It's Ru'ien's Fault!

Xanadu Weyr - The Silvergrove
A treehouse being built somewhere out in the forest, it's outer shell complete, but with plenty more left that needs to be done.

Ah, winter. There was something peaceful about the world when it was well blanketed in snow, muffling the ambient sounds that are oftentimes overlooked, except perhaps when they’re decidedly missing. It’s just another day for M’ti, regardless of the fact that he’s all bundled up against the cold, puttering around the jobsite he’s been on for nearly a full count of one hand’s worth of fingers in months. The roof was on the two story treehouse out there in the middle of the woods, the windows and doors in as well (which unifiedly seal the structure off from the elements that would warp its insides assuredly), but there was still plenty more to do. Building materials are neatly set here and there, a tarp over them for protection, and the same can be said for various workbenches and the like. As the house has been built into the trees and thus several incorporated into it, an impressive space beneath still leaves plenty of room for even a small queen to curl up comfortably there, which appears to be part of the design. Overall the theme is rustic and as much of the natural landscape remains, save for some clearings that snow covered, would remain a mystery unless outlined at present. One outlying structure that certainly doesn’t blend in is the makings of a smithy forge, the stone masonry more or less complete, but the building that would someday house it bare bones at best. There’s a shed out back, containing tools and whatnot for ground maintenance, though something birchy inside can be spotted through the open doors through the gloom, Rukbat’s height peaked as it is this slightly chilly afternoon. A path has been shovelled through the snow though, somewhat, from one building to the next— the house’s wrap around deck swept— and the stairs (carved from a single still living tree up to said deck) as well. Smoke billows out of the finished chimney, suggesting it’s nice and warm and toasty inside, but M’ti isn’t. No, currently he’s got an axe in hand and is doing his utmost to lop off all the branches from a large felled tree that’d been dropped between house and smithy.

It's been a couple of sevens since Kihatsuth's flight and weyrlinghood has rolled from one month into the final month before they're all supposed to be up to snuff as real riders. Some may still have some challenges to meet before graduation, and one of Ru'ien's is doubtless that he's still working on his ground up build (tree up?). It was probably a casual passing remark about what's been going on with it that reminded F'yr of his promise to donate some time and elbow grease to whatever needed doing. Maybe he just feels like he owes Ru'ien more now that they've been sleeping together? Whatever the reason, the bronzerider is arriving into the snowy jobsite that he's surely seen on other occasions, though apparently never when the workers have been there and engaged. He's wearing thick trousers that have enough stains and mends that they're as solid a sign as the well-worn state of the baggy light grey sweater under the charcoal grey wool coat that he's not just here for a visit. His hands have mittens on them that seem new and a bright purple in color, but surely these will be set aside if work commences. As is often the case, Glorioth is not used as a messenger to herald his approach (first of all, the dragon is blessedly asleep or F'yr wouldn't've been sure of the chunk of time to dedicate, and second of all, he's a terrible messenger when it comes to non-work business and everyone and anyone is sure to know about F'yr's business whenever he tries). So although there's the crunch of snow under his boots and the show of his breath as he comes along toward the greenrider at work, his approach is really rather subtle, for the circumstances, if not subtle enough to not be noticed before he raises one of those purple mittened hands in greeting. "Hey M'ti." At least he times that in a way that hopefully won't endanger anyone's limbs - not even the tree's, despite the impending doom of apparent intentions. Blue eyes briefly stray about the clearing, taking it all in its current state and then back to the woodcrafter. "Are you taking help this afternoon? I've got time." And muscle, but it would be rude to point that out, especially since the way he shrugs out of his coat makes it obvious enough without words.

It’s likely the repeated and proper swing of the axe in M’ti’s hands that’s responsible for nullifying the sound of approaching footsteps, but as the house was situated out in the wilds, being completely oblivious was a dangerous prospect, even in winter. The greenrider’s kinetic action ceases as he detects motion and looks up, thankful in that moment that the bulk of his attire and distance perfectly hides the way his shoulders and spine stiffen. It’s automatic, nearly involuntary, but because enough time had passed— between Ru’ien telling him that he was actively sleeping with the bronzerider and his current approach— that he can set that axe down and lift a gloved hand in return greeting, “Afternoon, F’yr.” Any curiosity, denoted with the tip of his head fractionally off to one side, is immediately sated as F’yr goes on, “Uh…” Brows crease towards a knot and M’ti too suddenly finds cause to sweep his gaze over the immediate area before it traces back, “…sure? Are you…” The removal of the bronzerider’s coat, exposing plenty enough explanation for a great many things, and his eyes skip off quickly, “…r-right. Okay.” Taking in a breath quickly and letting it out again very slowly indeed, the greenrider picks up the axe and awkwardly side steps forward in offering it, “If you wouldn’t mind…” As soon as his leather covered fingers have been liberated, he’ll gesture towards the birch he’d been working on, “…removing the offshooting branches?” M’ti will pause there and survey the tree bottom to top, worrying his lower lip with his teeth, “I have a hacksaw for the thinner ones…” A few seconds more contemplation and he tosses the bronzerider a faint smile as he turns away towards the direction of the shed, “Yeah, let me go get it.”

The sweater follows the coat once the task he's being asked to do is made clear leaving him in a plain, undyed tunic with buttons down the front. Both items are set on a limb of the tree, out of the way for now. "Sure," F'yr's easy agreement is ready and careless for several reasons. First, he came here to work and M'ti is the expert. Second, he has no idea that he's not interacting with someone who is more than just the woodcrafter in charge of the build. Though M'ti may not immediately understand the big bronzerider's ignorance, despite the sevens since Kihatsuth's flight, the options are fairly limited: either F'yr is a brilliant actor (and frankly, he's not bad when he has to) or he really has no idea. He takes the axe from the slighter man and moves to take up the task he's been set. He'll even wait to speak again until the other man comes back. "I'm sorry there's been such set-backs. You must be getting sick of being away from home for so long." If he knew, this would be cutting, surely, but seeing as he doesn't, it's really just an opening for casual chit-chat. "I almost asked Ru if he wanted to stay at my place for a while, but Glori and Kiha under one roof for any extended amount of time just seems like a recipe for disaster." So, in life according to F'yr, the reason he and Ru'ien aren't shacked up right now (however temporarily) is because of their dragons, not for other Important Reasons (like, oh, Matty). At least there's the flex and release of all those muscles to comfort everyone while F'yr swings the axe in a way that suggests previous experience at the current task.

The way that M’ti makes for the garden shed out back is not rushed, which surely can be attributed to not wanting to slip and fall on potentially icy ground and not because he wasn’t in any hurry to get back. The doors are pulled open and he steps inside, sunlight able to shine through unheeded then, revealing the birch tree bed frame under construction within. Plucking what he needs off the wall of tools, the greenrider tucks it under his arm, closing the doors behind him again. He’ll return, of course, in due time with that hacksaw in hand. Considering M’ti had been out there since early morning, he’d already removed several branches on his own, and to this effect he sets himself to the task of starting to saw off those thinner shoots he’d mentioned. Idle hands and all that. He tosses F’yr a polite enough smile as he starts to speak, grabbing this and stepping on that there off to the side and starting to saw, “It happens,” he replies loud enough to be heard over the grinding of metal into wood but no more, “That’s something I’ve learned anyway, to chalk it up to experience and roll with the punches. I spent quite some time being upset in the beginning and a few times since, but being upset didn’t change anything.” That this could be applied both to his work and personal life isn’t lost on M’ti and the irony of saying it aloud to F’yr of all people brings a fleetingly slight sardonic twist to the greenrider’s lips. “Not really?” is given in response to the idea that he might be frustrated the build was taking so long, “I was a candidate here when I was much younger, it’s given me the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones too.” It’s when F’yr brings up Ru’ien that the grinding sound abruptly halts and M’ti stares blankly forward at the half sawn branch before him, looking much like he’s just received a direct blow to his solar plexus. This stunned silence is very gently interrupted by the continuation of sawing and a markedly delayed, “T-that…” breathed out and barely audible. It’s with determination that the greenrider finishes severing that branch, grabbing it off the ground and tossing it into an already well-established burnpile altogether rather robotically, “…th-that’s too bad…” M’ti exhales, trying to keep his voice steady and even with very mixed results, picking another branch and sawing away. Despite his best efforts to fight it, he feels himself losing the battle with that all too familiar sting behind his eyes and they start to fill, necessitating another pause to quickly swipe at them before getting back to it.

There's a couple of nods that silently acknowledge M'ti's words about the setbacks, about his candidacy. It might seem as though F'yr weren't paying attention, really, unless one happened to look up in time to catch them, but the big blond probably isn't thinking about that, too focused on his own task at hand. At least he does seem to be timing the swings of the axe so as not to miss any of the greenrider's words. The swing that starts at that barely audible word stutters to a halt and the bronzerider shifts the axe, drawing it back to have a second go, but he waits in case there's more. And there is, as it turns out, but not quickly enough that his muscles aren't bunching and letting the thing start to move again only to be truncated a second time mid-motion as he catches the words, the tone. There's much that F'yr misses on a routine basis, but not details like that. The axe is moved again, but this time to be held in front of him as he twists to more properly face the greenrider, blue eyes intense for the weight of their observation. There's silence as the sawing commences, and then there's the sound of the axe being set to the side, the crunch of boots on snow as the big man moves toward the wood crafter, navigating over those offshoot branches that he must to get to where M'ti is working. His head cants as he takes him in. The words are slow in coming, but they do come. "Well, you know, our barracks burnt down when Kihatsuth and Glorioth were living together last." He doesn't actually say it was their fault, but he does seem to be citing it as an example of why. There's a beat of silence before he murmurs, "M'ti?" It's a quiet but somehow slightly demanding tone of inquiry. Something just happened, but flamed if F'yr knows just what. He isn't going to ask, 'are you okay?' because it's plain as plain that the greenrider is not, especially now that he's this close. A hand even reaches out with every intent of gripping gently M'ti's upper arm in a gesture of some kind of support.

To be fair, M’ti was paying more attention to the way he was moving the sharply toothed hacksaw back and forth than watching F’yr, but listening wasn’t an issue. The timing of the bronzerider’s axe swings and the low brrr-brrrr of the greenrider’s saw lend a decent drone of sound otherwise missing thanks to the snow. It allows them to converse, beginning relatively neutral and amiable, that is— before it takes an unexpected turn for the both of them. M’ti had made a valiant effort in swallowing down his personal feelings, but caught off guard, he very quickly loses ground until his emotions show through. Not that this has been out of character (even at the best of times) for the younger man since he’d become a greenrider, but to see the improvement from now in comparison to how’d it been, F’yr would have to have known him better. As it was, all the bronzerider had to go on what he could hear and see, and clearly that was enough to warrant putting down the axe and traversing those many pokey branches so he could more closely inspect M’ti. The crunching of boots in the snow was not so subtle as to be missed and with it his sawing slows even as he tucks in his chin. This time, the tensing of his frame was notable under such close scrutiny, and he doesn’t look up as those hesitant words slide free of F’yr’s lips, offering only the light bobble of his head in confirmation. Yes, he’d heard about the barracks fire, but he didn’t trust himself enough to give a verbal response at this point. The soft stuttered sawing continues then, if just to stop that beat later when the bronzerider utilizes that tone with his honorific, and his head almost comes up because of it until he appears to decide to hunch his shoulders a bit instead, “Hmm?” he braves with a modicum of success in keeping his upset to himself, sawing back and forth a few more times before the grasp of his coat-sleeve covered arm puts a stop to it, felt to be trembling ever so slightly beneath F’yr’s hand. Inhaling sharply through his nose, an action that turns out to be more sniffle than not, M’ti drops the handsaw as he tosses his head up and delivers onto the bronzerider a brilliant smile of all things despite tear streaked cheeks, “I’m sorry…” he tosses out there with a laugh that was far from humored, swiping at his face with gloved hands, “I-I’m sorry…” His resolve starts to crack from there, his forced cheer crumbling as his chin starts to quiver. Watery hazel eyes meet blue for all of a second or two before they’re cast off elsewhere, Matty’s shoulders starting to shake, “I-I’m s-sorry…” With that he attempts to simply walk out of F’yr’s supportive hand-hold and make his escape because all this was too much and he wasn’t going to keep himself even this together for very much longer.

Oh, F'yr knows about smiling through tears, so that M'ti is able to summon up this look through the tears does exactly nothing (and in fact, probably has the opposite of the intended effect) to make the bronzerider look less quietly concerned and increasingly alarmed by the greenrider's reaction. Contrary to what might be popular opinion of the big blond, he's actually not one to step too far over the boundaries of personal comfort when he doesn't know a person well, and yet, he's not about to let M'ti just go off and cry when things were fine and then things were very not fine and the only thing that apparently changed was F'yr's running mouth. So the bronzerider does actually move to step in front of M'ti, slouching down himself to try to catch the shorter man's eyes. "Can I help?" There's a flex of his hands that's a ghost of a reach toward M'ti's hands, but he doesn't quite dare given that this is really only the second time they've met. "I'm sorry if it was something I said." It's clear from the tone that F'yr is pretty sure it was something he said, but he's definitely still completely in the dark about just what.

These two riders may not know each other very well, as indeed this is only the second time they’ve ever interacted, but even so M’ti’s initial assessment of F’yr hadn’t changed: He remained incredibly nice and that kindness made it extremely difficult to dislike him. When his attempt at escape is blocked by the broadly muscular frame of the larger man, M’ti stops short, vaguely bouncing back on his heels and looks as much at a loss as he does upset. With a sudden spike of anxiety, likely feeling a little trapped, the greenrider doesn’t seem to know what to do with his appendages. Arms come up, hands palms out towards F’yr, dancing from one foot to the other somewhat as a furrow fully forms on his brow just as blue eyes make contact with his hazel and they widen minutely, “I….” That the bronzerider reaches for him, presumably to take his hands in an effort to extend comfort and convey his concern? Stammering through a half-choked sob, “Oh Faranth, th-that j-just makes it…” Worse. So much worse. In that moment, M’ti had some rather unkind thoughts in regards to Ru’ien, simply because he’d put him and by extension— F’yr— in this position. Again, there’s an oh so brief humorless laugh, slightly trembling hands firmly swept beneath his eyes as he shakes his head very slowly and takes a step back, “Hmm no, nonononono…I-I’m not going to be…I c-can’t…it’s n-not fair…” See, M’ti is presuming much of the bronzerider presently, which is certainly not helping the situation. Still shaking his head, the greenrider puts his smaller and lithe body-type to work, abruptly tries to side-step and make a break for it. If he’s successful, up the beautifully carved stairs he goes, across the front deck and through the door into the house. Sure, sure, F’yr could very easily follow him up there and make any further bids of evasion impossible, but M’ti isn’t exactly thinking straight. Once in there, surrounded by the evidence of his clear affection for the house’s owner— for it was quite literally etched into every inch of that inner space— the lurch of his stomach propels his feet forward across the hardwood floor to the coolness of the bathroom’s ceramic tile and with that he promptly bows before the porcelain God to deposit the remains of his breakfast.

Well, of course, F'yr is following M'ti as he makes a break for the house. And why? Because in F'yr's perception of events (THANK YOU OH-SO-MUCH, RU'IEN), the woodcrafter hired to build his bro's place, has just gone off crying into said building. He has no idea that M'ti is retreating to one of M'ti's safe spaces. This is like a cook ducking into a storage room for a weep, not a man tucking into his home. Just how stupid is he going to feel when all this comes clear? It's anyone's guess, but there's so much disaster impending here as F'yr comes through the door just after M'ti. "M'ti, I wish-" But then the smaller man is stumbling toward the bathroom and F'yr is following even there, concern shifting into something less vague and more solid as he goes to his knees. "Shells," is a soft exhale even as the big bronzerider is sweeping GALLANTLY onto his knees. You see, any farmer worth their salt has seen worse than a man losing his breakfast and F'yr was a very good farmer. Without asking for permission, he's moving his hands to gather the woodcrafter's hair back from his face and once he has it, it's shifted to one hand while the other moves to rub his back in soothing circles. The 'whys' of the moment have been lost to the 'musts' of the moment. If F'yr weren't F'yr, he could have left the greenrider to it all. But seeing as how he's F'yr… well, here he is, bearing it out and helping how he can. If that includes ending up gathering the distraught greenrider into his arm after his stomach has emptied itself and stubbornly providing a protective ring of strong arms until the worst has passed, so be it.

The stairs, that small front deck and it’s wrap around to the equally sized one out back, as well as the railing surrounding it all, is all complete. Pushed through the front door, the house opens to a high vaulted and yet unfinished ceiling, the view broken somewhat by a second floor loft with a half-carved— yet still ornate— staircase and railing system. Actual trees come up through the floor and are incorporated into the framework of the house as much as they are its design, adding stability and personality. True, that the inside was relatively barebones, but that bone structure— if one had the eye to notice— had clearly been born out of an affection far deeper than a contracted worker should have for even a favored client. Or, perhaps, Ru’ien had been very specific on what it was he wanted. Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that M’ti had thrown off his jacket and kicked off his boots in a clambering haste before practically sliding across the floor and to his knees so he could throw up. Better in the toilet than the floor and really there had been some hope to avoid vomiting in front of F’yr. No such luck there, though. That the door opens and closes shortly proceed his graceful glide and crash brings further tension to Matty’s shoulder, groaning into another gut wrenching wretch. Lovely. While the greenrider might stiffen and try to push F’yr away at first as he comes over to kneel beside him— to hold back his hair, rub his back (WHAT? Why is this even happening?): But he knows why and that isn’t making this any better. Another lurch of his stomach sees to it that his fingers catch on the older man’s shirt so that he ends up inadvertently securing him in place instead as the dry heaving starts. Fortunately (unfortunately?), this doesn’t last overly long and M’ti folds his arm over the toilet seat with a very restrained sound of upset, resting his head into the crook that this provides, and while he retains what is basically a white-knuckled deathgrip on the bronzerider’s clothing that restraint slips and his shoulders begin to shake. No, throwing up didn’t solve anything, not one bit. The sheer magnitude of suckage right now was far and beyond what M’ti ever wanted to have to deal with, but here he was, holding onto probably the last person he should be and softly sobs through the gratitude he feels towards him. This was a truly decent, kind, human being. F’yr didn’t know him or who he was or even why M’ti was struggling, but he was here and trying to help him anyway and that just added to the unfairness of it all. This was unfair for bronze and greenrider both and yet he couldn’t bring himself to break Ru’s trust, because there had to be a reason that the man hadn’t told his best friend and lover about the Fortian he’d been living with for months. Right? It couldn’t be that Matty was Ru’ien dirty little secret, not after everything they’d shared, not after the older greenrider had been so honest with him and taken such care to reassure him that nothing had changed between them. The weight of this burden, it doesn’t so much break something in M’ti, as it sends tiny fissure-like cracks down everything he thought he knew and understood and being personally responsible for potentially breaking the heart of a good man such as F’yr isn’t something that Matty wanted. Anyone who would do what the bronzerider was doing right now, especially for a relative stranger, was someone he wanted to know better, to befriend and keep close in situations ironically similar to this one. He didn’t want to hate F’yr any more than he wanted F’yr to hate him and that the former had once or twice crossed his mind in the past, crushes him now. “I’m s-sorry, F’yr…” he sobs as he curls in towards the toilet bowl as his muscles bunch, “I’m…so…s-so…s-sorry…”

Once the dry heaving seems to have passed, F'yr's muscles are taking their turn to bunch - not to get up and go away in a hurry, which might be another's most urgent priority, but rather to shift a little and draw M'ti's slighter frame into that encircling protection that his arms can afford. He and Ru'ien are of a height, but their builds are slightly different, F'yr's farmer shoulders broader than the Smith's by simple dint of different genetics. So, no, M'ti won't be allowed to curl in toward the toilet bowl. He can curl in on himself, if he wants, but only inside the unwavering strength of those arms. That's just how it is. This is called a Nope hug. It's the kind of hug that comes when a situation has presented itself and someone in need of comfort is resisting it for reasons unknown (or silly) to F'yr. So. NOPE. Hug. That's how this goes. "Just breathe," the bronzerider encourages quietly. The thing is, F'yr has been puking upset before. He knows what that level of emotion feels like. Someone was the rock while he came apart and it's simply time to pay it forward here. More than that, though, F'yr would never sit idly by while someone went through whatever this is, even not knowing the source. "Just breathe, M'ti." The embrace shifts enough that he can rub the greenrider's back again in slow, rhythmic. He doesn't know what's wrong. He can't ask right now because it's plain enough that just breathing is an effort, so what can F'yr do? … He sings. Though Ru'ien surely knows his friend sings from time to time, particularly to his dragon, Fear has never sung for Ruin, but then… maybe Ru'ien has never needed it. His voice is soft, rich and more trained than it was when he started out at the Weyr. In another life, Stefyr would've made a fine harper. But that's not this life. In this life, these lyrics might even seem to mean something.

Undoubtedly, M’ti expected F’yr to get up and leave when he detects the man’s weight shifting beside him, that he had finally had his fill and was washing his hands of him and a part of him was relieved. However, it’s not departure that the bronzerider was after but rather to pull M’ti off the toilet and against the warmth of his body, strong arms encircling soon thereafter. A snug and protective hug, meant to reassure and soothe, but the whole of the greenrider goes completely rigid, a fraction of panic settling in because F’yr didn’t know why he was upset while M’ti most certainly did, and this man was going above and beyond to try and comfort him. The guilt that M’ti experiences as a result is of epic proportions, muffling his sobs as he presses his face into the soft material covering the bronzerider’s torso. He needs to say something, this has to stop. But F’yr is rubbing his back and telling him to breathe (in probably the gentlest tone he’s ever heard) and it’s like a knife straight into his gut. The twist of that blade comes when the big blonde starts to sing to him. Oh, Faranth. No. Noooo. Nooooooooooo. Please stop! Gritting his teeth, Matty tucks his head in and his fingers dig into where they’ve made purchase of the bronzerider’s shirt, and whatever meaning he garners from the song’s lyrics seem to be the catalyst for what happens next. Line by line, resist as he may, the stiffness works its way out of the greenrider until he succumbs. Little by little, M’ti curls up into a leaking ball slumped against F’yr, as if he has no other choice than to just let it happen. In and out, air is exchanged as he does what he’s told and he just breathes. Though the cause remains, the symptoms begin to subside, leaving M’ti no more than an unseemly lump protruding from the bronzerider’s middle. At least he’s not very heavy? By the time the song ends, Matty had settled down almost entirely, staring off past the crack in the fringe of his lashes at nothing in particular. The odd tear, fed and fat, drops free then and again to roll down raw cheeks, though in time the trace of a crease forms incrementally on the greenrider’s brow, until eyes— red, puffy; the space behind them throbbing— slide behind sandpaper-like lids.This wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t. But neither was leaving F’yr in the dark. With that, M’ti exhales almost too quiet to hear, “F’yr…Ru and I…we’ve been living together since mid-summer…”

Had he meant to draw another breath for another soothing word? Probably. One does tend to draw breath at regular intervals by habit. Thus, having one's chest suddenly locked as though it suffered a blow is a bit irregular. It might be part of why his already tense-with-concern frame becomes tenser still, and with more dimension to the reasons behind it. F'yr would be the blackest pot if his visceral reaction here had anything to do with Ru'ien being with M'ti and in truth, that's not it at all. The part that snatched up his breath and bounded off with it were the words "living together." This, one might imagine, was the kind of thing that a lover might tell their lover, a thing that a bro might tell a bro, a thing a considerate person might tell another so they could avoid moments exactly like this. And yet, here is this moment: F'yr is gobsmacked, flabbergasted, astounded, not at M'ti's existence - though it may well appear that way. But rather because… "I didn't know." The simple words are flat. It's not that they lack feeling, not really, it's that it's an underwhelming reaction to such a monumental share. Maybe F'yr doesn't believe M'ti? No, he'd have said something else were that the case. Maybe, it's that the bronzerider has an unusual skill in life: laying the blame at the feet of the right person. His arms do loosen and then fall away, and he's shifting slowly back to give the greenrider space. The blond's expression is blank, as if someone had scoured everything that defines F'yr away for this moment. "I apologize. Will you be alright?" Both sentences are devoid of color, of feeling, but they still ring true; perhaps numbness is simply the only option right now, or at least the safest one.

Breathing, had come at a premium before M’ti had relented to F’yr’s soothingly applied advice simply to do so, and now he was doing a lot of it. Pointedly, the very next one he takes after ripping off the proverbial bandage is shaky and released out unevenly. One could gleam a good deal about a reaction when they’re leaned against the one having it and so the irregularity and tension which finds F’yr in the seconds after those words leave his mouth could hardly be missed. Although without knowing the bronzerider, without having that codex that might explain the why of skipped breaths and tightening muscle, M’ti is left to draw his own conclusions. Some might be right on the nose, others way off the mark, but none of them find a voice for F’yr to confirm or deny. The greenrider didn’t need to see the other man’s expression to wager a fairly accurate guess though, remaining slack and still, as though preparing for whatever came next. That F’yr’s words— once there was dimension and warmth— flatten, resonates deeply within Matty, and he notably winces in the heartbeat before he starts to gather what strength he can muster for moving, “I know…” he breathes out, “…at least…I k-knew after…” Well, after F’yr’s said what he’d said out there in the yard, is his meaning. As the bronzerider’s arms release him, the drift apart comes at mutual speed, but M’ti doesn’t go further than necessary in order to lean back against the toilet. He’ll remember to flush it, maybe, at some point. Right now, he looks at the space on the floor that’s opened up between them, the hair that F’yr had spared hanging loose around his face, “You…don’t have to apologize.” As far as Matty was concerned, the bronzerider didn’t have anything to apologize for. He hadn’t known. What he’d said hadn’t been said with malicious intent, meant to hurt or harm. There is hesitation, just for a moment, before M’ti bobs his head once in affirmation. Yes, he imagined, eventually he’d be okay. Though before F’yr can do what the greenrider anticipates is his next move— leaving— he’ll reach out blindly and rest his hand briefly on his knee or shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze. It may not be the grand gesture of comfort that F’yr had shown him, but it still carried the same tone somehow. This done, his touch falls away and his hand to his own lap, and there on the floor of the bathroom he stays to study the grout between the tiles.

The touch M'ti manages is fleeting only because as soon as F'yr has the confirmation that in the immediate the greenrider will be alright, he's up and out without more than the smallest acknowledging nod, strides lengthening before he's even hit the door to the long walk down to the ground. The number of people that have witnessed F'yr angry in Xanadu may be numbered on one hand. The number of people who've raised that temper to seeing red as he is now is markedly smaller still. There's an aggressiveness to the storm of F'yr that hits the ground heading for the felled tree where he left his sweater and coat to tug them roughly on (at the expense of one lost, clearly new, clearly handmade purple mitten - WOE~) before he's heading away. Away from this mess, these feelings, that rage that is focused squarely on the two heads most befitting its F'yrsome expression: his own and Ru'ien. It's a good thing Ru'ien isn't here just— OH HELLO. Meet the Fist of Fear, Face of Ruin. That's what he WANTS to make of Ruin's face, anyway, but he pulls the punch very slightly right at the last moment; but damn, it'll leave an IMPRESSIVE BRUISE for sure - good thing there's snow everywhere~ And having done that, whether it makes the Smith only stagger or fall flat out, the bronzerider will only hesitate enough to make sure the greenrider is still breathing (preferably by evidence that he's moving) before he's taking his storm of loathing (self and other) elsewhere.

Ru’ien never saw it coming! His strides had been purposeful as he approached the site that held his ongoing project and future weyr. NOT A CLUE! Not in his good mood, mind elsewhere and everywhere all at once. Not even when F’yr came storming over — and maybe that was the first inkling. It wouldn’t even come close to registering, because the greenrider doesn’t even get the chance to realize that that force of anger was directed fully at HIM! There was going to be a bright greeting to the bronzerider, some usual exchange between them but that all crashes to an abrupt halt and left unspoken on his lips the moment F’yr’s fist makes contact. His aim strikes true, even pulling to the right as he does and it’s enough to knock Ru’ien flat back onto the snow. Hard enough that he grunts as the air is forced out of him, teeth rattling in his head and likely tasting faintly metallic. He isn’t knocked out cold, just briefly out of his senses as his eyes roll and blink, struggling in focusing. When he can, just enough, he looks up in absolute shock to F’yr — too shocked to even look wounded for the assault. “… what…” Ru’ien’s touching fingers to his face first, then his nose and lips, wincing but in seeing no blood, he will gather himself shakily to his feet. Ow! He stares at F’yr’s retreating back, maybe calling his name, whether futile or not, in unspoken alarm and question. What’s going on? And then back to that unfinished structure and SOMETHING must dawn on him — because he’s got some braincells left to investigate and NOT pursue the bronzerider. Yet. Even if he hesitates after the first step or so, with one last troubled (and pained because fuck that hurt that punch!) glance to wherever F’yr-the-storm disappeared to.

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