Better than Alright!

Xanadu Weyr — Temporary Accommodations
It's nothing fancy or elaborate, just a standard weyr with the standard commodities for anyone slated to reside here however temporarily.

DISCLAIMER: Some feels, but also some mild innuendo near the very end!

The day begins bright and crisp, as most autumn's days are when the seasonal rains aren't putting a damper on everything. It's well past mid-morning and even mid-afternoon, before Ru'ien returns to the temporary accommodations that have been his 'home not-quite home'. Kihatsuth has likely been spotted about the Weyr, no longer glowing and back to her regular self (not that she ever changed) and as smug as a feline who got all the cream. As for her rider, he resumed his duties — or what he could, given that half the day was gone by the time he ambled into public view. One drawback to his green picking the cusp of nightfall for a flight! Or was it? Either way, Ru'ien looks refreshed, not only from scrubbing down after a brief stint at the forges, but because he's slept (arguably, not that much, but it was better than none and he'll stick to it). Early evening's light filters through the windows of the modest living area as he steps through the door. Ru'ien's humming some tune under his breath, while he kicks the door shut with a shove of his boot heel. Then he'll deposit his satchel and roll of tools on a nearby surface, and another shallow carry-container filled with purloined goodies from the caverns — Pernese equivalent of take out! It's not much, but he's not one for big meals in the later hours. He is entirely himself again, no restlessness, no overheated look or manic obsession with every texture. With everything set aside, his movement is natural, of one coming home to decompress and kick back — indeed, he's shed the clothes he was wearing and slips into his more casual wear, keeping neckline loose and tunic untucked (if it was ever the style to be tucked). He keeps his hair tied back for now, some of the strands still damp but at least out of his face. With a stifled yawn and a bit of a groan, he settles himself carefully but heavily into the nearest lounge chair. Legs stretch out and back presses deep into the cushioned backing, one arm extending to reach not only for a few snacks, but also the book he'd haphazardly tossed. With a sidelong look to the nearest window, he swiftly mentally calculates and a smirk curves his lips. Almost time! Time for what? Ru'ien knows and for that reason alone, he remains confident as he opens the book in his lap (it's Smith stuff, how boring!) and pursues the contents while he waits.

Cherith had been the one that’d jumped at the chance to tell M’ti why is was he had returned to an empty weyr the night before, and so she sat back and experienced the waves of emotion that rippled off her lifemate with what can only be described as muted but nonetheless rapt interest. Interesting, oh so very interesting! Not so much for M’ti, especially not when fed the play by play right down to the sardonic announcement of which dragon it was that swooped off with Kihatsuth. Suffice to say sleep only came with exhaustion and only for a few hours before dawn crept up on him mercilessly, putting himself through the motions of getting up and out of the temporary accommodations to spend what should have been a rest day out at the build all on his own. Throwing himself into his work, the morning and afternoon flew by nearly unchecked, and it was only when the sun began to set that M’ti had little choice but to wrap up and head back. His steps unhurried, eyes red and puffy from the side effects of the mountainous peaks of his insecurities built so precariously on plenty enough self doubt, thoughts turbulent, it almost takes him by surprise to find that he was already reaching for the door handle and giving a turn completely on automatic. The door is already pushing in and he goes with the habitual flow, the Fortian greenrider stops short however, upon seeing Ru’ien all chill and relaxed upon the sofa as he reads and snacks. Did he look happy and content, or was Matty’s mind playing tricks on him? Stepping inside in full, he sets his tool laden satchel down in its usual spot, finding he had no idea what to say and really that somehow made him feel worse. The idea of touching Ru, something that had become easy and effortless mostly for Matty, now seemed awkward and almost out of place. The passing thought that it wouldn’t be welcomed, that he would be asked to find another living situation now has hazel eyes dropping away from the back of the senior weyrling’s bare neck just as the door closes with a soft click, “I’m back…” he says softly, hoping his voice didn’t sound as strange to the smith as it did to himself, “…going to hop in the shower real quick…” Because he was gross and his every joint ached from overuse, hoping the hot steamy water piped in from the natural hot springs would wash it all clean and he wouldn’t look like something pathetic and half-dead a wher’d dragged in.

Ru’ien is indeed content and relaxed, the mirrored opposite of M’ti in the sense that he shows no insecurity or concerns (not anywhere near the surface, if it is even on his mind). His head will lift as the soft click of the door breaks the silence even before the younger greenrider speaks. With a languid, broad grin, Ru’ien closes the book but keeps it place in his lap. “About time!” he teases with a low chuckle, but there’s no true edge or heat behind his words. He’s genuinely pleased to see him and when M’ti claims the need to go freshen up, there’s a nod. “Got some snacks here if you’re hungry, after! Think it’ll get colder tonight? Maybe I should get a fire going…” Oh, but that seems like so much work and he apparently has half a mind to just remain fused to the lounge furniture. Yet in the same breath, he’s back on his feet and surprisingly swift about it — damn that long frame of his! It takes only half a stride for him to close in on M’ti, just as less time to attempt to loop an arm around him and bring him into a tight, tight, affectionate embrace against him. He still smells faintly of metal and fire, but also the faint scent of soap sand and water. If he hasn’t been thwarted in his grand display, he’ll sneak in a quick nuzzled kiss to the greenrider’s forehead before releasing him. Then? Then there’s a playful swat to his back — or backside, even, if he’s not careful. “Go on then! I might’ve left enough hot water.” he muses, mischievously. There’s a wink (so there’s plenty of water then) and then he’s sauntering back to his abandoned seat and book. “I’ll be waiting~” he promises as he settles again. “And I’ll try not to eat everything. So don’t take too long?” Ever teasing and so effortlessly lighthearted but that’s Ru’ien for you; oblivious but not, but it begs to ask just how much he’s noticed and what, exactly, he’s deciding to focus on.

Brows lift and M’ti seems surprised for whatever reason as his gaze lifts to focus back on Ru’ien, a knotted furrow threatening shortly thereafter. He’s quiet, not that this is strange for the nineteen turn old, nor is the way he studies the older man as if he were trying to puzzle him out. Poor lad still hasn’t learned how to hide what he’s thinking or feeling, and really his saving grace here is that Ru generally declined to notice the evidence of even profound upset. At least Matty had more or less worn himself out in that regard, at least for now, out at the job site— a place where no one might bear witness to him falling apart and putting himself together as best he could manage. Haphazard as that process had turned out, that Ru’ien appeared pleased to see him seems to have knocked him for a loop, and thus he stands there dumbly and just sort of stares. A moment or two later, notably, M’ti snaps out of his reverie and stammers out a quiet reply, “Mmmm-maybe…” For snacks? For the cold? Who knows, perhaps it was an answer to both, but then, “I’ll do it, after…” Yes, fire, after washing up and maybe coming to pieces again while he was at it. Multitasking! Matty had barely gotten a step or two towards the bathroom when suddenly there was that all too familiar body blocking further progression and he very nearly collides with it before he’s swept up into a hug that seriously threatens to squeeze out what he was trying so very hard to suppress at the very same time. The embrace is awkwardly if hesitantly returned, as if M’ti didn’t know what to make of it, and resisting a multitude of urges while he was at it. He does not press his face, as much as he wanted to, into the man’s chest and breathe him in deeply. Nor does he cling to him or begin crying all over again. No, he weathers the nuzzling with no shortage of effort and he might experience a bit of pride that he makes it though all of that without turning back into a blubbering mess, releasing his hold and starting to move off before his resolve crumbles entirely despite himself. Matty only gets another step or two before the flat of Ru’s palm lands on one of the two half rounds of his rump, causing him to jump and flick a glance over one shoulder, an expression of perplexity one second and then looking quickly away in the next. “I…w-won’t be long…” he murmurs, and then he’s slipping into the bathroom and closing the door softly. Clamping a hand over his mouth as he leans back against the door, the wave of relief that everything seemed so normal brings back the telltale sting and burn to his eyes as the Fortian greenrider’s face grows hot, declaring beyond the shadow of a doubt that he did indeed have moisture yet within his body to shed. Keeping himself together only as long as it takes to get the water turned on, once it is he feels assured that it’ll perfectly mask the softness of his sobs, and through them Matty strips to nothing and stands beneath the hot steamy stream so that it can pour itself over him. Truthfully, he’s in there for a while, but in so doing he does eventually wash and rinse himself before the water’s shut off and he towels himself as dry as he can. A pair of loose pants suitable for sleeping and a soft long sleeved shirt are pulled on, the bathroom cleaned up and personal belongings sorted, and only then does he reemerge looking a bit on the haggard side despite. True to his word he goes and gets a fire started, gently and carefully arranging everything before setting it ablaze and finally wandering over to the seating area, the very personification of awkwardness. In fact, he doesn’t even seem to know where to sit, and so he lingers indecisively as he rubs the palm of one hand up and down his upper arm.

There’s an answering wiggle of his fingers to M’ti’s promise of not taking long. Ru’ien is unbothered as to whether or not the greenrider upholds it; in truth, he seems content to let him have all the time he needs. It doesn’t stop him though from tossing a joking call of, “I’m gonna eat your favourites at this point, Matty!” Which COULD be a ‘are you okay in there?’. At least he didn’t go for the option of lewd humor and suggest that the younger greenrider is up to some one-handed ‘needs’ of self pleasure. No, he keeps those to himself to snicker over, as he flips another page of his book. At last, M’ti emerges and Ru’ien’s shifting in his seat, stretching out even more languidly than before to crane his head — why? For the VIEW, of course! A view of M’ti starting the fire, also as promised, but the everyday action has him looking as pleased and delighted as his arrival home. Okay, and there’s one flickering lecherous look but this is Ru’ien after all! Awkwardness may be surfacing, but Ru’ien will grin bright and wide and cut right through it. “Join me? You’re gonna get chilled. Room’s not warm enough yet!” Pat, pat, goes a hand against the lounge furniture cushion next to him, as his book is closed with the other and set aside. Yes, it seems awkward but for Ru’ien it is not; it make appear callous or uncaring how he doesn’t address anything remotely emotional beyond the obvious, but that is how he is. He will not pry, though he can and likely HAS assumed something isn’t wholly right. Ru’ien is giving time and familiarity, to make a safe and comfortingly light moment. They do not have to talk beyond the usual banters, jokes and pleasantries they share; he doesn’t put that pressure on M’ti.

For sure, M’ti takes his time, but it’s not because he’d planned on it. He might have even stayed in there longer were it not for Ru’ien’s calling out to him from beyond the security of the closed bathroom door. This turns out to be the stopper he needs to plug out the seemingly endless flow of emotional outpouring and he starts to cobble himself back together again. While he may not answer Ru’ien, the shower turns off after a minute or two and not long after that he’s out. Most of the Fortian greenrider’s skin is flushed from the long duration of that hot shower, but the way that the man lounging looks at him seems to be reason enough for this condition to worsen, hurrying his steps of to the hearth, “J-just a second…” Riiiiight, as he takes his dear sweet time, again. Surely, it was the ambient temperature of the room responsible for the shiver that comes as M’ti crouches before the fire he builds and not because he detects that lechery in passing just there behind him, but he couldn’t help that conflicting emotions felt like they’re pulling him in all possible directions at once and it this makes his chest feel uncomfortably tight. Stretch out as he may how long it takes to get a fire cheerfully crackling, even this comes to a conclusion and he has no choice but to stand and make his way over to Ru. The wide brightness of the man’s smile was like a clever to the woodcrafter’s heart seconds before it skips a beat and he blushes noticeably before inching himself closer and closer and finally lowering himself to sit where indicated. He’s stiff, certainly, and while hazel eyes track over whatever food remains after taking way too long to bathe and get a fire started— he doesn’t reach for any of it. Perhaps he was just getting the lay of the land? Still, he does appear to have anything to say, and unfortunately he was one of those people that couldn’t get away with hard crying without it being written all over his face. His silence might be deafening, perhaps even beyond his own capability to withstand and so he quietly murmurs with some minor fingernail picking within his lap, “Roof should be on before winter…” He winces then, because, really? He really did suck at this, didn’t he?

That’s the thick of it though! The silence is okay, the silence is welcomed and not questioned or held against the younger greenrider. Ru’ien simply allows it, while going on to behave as though nothing is amiss; not out of ignorance or malice, but to give M’ti a chance to breathe, to relax, to settle in and realize that he has nothing to fear from him. If he thinks he’ll get away from the food? Not so easily! Ru’ien reaches for one of the platters of assorted goodies (mostly cured meats, cheese, what passes for olives and dips and flatbread), selecting his choices before offering it to him with a warm smile. Hungry? Whether or not he accepts, the platter will return from whence it came, as Ru’ien adjusts and attempts to move in a way that will bring M’ti closer without caging him in. “Well, that’s some good news! So the more recent setbacks haven’t been so bad that they’ll delay the roof being in place, at least?” M’ti can wince all he wants! Ru’ien is all over this tidbit of news, with his usual eagerness. “Gonna guess you were at the site for the day, eh?” he muses, lightly teasing because he knows, flight or no flight and other duties aside, if M’ti isn’t back in Fort or here, he’s working on that project!

The more normal that Ru’ien continues to act, the more tension that leaks out of M’ti, admittedly in a gradual and subtle way rather than profoundly obvious. The idea of food doesn’t appear to appeal to the greenrider though, sitting there more on the edge of his cushion than deep into it, simply looking from one selection to the next without any sign he plans on partaking. In truth, he’s probably not seeing so much as thinking, his expression one of far too much concentration right down to the seed of a knot forming between his brows. So involved is he in this that he very nearly startles when his companion reaches forward to pick up that platter and his gaze flickers to him, the muscles along his back tightening fractionally. Cue up more blank staring as though he wasn’t sure what it was he was supposed to do with those strange and yet beautifully arranged items until Ru’ien smiles at him like that and he colors all over again. Damn it! Shoulders hunching minutely, M’ti robotically extends a hand out and picks up a piece of flatbread with a bob of his head and a soft murmur of thanks. Only with the platter away does he start to lightly nibble at first before he shoves the rest in and chews. Indeed, that was his stomach growling ravenously, and all that stiffness which seeped in, fades right back out. He doesn’t even seem to notice that Ru’ien was moving in as if M’ti was some small skittish forest creature he very badly wanted to pet, one distracted now with picking at foodstuffs. His favorites of course are selected first— those being the cheese and olives— and the more he eats the hungrier that he seems to become. Matty starts to nod, but a flicker of his attention Ru’s way locks it there as he notices he’s closer and with that his chewing slows. Sure enough that spine of his straightens, studying as much as he was contemplating, and as soon as he swallows he hesitantly leans forward and very gingerly places his lips against his. It may linger chastely a few seconds, but it ends with a duck of his head and the immediate pop of an olive into his mouth, lowered lashes sending gathered moisture down already raw cheeks even as he nods and very weakly smiles, “Y-yeah…” Yea verily, the end was in sight at last, though the greenrider’s feelings on this are more or less masked by the ones he was already wearing. Another nod comes, for yes he’d been at the site, and he quickly wipes away the evidence of his upset— seeming almost apologetic for it. “…I made you s-something. You should come out and see it.” Matty is likely counting on Ru to overlook his display there as well, while he himself scans the goods and then the room, “Do we have any wine?” Unaware of that dropped ‘we’, he may also be by the same token crossing his fingers that there was too much going on for the older man to note that he was asking for something he’d never shown any interest in before. M’ti, did not drink, nor had he ever drunk, although at present he might very well have reason enough to start.

There is definitely some smugness as M’ti begins to nibble at this and that off the platter of food; it’s like Ru’ien knew or something! Or he took a gamble and is now enjoying the minute little reward he gets — including that kiss, which is returned in kind and leaving him all the more pleased. “You made me something?” he muses, that grin returning to slant his mouth sideways while his eyes narrow to something deeply humoured and fox-like. “Other than an entire weyr in the trees? Oh,” Now his hands lift to clap together lightly, in an overly gleeful manner that isn’t so much mocking as it is entirely playful. “You are spoiling me, Matty!” Naughty boy. “Do I get to take some guesses as to what it is?” Shall they play a game!? It was mostly rhetorical, as Ru’ien barely takes a breath before exhaling thoughtfully and moving on down the natural flow of their conversation. One hand now thoughtfully scrubs along the curve of his jaw as brows furrow lightly. “Wine? No, didn’t think to grab any as I’m not the ‘sit at home and drink alone’ type. Much better in company, yeah?” Another smirk, followed with a slight nudge of his elbow to the younger greenrider’s side. Don’t think for a second he hasn’t caught on to some inkling there! But he’s not going to address it in typical fashion — that wouldn’t be Ruin’s way. “If you’re really itching for some, we could go to the tavern? Shouldn’t be too crowded there!” For all this enthusiasm in his tone and willingness to go, he’s not bouncing to his feet or grabbing M’ti’s hand and dragging him out. No, he seems content, cat-like, to remain deeply seated right where he is. “Or,” Here it comes, a musing tone edging on lower octaves as he chuckles. “We can stay here, snug and warm, with good food and company. What’d you say? Your pick! Since you’ve been working that adorable little ass of yours off the last… what? However long?” Who is keeping count? NOT HIM.

Nail on the head. M’ti hadn’t eaten anything since yesterday and it wasn’t only the underside of his eyes and cheeks that were looking raw, his hands were as well, thanks to nearly half a full day of pushing himself far harder than he had any business to. Thus food is shuttled from platters to mouth and only Faranth knows if that kiss is a thank you or for another reason entirely. There is a light bobble of the younger greenrider’s head, another olive popped into his mouth and chewed slowly as if savoring every ounce of its flavor, but once swallowed he wets his lips as best he can and gently shrugs one shoulder, “T-This isn’t part of the commission though and I don’t think I’m going to…” Well, he’ll just stop there because he’s blushing all over again, a thing that must seem a strange contrast with the eyeball leakage, something he idly removes delicately via the heel of one hand or the curl of his thumb before he helps himself to more food to shove into his face. Yes, a full mouth is best, but he looks somewhat sheepish about the spoiling aspect of his announcement. “You can if you want…” he replies quietly of Ru’s passing comment on guessing, but the ghost of a smile that follows may suggest that he wasn’t going to spoil the surprise regardless. However, in the very next moment he appears mildly disappointed that the temporary weyr was booze free, releasing a silent sigh but confirming he’s heard by nodding once prior to wiping a few more of his tears away. So much for that idea. As for it being better to drink in good company? “I wouldn’t really know.” comes softly after, making one last cube of cheese disappear before he seems to be finished with eating for now. Shaking his head gently, “That’s okay, I’m not really…” Hesitant here, Matty worries his bottom lip and glances at Ru’ien before dropping his gaze to the picking of fingers within his own lap, “…feeling up to being around anyone else.” Not to mention he looked like crap (he’d seen himself in the bathroom mirror, okay? It wasn’t pretty.), and was already changed into sleep clothes. Hazel eyes lift to level with blue, flushing nearly up to the tip of his ears as his ‘adorable’ ass is mentioned, and he exhales out the exact length of time it is that he’s been in Xanadu working on the house. It’s followed by a muted version of his typically dazzling smile, but it’s nonetheless genuine and well saturated in his affection for the older greenrider regardless of his upset, “S-Staying in with you, sounds a-amazing…” And it does, so much in fact that his brows ease into a knot and his chin quivers just before he suddenly launches himself towards Ru’ien and flings his arms around his neck to embrace him. Matty's face gets buried in there as he breaks down into quiet sobs, that hug taking on a fierce quality unlike any other. At one point in all that, “I-I-I’m s-s-s-sorry I’m an i-idiot…” Though, it is kinda muffled and garbled, so good luck greenrider!

“Don’t think you’re going to…” Ru’ien pushes, gently, but without the implication that is suggesting Matty really has to answer him; he’s just being a mild jerk with his teasing, that’s all. There’s a half quirked smile for the blushing (always a source of his amusement), softened only because of the not-so easily unnoticed tears. Once more left unaddressed because that’s not his way, not his method of comfort. Yet comfort he does, by offering his presence and the little lulls of warm and not awkward silence between them. “Well, let’s play it like ‘Warm of Cold’, then! Is it something for the living area?” Games may have to wait, however, as Ru’ien nods in agreement to M’ti’s choice to stay, grinning to the flush to his skin for the earlier tease-compliment on certain assets. When arms are flung around his neck though and the quiet sobs follow, something in the greenrider sobers and he moves easily to draw the younger of them both into a tight hug against him. “Nah,” he breathes, bemused and warmly reassuring. There’s even a gentle stroke of his hand along M’ti’s back — comfort, again. “You’re not an idiot. You’re just pushing yourself too hard, Matty.” Wait, so that’s what he thinks this is? But no. No, a breath later he’ll lightly tease but hint that he’d known, or assumed enough, all along. “That and your holder upbringing is showing — not your fault. Doesn’t make you an idiot or anything!” Only that he’s going through new experiences, new emotions, in a gamut expected of one not wholly prepared.

Lips pressed together, M’ti shakes his head again. The smile that comes after might be small, but it carries with it a secret he had every intention in keeping. No, he’s not going to finish his sentence and while he might be swiping at his face upon occasion with quick fingers, the expression remains as he lifts and drops his shoulders for the warm or cold game that Ru’ien attempts to initiate. Looks like the older greenrider will have to wait and see, hmm? All too soon M’ti is swept up in that grin and the color that it brings to his skin as readily as the man’s teasing tended to and in the swell of emotion that follows there is that embrace. It borders on crushing at first, easing back into tight and warm shortly thereafter, though this doesn’t stop the muscles along Matty’s back from tensing fleetingly with the first pass of Ru’s palm over it and before he finally relaxes entirely as he melts into him if only to allow himself to fall apart just a little bit. It’s not a loud or obnoxious sort of thing at least, being rather subdued overall, even after he’s reassured that he wasn’t the idiot he certainly felt he was. There’s a squeeze though as he’s told that he’s pushing himself too hard, the beginning of a head shake and a murmur of a thought half formed before both cease to be, what with Ru’ien hitting another bullseye and all. Shoulders stiffen somewhat with that, fingers curling into fabric and the underside of Ru’s damp updo gently, and Matty quietly on repeat, “I’m sorry, I’m s-s-sorry…” There is likely more attached to that given the breathy pauses and struggle, a reason perhaps for it, but all that emerges is more apology until that too is eaten up by the way he clings and cries softly.

"You gotta stop apologizing too," Ru'ien speaks up, a slight chuckle in his gentled tone, after giving M'ti a moment to cry. His hand has ceased passing over his back, but holds firm against the curve of it. There is no rush, no pressure to hurry along from the larger greenrider — nor is he asking Matty to explain himself. It can be kept to this wordless expression and nothing more (or it's everything, really), Ru'ien isn't looking for words or long winded lectures or promises. He speaks only because he desires to address the surface issue; that being that M'ti is profusely apologizing for something not entirely in his control. "Because it's not your fault to feel one way, when you don't have the experience to work off of. Right?" Again, it leans more rhetorical, as he doesn't push for answers. Instead, he's making a gesture to validate whatever emotions M'ti is going through, without addressing each particular detail — because who is to say what is right or wrong in this matter? Better to just acknowledge there are feelings and they are being noticed and he has his feelings too. Hugs are better anyways and he's going to do his damndest to pull M'ti into one despite the not-quite right angle.

It might even be comical that M’ti very nearly apologizes for all his apologizing, but he bites down hard enough on his lower lip until the tiniest hint of blood before that can happen. Instead, the greenrider makes a soft sound in the back of his throat and tucks his face in closer. How he can breathe like that is anyone’s guess, but it doesn’t appear as if he has any plans to move anytime in the near future. What he is going to do is cry himself out while hold on tightly to Ru’ien and maybe he’s even grateful that there isn’t any pressure to explain himself or talk things out. He will nod though when the older greenrider asks his question, perhaps finding strength in the warm palm pressed against his back or simply running out of steam again, the sobbing starting to taper off. M’ti will find his voice again none too long afterwards, “I-I knew…t-thought I…but…not that it’d feel…” It’s not a lot, or very clear, but Ru’ien was a smart guy, surely he could figure out what that meant. Hugs were definitely better than long winded trips into one another’s psyches, but the younger rider will say this, “I’ll…I’ll try…to do better next time…” It’s not a promise so much as the best he can offer at the moment, and he has absolutely no issues half sliding into the smith’s lap to make the angle of their embrace less awkward for them both. Then, after a wet but quiet span of time that was remarkably comforting as it was oddly comfortable, “Are…are you okay?” drifts upwards hesitantly. This was probably not a press for details so much as confirmation that a momentous thing had happened for Ru’ien and that he was validating that experience.

"Mhm," Ru'ien's answer comes in the low throat hum of understanding, as he continues to hold M'ti to him. They could stay like this for hours and he'd not complain (his body may protest, however)! "I won't hold you to that promise," he says, with a lazy and crooked smile that hopefully takes the edge from his brazen worded reply. "Because emotions are emotions and tricky damned things. You do your best… but don't ever think you've failed, because you couldn't cope with something unexpected." Says the pot calling the kettle black! Ru'ien's mastered compartmentalizing — or something akin to it. He doesn't expect others to be so great at it and less-so if they've never been exposed before. Is Ru'ien going to protest M'ti being in his lap? That's a no! He'll grin, in fact and then that hesitant question brings a quiet, but genuine, laugh. "I am more than okay right now," he muses, along with a heavy and pleased exhale. It's not to brag, it's far from it! Matty asked and Ru'ien will not lie or sugar coat — he's in a damn good and fine mood, okay? Even with a teary greenrider in his lap (okay, that sounds terrible)! "Couldn't be happier!"

There isn’t much that M’ti could reply to that, though it’d be safe to say that what is said does help to ease some of his anxieties, seeing that the majority of the tightness along his spine gives way. This allows him to lean his weight into the man whose lap he seems intent on crawling into with testing increments, but really it’s only because he was trying to find a comfortable position his sorely aching joints could withstand, marked by little winces and flinches— more felt than seen— considering the woodcrafter has his face smooshed up against the side of the older greenrider’s neck. It just so happens that the final resting position for Matty ends up being him sitting lined and squared on Ru’s thighs, his legs on either side of them and with that his body practically sags as if it simply no longer had the strength to support him. The crying tapers off to a slow leak, his sobs slowing to incremental and then simply ceasing to be; all signs that he’d been reassured or at the very least had calmed. Admittedly, the laughter and practically giddy answer that M’ti receives to his question brings an instantaneous chill to his extremities and a sickening pit straight to his stomach. “I-I’m glad you’re okay,” he replies very quietly indeed after a two drumbeat pause, his own hold lessening in ferocity but far from letting go. Nope, Ru’ien is stuck with a lapful of clinging tearful greenrider all right, poor man.

"You don't have to worry so much about little 'ol me, Matty." Ru'ien teases lightly, leaning just enough to press his forehead to the younger greenrider's, tears or no, and smiles broadly. He's content and wholly relaxed, letting the other settle as he does in his lap without so much as batting an eye to the change in angle or the level of intimacy. "I'm alright," he goes on to add, quietly bemused. "Kihatsuth's maiden flight is done and I couldn't be happier with the experience - emotionally too, I mean - how many greenriders luck out that way? I know you got the short end of the stick." His smirk broadens, a little jab at himself more than Matty. To lighten the mood (or deepen it, depending), he will press a swift kiss to the younger man's lips. "It was a perfect morning, a decent day and now it's going to be a great evening." Wait, what? He's settled back against the couch again, smug and comfortable, while his hands settle to caress a little along Matty's sides. Soothing, comforting. "That is, if you're wanting to spend the night? You're not gonna try to work through it?" He teases again, giving a firm squeeze of his hands just above the greenrider's hips, mouth quirked and a silent laugh flashing in his steady gaze.

M’ti was about to respond to that, hand to Faranth, a breath taken in and muscles contracting with the threat of movement of some sort but Ru’ien’s forehead somehow ends up touched to his and he lets out that air in a shaky whoosh instead. Hazel eyes are open enough to enable him to see the wide grin on the older geenrider’s lips, but lashes hang low as if he were too ashamed to meet his gaze after all this. It doesn’t stop him from lightly rubbing his fingers against where they’ve made purchese as he listens, that gentle knot between his brows uneased by what he hears, but it may surprise Ru’ien that it doesn’t worse at what’s said. Well, that is until he tries to self-deprecate. That there, yeah, it brings his eyes upwards to lock to the smith’s blue, “Aedeluth w-won Cherith’s maiden flight…” he says softly as if that’s some sort of explanation, but he does go on after an unsteady inhale which comes out in a whoosh as he looks down again, “…if you hadn’t been there…that w-would h-have been the short end of the stick.” How’s that exactly? M’ti shakes his head slightly, “Y-you saved me from an a-awkward morning of w-waking up to a very weyrmated b-bronzerider dressing and escaping as q-quickly as p-possible.” There’s most certainly a blush to his cheeks to go with that, no doubt because M’ti was remembering exactly how the morning after his flight had gone. With a muffled ‘mmmf’ sound for the quick smoosh of lips against his, now the furrow of Matty’s brow deepens, though without any additional leakage. There just might not be any tears left to shed at this point, dehydration being what it is, or perhaps he’s just done. It might have something to do with the hands that smooth over his sides, the fabric of his top so thin that it was like they moved over bare flesh for the younger greenrider, and thus elicits a bit of a shiver and a soft breathy sound. He’s quiet for a spell, however his fingers continue to caress and rub against scalp and flesh, the words that follow practically a whisper, “B-being with you is all I could ever w-want…” he breathes out, not because he is unsure, because of the emotional weight behind him. Again, he doesn’t say those three little words, but they were heavily infused in his tone. The squeeze to his lower waist? That there brings a somewhat uneven but nonetheless deep inhale in through his nose, his spine tightening as much as his hold of Ru’ien does, “…s-something tells me I’ll be working through the n-night…either way…” he says, flicking his gaze upwards, the mood undeniably shifting in that moment in the Ru’s favor as a smile tugs minutely at the corners of Matty’s lips.

Did his ears just catch that right? Ru’ien’s eyes widen a little, while his brows lift as he blinks, staring openly bewildered at M’ti. It lasts just a few heartbeats, broken when he scoffs, then begins to laugh. Laughter that bubbles up, hearty and rolling, genuine as his head tilts back. Eventually he sobers, with only a hiccuped laugh here and there, one hand coming up to swipe at his face and an imaginary tear. “Oh shells, Matty! The mouth on you, sometimes.” Which is part of the joke, because the delivery from the younger greenrider was tame, so tame but oh-so suited to his personality. In comparison to Ru’ien’s brand of humor in some instances, it’s still so pure — leading to his delighted amusement to see a more playful side come from Matty. THAT’S THE SPIRIT! Another squeeze, another slow and firm press of his hands over his sides and around to his back again. It’s Ru’ien’s turn and his expression yields more in hinted suggestion than his words could on their own; that smirk, the narrowing of his eyes, the pitch he adopts in his voice. “I could put you to work. You up for it?” That smirk broadens, fox-like and lecherous, while his eyes flicker with warmth beneath the mask.

They did indeed catch that right and it shouldn’t be a shock to see M’ti’s gaze instantly flicker off Ru’ien's initial reaction as he goes and turns three shades of red in the moments that follow. You know, what with the laughter and quip he gets in return. A lifetime of embarrassment and awkward silences aside, Matty’s chin tucks in a bit and he smiles some despite himself, arms unlooping and hands sliding down to Ru’s chest to give him a firm but gentle push back into the sofa, “W-Who’s fault is that?” he asks, remaining hella flushed and certainly feeling it, though he appears to be ignoring this fact in favor of lavishing some very personal attention on the man beneath him. It’s the squeeze and movement of hands over his body that inspires M’ti to tense and lean in then, sliding himself forward, even as his fingers curl into the older greenrider’s tunic as he leaves his lips to hover oh so very close to his, “Are you?” comes soft and breathy, yet with plenty enough suggestiveness in return given the wickedness of his hips in tandem with that question and he tips his head in order to murmur something hot and low against Ru’ien’s ear. Whatever it is, it’s safe to say that sleep likely doesn’t come for many hours later.

Is there ever a doubt? Ru'ien may not have addressed M'ti's correction on Cherith's maiden flight or the admission soon after, but he heard it — and it will be gently returned to once they've worked through something more demanding first. Because it is important, even if the greenrider acts dismissive in the wake of more humorous paths to follow. The progression is natural, without awkwardness and undoubtedly the night will be longer than intended but not without its rewards — not just of physical means, but emotional too.

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