Not Going Anywhere

Xanadu Weyr - Star Stones

Looming up above the weyr stand the spindly spires called the Starstones. Jagged grays and brown are stately, if a bit dull and uniform. These rocks have stood for as long as records stretch, being used by millions of dragons across time and space to come home, or to herald the coming of Thread by the circular hole drilled there by the first people of Pern. As the Red Star creeps across the sky, an enemy still very real, if perhaps just a memory now, to line up with the circle and sing of the Pass' beginning.

There is room here for a few dragons to land although there is no shelter for man or beast. It is a magnificent prospect out over the weyr and across the lake, the sky often occupied by dragons and firelizards, many flitting in and out of *between*.

It is night, and though the moons will soon blanket the canvas of the land in the cool light of their fullness, right now they have not yet risen. It leaves the sky dark as pitch except where the starts shine through in all their brightness, broken only here and there by the dark of a scudding cloud. All in all it is the perfect time to be up on the star stones, especially if you appreciate the stars as at all. And so Enkavir is plopped unceremoniously near the rock that used to frame the Red Star in the most dire of times, peering up at the sky through a SeaCraft-type spyglass. It's nothing compared to the StarCraft's observatories but it does a little something, anyhow. Though there's a faint smile on his lips as he scans the night sky, there's a slump to his shoulders and a general air of light melancholy there for the observant.

The flapping of wings and the screet of claws seeking leverage on rock herald the arrival of a dragon landing on the end of the starstones. There is a creak of leather, followed by a long silence that is broken by the tap of booted soles landing lightly on the stone's surface. There is no following wingbeats as the dragon departs, for it simply drops to glide silently back to the ground. Thea walks towards the stones carefully in the darkness, one hand out to touch the spire as she draws near. Her eye is adjusted to the dimness, but a still-figure might blend with stone and shadow.

The 'stones are a popular place for firelizards and dragons to *between* home to, a landmark that's truly unique even in near darkness, so the flap of wings is nothing new. It's also a place where watchdragons often perch, and between those two facts Enkavir does not even look up - er, down rather. He just continues to scan the skies with one hand. If it wasn't completely obvious that he has no idea who has just arrived, the sight of one hand sliding into his coat and drawing out a slim flask should make it even more clear. It's apparently uncapped already because he just lifts it to his lips and takes the tiniest of sips, grimacing as it hits his tongue before sliding back into its place.

Thea is near enough to make out the form of Enkavir, but she's walking slowly and able to see quite a bit in that brief pause. "Kav," soft the call, but with it a note of entreaty, asking to be welcome rather than confidently assuming she already is. She waits… then simply sits beside the man, leaning up against the stone's cold hardness. She doesn't mention the flask, doesn't question. Softly, "Can you… show me some of them?" There's a tremble in her voice, but it's barely there, might not even be noticed.

The single word, so softly spoken, is enough to bring the spyglass down and his face around toward her. Even in the dim light, the curve of his smile deepening is easily seen and when she sits beside him he lays a gentle hand on her knee. "Thea." Her name is like a caress when it falls from his lips, and he shifts closer until their hips and knees touch lightly. "Of course," is his answer to her voiced question, and though the tremble makes his eyes narrow he doesn't mention it, not just yet. Instead he hands her the spyglass, teeth brushing his lower lip. "This isn't meant for stargazing, but it's better than nothing. Mmm, here." He points toward the familiar stationary glint. "That's the Yokohama, as you probably know."

How not to respond to that caress in the voice? Normally Thea would smile back, delighted, but tonight she is pensive and though her lips do curve in response, it is fleeting and diminished. She doesn't retreat from the closeness, but rests her head against his shoulder for a moment before looking obediently up at the bright point in the sky. "I… actually didn't know! We didn't have Starcraft classes in my hold." There's a slight growl to her tone at the words, not directed at him and she doesn't add to it. Instead, she grasps the bit of light as a line. "Tell me about it." And she cants her head to listen, her lips sad in the dim light even though her gaze is engaged in this topic and the one who speaks.

If Thea isn't going to offer, Enkavir isn't going to press, at least not yet. His eyes do narrow a bit though, intent on her face and the way the smile fades so quickly from her lips, leaving them sad and soft. His gaze slides to her eyes, but there isn't enough light to judge their shade, so instead he tips his head to lay his cheek against her hair. His sigh expresses his own mood as well as the curve of her lips, and it stirs wisps of brown near his mouth. "Mmm, not included in weyrling training either?" The question is void of judgment, just a dull and vague curiosity as he helps her get the spyglass arranged, leans to peer and help guide her toward the right spot. "It's one of the ships the ancients arrived in. I should take you there sometime, rather than just telling you about it."

Thea adds a sigh of her own to that of Enkavir's, snuggling into his cheek, quietly answering with more regret than censure, "No, it was never even mentioned, except in passing Weyr History lessons about Moreta's and Lessa's ride." As she peers through the glass, one eye closes and she is still for a long moment before she lowers it again. "I did hear about them, but not that they were still up there. It is different-looking than the stars, but I can't say I've ever seen anything like it." There is awe in her voice, "You've… been there?" She shifts a bit to see him more clearly, "I could go?" Almost incredulous that she'd even be allowed. Again that steady, assessing look, eyes glittering in the moonlight as she notes the tilt of his head, the slump of his shoulder before she invites cautiously, "Care to tell me about it?"

Enkavir grunts, clearly disapproving of the education she received but not really going into it. A little shake of his head, and then he's lost in watching her look through the glass, lips slightly parted and eyes keen on hers. "It, not they. The Bahrain and the Buenos Aires were moved away, but the Yokohama is still up there, yes." Her awed question has him shrugging uncomfortably, and a sheepish tilt tugs at one corner of his mouth. "I have, I was a StarCrafter albeit briefly. And I'm sure you could go. We'd have to get the visualization from someone for Seryth, but you're a /weyrwoman/ you know." The assessing look and the question have him dropping his gaze, swallowing roughly before looking back into her eyes. One hand lifts so his thumb can graze the edge of her mouth, that sad curve. "You first?"

As Thea listens to Enkavir, her lips part as she's given something beyond any dream she ever had and her eyes gleam briefly as they travel towards the twinkling point of light. "Travel up into space." It's a statement of profound wonder. Her eyes fall back to the man beside her and her ears are attuned to the nuances of his timbre as he mentions StarCraft. "You had mentioned that, I recall." There's an unspoken question in her statement, but she can't speak for that touch to her lips as well as the request discomfits her. "All right, if you wish." A note of mourning tinges her voice, "There's something wrong, Kav. I've noticed. Can't you tell me?"

Enkavir's eyes follow hers up toward the glint of light on metal. "Mmm, just don't mention it to Kire, you'll get a poem with no end I warrant." There's some amusement there, but then she's serious again and the sparkle in his eyes fades to nothing. "So… what's wrong with you is that something is wrong with me? That is awfully sweet of you." And yet his tone is a bit distant, hesitant. He looks down into his lap and the hand on the far side strays to that pocket where the flask lies, but it only brushes the cloth and returns to join its mate in his lap. He mulls over his words, but instead of a direct answer, he offers a question. "What do you think about Kate? Are you worried? Angry? Nothing at all?" His face stays tilted down, he looks at her out of the corner of his eyes.

Thea ignores the mention of Kire, then winces at the sarcasm and distance that is not only in Enkavir's tone, but a very real thing between them. She notes the hand movement to the pocket as she drops her head, her hair falls to curtain her once again and her shoulders hunch forward, pain evident in every line of her frame. For a few long moments she is immobile. The question of Kate has her foundering, at a loss as to where it is coming from and her confusion is evidence of this, "I… am all of them." It's an answer that ends on a dull note, as if someone had slapped her and she isn't sure why.

Her tone finally brings Enkavir's head up and he lets out a sigh, part regret, part frustration, part sadness. It's as eloquent as his eyes as he reaches out to put his arm around her, to pull her closer in body at least. His mouth is still a flat, expressionless line and all but his eyes are carefully neutral. "I don't even know where to start. Every time I think I know how to begin I need to take a step back, and you don't want to hear about things that happened before I was even born." His free hand gets buried in his hair, fingers scrunching a messy clump as he thinks. "Kefai. Rogawani called him a cult leader, and Kate a renegade, and he seems to think they may be sending threatening… love letters?" This last only confuses him and he shakes his head, dismissing it lest it confuse the issue as well as his own brain. "Do you think that's true? That they're wrong and crazy?"

Thea manages to get confused yet again by another seeming change in topic. She sits bolt-upright, "Wha-?" She's beset by conflicting signals. She addresses the least worrying problems first, "Love notes? Is this what the Kefai - Kate questions are about?" Exasperation is clearly her primary emotion here. "I am upset about Kate; we looked everywhere for her. We're still looking. I don't -know- what Kefai is all about. He hasn't really done anything horrible yet. Dead flowers and love notes… probably a prank of some sort." She shrugs it off, adding offhandedly, "Buncha kids running around the Hatching Arena with half-wilted poseys today." A hand-flip dismisses them. Now there's fire in her eye as her lips firm into a line, "And what the Shells do you know what I want or don't want to hear anyway? Try telling me something for once without making me -dig- for it!" Amazingly she's still sitting right beside him, not running not screeching. But yes, the talented Enkavir has managed to rile Thea once again.

It is what he does, apparently - get her all riled up and irritated. Enkavir just sighs, his brow furrowing as he tries to muddle through this. "I was supposed to ask you about that too, nearly forgot," he adds then just shakes his head again. No, no distractions. He takes a slow inhalation and then just tugs lightly at her sleeve. "I am trying Thea, I am. I don't mean to make you dig but this isn't exactly the easiest thing." Fingers rub against one temple, then he tips his head back against the rock. "I don't think Kefai is totally wrong," he finally blurts, eyes up in the relative safety of the stars. "I don't know that he's right either, but I heard one of his men talk and thought I might see what else the man himself has to say. I-" he breaks off, shakes his head; he's doing a lot of that. "A lot has changed."

Thea listens and yes she's confused by the sudden switch from sarcasm to sleeve-tugging, but her irritation fades at the words. "I don't understand what you're trying to say. I really don't know much about Kefai, except he mentioned something about the stars falling and the end. And I don't know anything about the stars, but I -want- to. I did ask you, remember?" Her eyes beg him to understand that she's just ignorant, not uninterested. She turns to face Enkavir, one hand reaches for him, palm up, "Go then!" Her voice is firm, "I won't hold you here. I couldn't!" Eyes bright, she adds softly, "I don't want you trapped." And she waits because, "Seryth won't come get me, so you'd better talk to me." Oh sweet turnabout is fair play!

Enkavir catches the confusion and it brings his frown back in full force, the now-rising moons' light enough to cast his eyes into shadow. "I know I'm hard to deal with, hard to understand. Please try to bear with me. I don't… talk to people… about things." Every phrase is a struggle, and he tries again. "I didn't hear about the stars falling, I heard about Thread and…" He sighs. "It really doesn't-" but then her hand is going up and her tone is firm and his face wilts into pain. "I'm not going anywhere, Thea. I said a lot has changed. Do you think that lot is anything but you?" He reaches for the hand, tugs it up to plant a kiss in the tender part of her palm. "I'm not going anywhere. I just have to figure out where everything fits in my head now."

Thea's eyes are wide with pain until the words say he's not leaving. She can let him go, but it is killing her to do it, if he can but see it. The kiss to her palm is received like a treasure and her finger close over it. "You're- not- leaving?" Dazed, eyes blink away sudden tears, "I.. misunderstood what you meant by a lot has changed. I thought you meant it in another way." She doesn't bother to go there, instead she inches forward, scooting over to be right beside him, "Then… can't I listen to you while you do, sometimes? Once in awhile? Because I care about what you think."

The pain in her eyes is about enough to kill Enkavir. It's mirrored in his expression, as if by echoing it he could somehow take it away. He winces at the blinking, his breath going out in a pained hiss. "Thea… my Thea." Leaning in as she scoots closer, he drops a kiss on her cheek, hoping to catch any tear that might reach that point. "A lot has changed since I first got here. You… all of you, but especially /you/ have changed everything." He lets her sit where she will, opening the near arm to cradle her to his side as he takes another slow breath. "If you want to hear it, I will try to share it." He nods firmly, as if that decides it. "I don't know that you'll understand though. You have the Weyr, and your position and even when all else fails, Seryth. I have nowhere and no-" he stops, shaking his head with the first hints of a smile. "Well, I guess I have someone."

Thea's poor confused brain clears at the words 'my Thea' and she's moving to snuggle at Enkavir's side, her head nestles on his shoulder as he speaks she is quiet. Her lips curve into a smile at his change of no one to someone. "You always will. I promise." Simply said, her tone sincere, it's a promise made to no other. "I do want to hear and yes I may not understand, but what I don't understand, I can accept." A hand reaches out and taps the flask within the pocket to make her point, "Although you've said drink was not for you, apparently it is." Dryly said, but without censure. It is fact.

Enkavir wraps his arm around her and his long fingers slip into the hair at the nape of her neck. His deep breath lifts the shoulder beneath her cheek, and it is let out slowly through his parted lips. "Thank you," is all he says, but his voice is rough, husky, and he glances away if only for a second. His next words aim at lightness, perhaps as defense, because his voice is still rough as he says, "I'll be holding you to that." He manages a grin, but it fades a bit at the klink of finger to metal flask, and he nods. "It's usually not for me. I said I don't like not being in control, remember? Well, tonight I guess I just feel like I'm not doing the best job being the one in control, so maybe a little fuzziness is welcome." He lifts it, hands it to her which shows it to be quite nearly full. He couldn't have taken many sips apart from the one she saw, not even small ones.

Thea's head tilts back as Enkavir's fingers work through her hair, just losing herself in the moment as her eyes close briefly, "You're welcome and you may." It is said as her head turns then her eyes open in wordless pain as if she could draw him in and take his away, "I have tried that, Kav and it fails at some point." The flask is placed in her hand and yes it is quite heavy; she hands it back. "I just know I lost a friend because the fuzziness became harder and harder to find." She says one word, "Ysa." Her lips tremble just a bit, but the past is past; it's the future she cares about. "I'll not tell you how to be. But I can accept, if not understand."

Enkavir tangles his fingers slightly tighter in those silky brown locks, as if the light pressure could keep her with him, but soon enough they go back to gentle stroking. Her pain, even if it is echoed, makes him flinch, and when she hands the flask back he's quick to lean the other direction and set it on its side so it begins to trickle itself empty. "You won't lose me. I'm not looking to lose myself forever, I just thought… it might help for tonight. I didn't know if I wanted to talk to anyone. I don't-" He lets out a tiny laugh, a puff of air that holds no mirth. "I was going to say I don't want to hurt you with the things I say, but it seems the things I /don't/ say are all that hurt you." Hazel eyes, colorless in the dim light, fasten on hers, keen and intent. "I'm sorry."

The flask is forgotten, but there is a flash of approval in Thea's eyes, as she keeps her eyes on his, "I don't think I could bear it if I did." Moonlight silvers her eyes as the light slowly changes, angles across the spire above them and her face is clearly defined by it so he can see the expression therein, "You are always welcome to come to me, when you -don't- feel like talking, Kav. I won't insist on words if you do."

Enkavir only glances back at the flask once, to be sure the liquid is trickling away instead of toward them. Satisfied, he turns a gentle smile on her, letting out a satisfied sort of sigh and leaning in to nuzzle into her neck. "Well that's another reason beyond myself to make sure we stay together, mmm?" A soft laugh is muffled in her skin, and he plants a little kiss there. "I told Rogawani we were… something. Together. By the way, in case he brings it up. He said you and I fight almost as much as you and X'hil." He straightens, looking half amused and half offended at the thought. But then it's back to softness, and he gives the hair in his hands a little twitch. "Alright, I will do that if you promise not to be upset if I don't succumb to digging."

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