finds that aren't his in the greenrider's direction with a quiet, "Ho," of warning before they're in the air. It's efficient, really. He manages to collect his socks and boots along the way, though his shirt must have ended up off the direction the greenrider took. He doesn't bother with returning to the bed for the socks and boots, balancing on one foot to don the garments with nary a wobble in sight before moving on to the other side to repeat the process.

Straight faced delivery won’t keep Ru’ien from laughing under his breath, grin still very much in place. “Don’t blame yourself too much now!” he muses, slightly dry toned. “I can be pretty oblivious even on a good day~'' There's a sidelong glance cast over his shoulder and what may have been a wink tossed in Rau’s general direction.

With a sigh that is part benign and a dash of reluctance (maybe he’s tempted to just flop back onto that bed after all … but no), Ru’ien will slide off the edge of the mattress and fully onto his feet. There’s another stretch to his back, a roll of a shoulder and subtly fidgeting hands trying to find purpose in something while his mind sluggishly catches up. Rau’s warning has him glancing up in time to see that article of clothing tossed his way, but Ru’ien’s reflexes are a half-beat behind. No perfection here, as fingers fumble but salvage it from falling entirely on the floor. Not wholly graceful and yet skillful in some weird way. Ending, of course, with Ru’ien playing it off like that was the intended outcome because there’s nothing to see here, right?.

“Thanks!” he quips, again with another lazy, slanted grin, while straightening the skirt so it can be slipped on again without further incident. It’s a wonder he doesn’t fumble it again, given he’s watching Rau balance with considerable ease and little struggle! Maybe it’s curiosity that has him being a jerk reaching for the brownrider’s shirt and while collecting one of his own boots with the other hand. The shirt is held for a ponderous moment, eyes flickering with a decisive gleam that doesn’t bode entirely well. Mischief, is what it is! A sudden burst of impulse.

He could have done the polite thing and waited for Rau to be done with repeating the process of balancing on one foot — but that’d be the boring option! Ru’ien will toss Rau his shirt first, whistling a short-note warning next and a half-second behind the action. Catch! Even before the outcome is determined, the greenrider will find a place to perch sit, setting the knee high boot he still holds down so he can slip it on. All while trying very hard not to smirk but failing in that too (he’s too exhausted for the art of straight-faced masks!). Even feigned innocence at this point is off the books~

Fall. The world wants that failure, wants this to be the way his gaping imperfections become clear… but this isn't one of them. Both his balance and his mastery over his own form are not without blemishes that can yet be refined, but both skills have been honed well into adeptness. The little warning given is all that is needed for his focus to shift enough to see the projectile shirt coming and make choices. The choice he makes, however, isn't to suddenly alter his course just because someone who is not under the influence of their dragon anymore, thankyouverymuchweallnoticeditwasyouRu threw a little chaos his way, but rather to observe it with those fathomless eyes, blink once after the garment thepps into his hip and drops and raise the irritatingly endlessly enigmatic look that might convey a silent, 'And…?' to the singular audience member who doubtless hoped for more of a show.

Rau holds his gaze on Ru's face one long beat - enough that Ru'ien may walk away from this feeling utterly assured that every weyrling M'tras will face down in the course of his future career will feel the weight of silence that has the power to pry idiot babble secrets loose from hidden places, even if it's not his aim to reduce the full-grown obviously very adult man yet turns his junior across the way into a puddle of quivering word vomit. It may be unwise to then choose to reward that exact greenrider, but reward he does, as he with focused control shifts his approach with the second boot, managing it with one hand and leg shifted slightly behind so that he can simultaneously bend at the waist to hook his free hand down to pull up the shirt and return to standing, still no wobble in sight. TA-DA~~ That's the show, folks, tip your brownrider on the way out~~

"I can see why V'ro likes you." There might be humor in that deep voice, if one squints just the right way to hear it. Beat. "He's always attracted to trouble."

his halo is supported by horns, always Ru’ien only grins impishly back at that endlessly enigmatic look. Arrogance and full on brat at it’s best! There is a wordless challenge intertwined in that lingering look and lack of any ruffled feathers. If anything, there’s an edge of intrigue lurking, both for how Rau initially reacts to the eventual reward controlled reclaiming of that shirt. That has a brief flash of teeth as Ru’ien’s grin broadens for a heartbeat. It would be hard to determine if he’d ever be put in his place (for long) had Rau been his Weyrlingmaster. This being the same greenrider who almost copped a feel of a certain prickly cactus’ assets when unceremoniously hauled out of the barracks!

“Mhm~ What isn’t there to like?” Ru’ien hums, smugly delighted by the remark from the brownrider. He seems inclined to assume that was humor in that deep voice! Given that he’d gestured with an appraising sweep of a hand over his own body. Lips curve into an impish smirk, while he adjusts a few more articles of clothing and not seeming to care overmuch if a few are slightly rumbled or slightly askew — he’s going for a look here. “That so?” Is almost purred after that beat, while fingers give one last fluff and repositioning of his hair, blue eyes sliding askance to Rau just as he finishes. “Does that mean you’re trouble then, too?” Definitely and undeniably, there is humor in his voice.


The rumbling, "Mm," is confirmation of possibly both questions, but if Ru'ien was expecting more in response, he might have momentarily confused Rau for a man of More Words. He's probably used up his quota. That, or perhaps it's simply something the brownrider imagined was never in doubt. With what remains of his word limit, he observes, "He's not going to like this," with a flick of fingers indicating the two of them and the vicinity (or rather, what happens in this place), his tone neutral, demeanor calm as he forecasts the emotional storm to come whether it proves to be a Rau-centric microburst or not~.

M'tras pulls his shirt on over his head and physically runs hands over key places, taking inventory. Boots in view, shirt, pants, but the part that should register belt comes up needing a slide along his hips to confirm that something is missing. "See my belt anywhere?" His belt, the fashion-conscious eye might note if they were to locate the item, might pass as fashionable, but is more functional than fashion-focused. It's woven rope - the rope of the quality that could damn well save a life if push came to shove. And if this choice of medium for belt hints at what kind of trouble Rau is or what kind of trouble Rau is prepared for… well, it adds as much to the mystery of the man as it illuminates~

He may be a man of few words, but can Rau ever pick the right ones! Ru’ien briefly tracks the gesture and movements, expression faltering in a near twitch and barest of seconds in that moment. His mind knows full well what is very likely being hinted at and who in particular…

… and Ru’ien isn’t ready to address it. He wants too (and he will), but not here and now. Not while he’s stripped still recovering from all that is Kiha’s influence and the flight itself. Not when there is risk of heavier emotions and personal boundaries and explanations he just doesn’t have the energy to even broach on a surface level. It’s not Rau’s fault and it’s not even because of Rau himself, really. Ru’ien, despite all his mannerisms, is in actuality, a private person on some levels. just ask those closest to him, who likely still know little about his family or earlier years

“I know.” Is the eventual answer he gives, truth in the shortness of it and acknowledgement in the way he sighs at the end. Now it’s his turn to be the one of few words, but maybe that’s all that needs to be said? And while his mood has briefly sobered, it’s not written clear as day on his features. Ru’ien’s got enough left to scrape together one mask, at least.

Belt? Ru’ien was readying to say something else (there’s that deflecting humor again!), but the question distracts him, a train of thought dropped in favor of delaying another task. It only takes a quick look before Rau’s belt is found and he’ll move to collect it, being the nearest one to it. Luckily, Ru’ien’s texture fixation is back to a more reasonable level and the brownrider won’t have to wait (or bribe him). Still, his fingers give a noticeable sweep of the length as it is gathered and dutifully handed back. The look he flashes and faintly crooked smirk says it all: ‘nice belt’.

Evidently, the two word response is sufficient. It would be hypocritical, after all, if Rau expected more words of Ru'ien than he's prepared to offer himself. The only sign that it's enough, though, is the ever so slight up-nod that acknowledges the words. He sinks down to deal with tying the low boots that are a sign he was coming from some particularly demanding work for those aware of his proclivity for wildly inappropriate footwear, like flip flops, rising in time to cross the few paces needed to reach out an arm to accept the belt.

It must follow, then, that if Ru'ien's going to speak with smirk, Rau can respond with ever so slightly arched singular brow. It could be taken as imperious, except that Rau, for all his annoying self-possession, doesn't have a bearing that communicates any kind of air of superiority, still, ever. Just a simple micro-lift that might be, 'Isn't it?' and betraying exactly nothing else. Evidently, if one wants to do more than surmise with their mind in the gutter, one will need to use their words to inquire after his fashion choices.

Threading the belt neatly through the loops on his pants designed for it, Rau's breath draws a little heavy - a man in preparation. It's not for anything here; these hazards have been explored, identified and dealt with, it would seem, but the flicker of dark eyes toward the door might betray, in partnership with his previous remark about his expectations for a particular greenrider not present now that M'tras is not looking forward to what must necessarily eventually come now that they're leaving the safety bubble of the flight weyr.

"All set?" is all he asks Ru'ien, not that they have to go together, and probably, it would be better if they didn't, but Rau's movement toward the door isn't rushed and surely if Ru'ien requires more of the brownrider, he could request it now and Rau would turn back.

Ru’ien’s features betray no sign of relief that those two words were enough. His expression reflects that continued smirk while Rau reclaims and threads that belt, blue eyes noting that micro-lift of a singular brow almost earning the brownrider a wink; one that would simply be a barb playful tease, for he is too scattered for even his mind to leap to such gutter-based assumptions.

He does not betray the lurking feelings of sympathy towards the brownrider either — or the tickle of guilt, however irrational it may be, in the back of his mind. It doesn’t help that, whether largely assumed or not, he has some inkling of an idea of what Rau could be facing. What Ru’ien does know, with slightly more certainty, is that further lingering is unadvisable.

“Just about~” Ru’ien muses, though any glance spared back his way would immediately betray that the greenrider is stalling. He’s well enough put together to pass as “acceptable” in the public eye (if one looks past his eccentric clothing tastes). “You go on ahead!” Don’t wait up. It’s probably for the best that Rau is first to leave. It might not be all pretend, as Ru’ien begins to fuss with his hair again, pausing only to wiggle his fingers in farewell, lips curved in a wry grin ever the brat, but it wasn’t a blown kiss, at least. It will be a good chunk of time before Ru’ien will follow suit, breezing his way down the paths back to his weyr in his usual blasé manner. Like nothing even happened! Once back in the quiet of his weyr? Entirely different story.

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