Hard Enough with One

Xanadu Weyr - Deep Forest
The wooded areas closer to Xanadu Weyr represent a compromise between man and mother nature, but to the north and west, no such arrangements have been made. The deep woods between the Weyr and the mountains are less traveled, the wider paths fit for man and beast less present. The noises of mankind are barely audible here, brief ghosts on the wind, and the quiet thrum of forest life presses in on all sides. The snapping of a twig, a bird's cry, the low cadence of insects; all of these things seem louder. Closer. The deeper one moves into the trees, the more it becomes obvious that one passes through nature only at her allowance.

The cover of trees is more severe in this area of the wood and only occasional shafts of sunlight lance down through the canopy, the sky visible in brief patches. A rough path has been blazed back towards the Weyr. It does not appear to be a heavily frequented path, but the few who have chosen to pass through this area appear to use it more than other avenues available. Only the very foolish or the very experienced would ever wander far from the path.

Sometimes, a person just needs time to be alone, or at least F'yr does, particularly when his shoulders look to be holding the weight of the world, brow furrowed, eyes touched with light evidence of sleepless nights. This late afternoon, the solitude and peace of the deeper places of the forest still not all that distant from Xanadu Weyr seem to be the place chosen. The thicker cover of trees allows a little bit more escape from the heat of the summer, and today, just now even, there's a light rain. As the drizzle becomes a little heavier, F'yr is heading for one of the more known spots a forest-trekker could find a bit of shelter. It's not so much that being wet is a problem, but he is wearing a pack that probably has a few things he'd rather not see soaked, if it could be avoided. So, rise of moss-covered rock between a loose knot of trees that has a handy overhang (even if he'll have to duck) seems to be the destination he has in mind to wait out the heavier part of the sunshower.

And it just so happens that the overhang is already occupied! N'on is pretty typically forest-dwelling on his rest days. A bow and quiver tucked into the back of the small nook shows clearly both what he was doing in the forest and why he was so quick to take shelter. No one wants their bow ruined by rain if they can help it. He's sitting cross-legged under the shelter, watching the rain come down when he sees F'yr appear and greets him with a welcoming grin and wave of one hand. He shifts slightly to make a bit more room, to show that the other rider is welcome to join.

WELL, HELLO OVERHANG OCCUPYING GREENRIDER! Understandably, perhaps F'yr has been busy since weyrlinghood finally ended and he began the taxing resumption of his varied (sometimes absurd) duties in the administrative hallways. It's not that the bronzerider has been exactly avoiding N'on since that kiss, but he hasn't gone out of his way to see him, either. Maybe he thought it would be awkward after? Is it awkward now? It doesn't really seem so with F'yr raising a hand in return as he spots N'on, before he's in conversational range and ducks down under the overhang to slide into a seat on the ground beside the older man. "Fancy meeting you here." He can't help but say it, but for all the touch of humor to his voice, it's not as light as it could be. He gets his bag pulled off his broad shoulders and slides it onto the ground before looking to Zhelinath's rider with a smile. "How're you?"

N'on smirks faintly at the greeting, and gives a roll of his eyes. It could be awkward… But N'on is apparently not doing awkward today, for whatever reason. He turns his attention back to the falling rain while F'yr is getting settled, only glancing back with the question. He answers with a thumbs up sign. ~How are you?~ he returns the question in sign form.

The thumbs up could be questioned, but that's not F'yr's style. He takes it at face value, even if there might be the slightest ghost of concern that flits across the blue gaze settled on the greenrider. N'on's question is met with silence, a slight purse of the lips. The answer must be more complicated than a thumbs up. After a few more beats there's a shrug and F'yr sighs, "I've been better, but it's-" his eyes pinch briefly shut and he looks a little like he bit a lemon, "-just finding out the truth of something someone warned me about once." He shakes his head and then twists to grab his pack and produce his canteen. "How's work?" Just how many thumbs ups can F'yr accrue here in this overhang?

N'on tilts his head a little, curiosity piqued by that answer. He's very good at the silent listening thing! But when F'yr changes the subject, he lifts one shoulder. It's not exactly a thumbs up, but it doesn't seem to be negative either. ~No disasters,~ he signs, which is a good thing! ~Truth of something…?~ He signs an echo of F'yr's words with an inquisitive look, turning the topic back to the bronzerider.

"Can't be sad for that," F'yr may be young, but he has enough sense to grasp that excitement in danger also means the real possibility for harm. Perhaps being a farmer, he's never embraced that kind of excitement, or maybe he'd just rather not see friends in danger. There's a smile to go with his words. He takes a swallow from his canteen, staring at the trees like he might not answer the signed words that he definitely didn't miss (but maybe wishes he did), and he offers the canteen over. "Water?" In case N'on is thirsty. (Or maybe just to buy a little more time.) Then, "Someone once told me it was a bad idea to kiss everyone I liked. They sort of left ambiguous the why, but… that's coming a bit clear now." He looks genuinely troubled, even if he's trying to wrap it all in the thin veneer of humor. "At least you kissed me, so I don't have to worry about it being my fault if that's made anything weird or bad." This, of course, leads him to a headtilt and an earnest look, "Did it? I didn't want you to do something you'd regret later."

N'on accepts the water with a nod of gratitude and has a polite sip before returning it. He goes back to watching the rain, allowing F'yr to explain in his own time. The mention of N'on's actions earn a little snort of derision. ~Zhelinath was glowing,~ he signs, with a sidelong look at F'yr. ~V'ayn and I were split up. I wasn't me.~ He hesitates, hands still at the ready as he considers his next words, before reaching into his belt pocket for the ever-present notepad and pencil. He writes down a quick explanation and tears it out to pass over. ~I was lonely. Figured of all the people, you'd be least likely to make it weird.~ Given by the amused smirk, he might feel he was /slightly/ wrong about that. But at least he's not acting super awkward about it.

F'yr's lower lip is abused gently between his teeth as he considers what N'on tells him, first with his hands and then with the note that is duly and carefully read before handed back. "It would have been weird… for me." He glances side-long toward the greenrider, expression touched with apology. "Not because I didn't want to kiss you, but because I didn't want to kiss you when you weren't you." He looks away then, one hand moving to push the locks that have escaped the queue at the back of his head away from his face - his hair has grown long since the middle of weyrlinghood. "I'm sorry if you ended up with a worse kind of weird after that. I just… couldn't have it mean nothing." A beat and then an added, "I'm sorry you were lonely. I don't think I realized that part." Might he have behaved better? Maybe. Who can say now that it's all in the past?

N'on gives F'yr another of those little sidelong looks, but then gives a shrug. On the note that F'yr passes back, he scribbles another message. ~When I'm me, you couldn't kiss me anyway. I don't like to share. It's Zhelinath who doesn't mind.~ The apology just gets another smirk, and he signs a quick clarification. ~V'ayn and I are back together.~ So presumably he's no longer lonely.

"Ah." Well, that's going to take a moment to process, all of it. After a moment of studying the rain, the trees, the sunshine still peeking through here and there, F'yr gives a little nod, then a slightly bigger one. Yeah, that's good, right? Right? Sure. "I'm glad for you that things worked themselves out the right way." That's honest and meant. "I used to think not sharing was the only way." Of course, since he was a farmer and that's what farmers do, at least the farmers F'yr came from. That's a tangent, a tangent he seems a little confused about having brought up at all, but maybe that's the after-effect of what the greenrider's just said. "I'm glad we're friends." Look, he's got this shovel, and apparently a hole he feels the need to dig a little bit. N'on could save him anytime now. Any. Time. Now.

N'on doesn't mind letting F'yr dig a bit, but when he glances back at F'yr, there's at least a glimmer of amusement and genuine affection. ~Not sharing makes things simpler,~ he signs, then goes back to the notepad for a slightly longer note. ~I'm glad we're friends, too. I hope whoever you kissed changes their mind. You deserve to have things work out the right way.~ There's a few blank spaces, and another note scrawled at the bottom of the paper, ~For us: You can't be a greenrider for five turns without learning to dismiss what happens around a flight.~ He hands the note over, and goes back to watching the rain.

The signing draws a very heavy sigh from the bronzerider. "I bet," he concedes readily to the point. Possibly, for the first time, F'yr is really really wishing he was built more that way than the way he seems to be turning out. His hands come up to rub across his face while N'on writes, as if that will remove the ruddy staining from his cheeks. (It doesn't work like that, F'yr. Good try.) "I don't… I mean, flights are flights." And he would actually know by now; it would seem Glorioth achieved an IMPOSSIBLE QUEST over the last six months, with an absurd track record for green flight wins (and gold losses) since he started chasing. Poor F'yr's been put through the ringer enough to be the subject of much gossip: spoiler alert, he never stays for seconds says the gossip mill. But since Glorioth caught Inasyth on turnover eve, he's lost every greenflight since, so maybe his luck has changed, much to F'yr's probable relief. "I don't like ending up with strangers, but I can't really do anything about it." The man fills in with another shrug-sigh combo. "I guess I don't understand how people can believe you have many friends, and care about each of them, but they can't imagine you have more than one person for whom your feelings go deeper than what friendship would typically be considered. Why are there even labels at all for these things." That last isn't really a question it's a vented frustration. "Sorry." That's gruff but real. He looks to N'on then and adds ONE MORE SHOVEL to his dig, but maybe not such a bad one, "I really am happy for you and V'ayn. I'm glad you've found what works for you. I'm envious of you, but I'm happy for you all the same."

N'on is slightly taken aback by all that. He goes back to watching the rain, with the thoughtful look he gets when he's seriously considering a problem and how to address it. He taps the pencil tip on the notepad, rhythmically, until he is ready to start writing. When he's finished, he passes it over solemnly. ~Turning yourself inside out is hard enough with just one person. Most people can't do that over and over again. It's too difficult. — Labels are just words. We need words to communicate. Simple.~

F'yr, the ROMANTIC NOVEL COVER MODEL LOOKALIKE, stares dumbly down at the note he's been handed and groans. "But I've already done that with Glorioth and nothing will ever compare to that. What could be worse, better, anything." It's different, surely, with other human beings, but perhaps this is part of the crux of his frustration. "Everything was fine," is a little hopeless, "until it wasn't." He stares at the rain and starts moving to put his canteen back where it belongs. Maybe soggy-feelinged F'yr wants to be as soggy on the outside as in because it does look like he might be making slow moves to abandon the shelter and let the rain make him miserable for a different reason.

N'on smiles sympathetically. He doesn't seem to have much else to say, but he at least has sympathy for what F'yr is going through. He reaches over and pats F'yr on the shoulder, then gives the arm an encouraging squeeze. He watches F'yr as he starts to abandon the shelter, and takes a deep breath, letting it out in a slow sigh. It's Zhelinath who whispers to Glorioth, from some warm and dry shelter, « Mine desires to express his wish that yours does not get sick. »

« HE CANNOT- » Sorry, Zhelinath, Glorioth still doesn't grasp the concept of volume control: heroically loud seems to be his only setting and timbre, « -BE ANY MORE SICKENING THAN HE ALREADY IS HAVING NOT CUT DOWN THE FOE-VILLAIN WHO DOUBTED THE TRUTH OF HIS WORDS. » Of course, F'yr would never lie. Not to anyone, not to Glorioth (who he definitely routinely lies to, it's fine). « SPEAKING OF LOVE IS BAD ENOUGH, » notice that the beat of battle drums and clash of weapons all overlaid with that awful off-key theme music still doesn't quite cover up the brief imitation of retching, « BUT HIS EFFEMINATE SENTIMENTALITIES HAVE CALLED HIS HONOR INTO QUESTION. » And Glorioth? He mad. F'yr hasn't quite finished gathering his stuff together when his head comes up and he squints at nothing and then just sighs, shaking his head a little. "It will all work out somehow." Whether he's telling N'on, himself, or the bronze is anyone's guess; maybe all three. "Some things just aren't right, I guess." He doesn't sound happy about that. "Maybe it's better to leave words like love out of it all. Even when they're true." He looks distinctly frustrated by that but like so many things, much is not exactly within his control. He does aim to climb up onto his feet, but not before he adds, "Thanks for listening, N'on." There's a touch of a wry smile that probably goes back to the conversation where it was observed the silent greenrider isn't often given much of a choice about it.

Zhelinath doesn't play with the yelling business. She immediately shuts down, becoming a smooth mirror that reflects his yelling back to him, presumably keeping herself safely at peace on the other side. N'on just smiles sympathetically and shrugs. To the gratitude, he just waves dismissively, then signs a simple, ~Anytime.~ With F'yr gearing up to leave, N'on stretches out again, getting comfortable under the cover to wait out the rain.

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License