Happy Turnday, Ru'ien~

DISCLAIMER: Adult language, complicated relationship topics and kissy faces~

Temple of All Dooms - Xanadu Weyr
It's F'yr and Glorioth's homestead.It's in the forest. It has a tower.

Someone told him that blindfolds and surprises are a turnday thing. When Ru'ien let F'yr know it was upcoming, asked if they could do something, the bronzerider's response to the question, but it came. This is what has led to the moment that finds Ru'ien with an arm around F'yr's shoulders and one of F'yr's around his waist, while the blindfold deprives the greenrider of sight. Sounds say familiar forest, but the feet don't know the path, though the bronzerider has been dutiful in leading and navigating hazards. "Just wait," is the calm responses to bids to know where they're bound, and although dusk is leeching the light from the sky, there's still enough to take in the place when they arrive at the edge of the clearing that contains Glorioth and F'yr's homestead. It's a place Ru'ien's never been invited because someone has issues, but all is revealed as F'yr undoes the tie, mindful of the auburn locks that might have gotten ensnared and lets it drop away. "You said we should have drinks," his voice is low. "I thought…" there's so much more to this, "… you might like to have them at my place." DAT TOWER, THO'.

Really, F’yr’s not entirely off the mark with the blindfold and promise of a surprise! Was it what Ru'ien was anticipating? Hardly! But such a deviation from expectation has him immediately on board with whatever ‘plan’ the bronzerider is unveiling. True to his nature too, he probably couldn’t resist a few teasing quips about blindfolds but he’ll soon sober up — mostly because it does take concentration and focus not to end up tripping every few steps! “I’m trying!” Ru’ien can’t help but voice that with a breathless laugh-like snicker. He’ll lean into F’yr at times, when his body naturally reacts to having his sense of sight blocked. Out of habit, his hands will fidget and he’s probably reached for the blindfold a few times. Can’t be helped! Thankfully, the ‘surprise’ isn’t prematurely revealed. He will be thankful for that mindfulness on removing the blindfold — for once, much of his hair is unbound. Ru’ien’s only ‘styled’ one side by braiding a top piece and a few along the side, while the rest falls naturally past his shoulders. Blinking to refocus his eyes to the dusk lighting, it doesn’t take him long to focus on the structures ahead. DAT TOWER “… this is yours?” he exclaims, slightly giddy even as the implications are sinking in slowly. Listen, he’s a Smith, he’s going to geek out a little, okay? Even if much of a weyr isn’t his purview, he can appreciate solid work! “Really?” His focus darts back to F’yr, a broad grin on his features but a myriad of emotions in his eyes. Excitement, chiefly, but more below. This is really okay? Maybe the importance is settling in now. “Because I’d like that…'' he adds, after a few beats. Slightly dazed. “A lot.”

"Yeah." It's a little bashful, that sound. "It— ah, I live a short walk from R'hyn and Cita and Ila and— all." The kids. He presses his lips together and gives a little shrug. "There was a woodcrafter retiring, and— well. Timing is everything, I guess." That, and the right strings, and whatever R'hyn did to convince the woodcrafter that it was then time to retire and not in a few months down the road. He bites his lower lip as he steps past his friend and then abruptly turns back, hands pressing into his back pockets. It should be noted that F'yr cleaned up for the occasion. His beard is freshly trimmed and his clothes are cleaned and he smells nice, not that he doesn't usually smell nice, but it's no three-days-on-the-hatching-grounds musk. He reaches back then to slip his hand into Ru'ien's. "Yeah. I'm… trying." He swallows. "Keeping things too private, as it turns out, isn't a great idea." Mostly. "So… I'm trying." That's sort of a warning, too, though, that this is an experiment, in a way. "The clearing was smaller- the woodcrafter wasn't a bronzerider- but then Glori and Xermi were wrestling one day after I moved in and…" VOILA, bigger lot and a plethora of firewood under the enormous awning that is in place to help shield Glorioth from the elements when he wishes to make use of it. F'yr leads the way across the open space and to the decking. "I have dinner for us, if you want it. Drinks. I managed to get Glori to crash, so we have time." That's before he leads him in, through the front door, rather than the lowest tower room, pausing to remove his boots (because why make more to clean). It's as he's taking them off that he looks up to the greenrider. "I hope it's alright we're not going out. Thought… thought this might be better." Is it? That's the silent question in F'yr's eyes before he's making an inviting gesture for the smith to take a look about the space.

“That right?” Ru’ien doesn’t seem overly surprised by the mention of who F’yr’s nearest neighbours are. There is, however, a small knowing smirk for the mention of timing! He bites back further comment though. Ru’ien isn’t always immediately perceptive and he’s certainly distracted by the weyr ahead of them, but realization that more is at play here is dawning. He’ll glance towards F’yr, noting that cleaned up look and adding some warmth to his expressions; which only deepens when the bronzerider’s hand slips into his. Gripping firmly, squeezing gently in reassurance, Ru’ien’s features take on that softened edge as F’yr talks. It’s only fair, right? That he takes off those masks he wears for everyone else, in the wake of the bronzerider extending his trust — or making the attempt, at least, to share this with him. They’ll be vulnerable together, to a degree, in this!

“Okay,” Ru’ien replies first, softly, to F’yr’s remarks of trying and it is anything but dismissive; it’s quiet acknowledgement, without pressure or expectation. He understands that the bronzerider is trying and respects that (and loves him for it). His gaze says it all, as does the small curved smile, which broadens as F’yr tells the tale of how the clearing was broadened. He will look away then, to survey that area, chuckling in his usual manner as masks or no, Ru’ien is still Ru’ien. “Who won the wrestling match?” he muses, though his tone suggests he doesn’t really expect an answer. “But that’s one way to do it! Probably effective for timing but a little difficult to control.” Bonus is that firewood! He will follow F’yr’s lead, walking alongside him, his hand still holding firm unless he’s withdrawn it.

“Yeah?” They have time? Good. That is important but more importantly… “No way am I turning down dinner with you — and drinks!” He can’t help but let some excitement slip into his tone, but they’ve also crossed the threshold of the door and he is clearly admiring the interior. Smith’s perspective! Distractedly, half by ingrained habit, he’ll remove his boots as well, though his eyes are roving over this and that. Appreciative, studious but not invasive — at least, not intentionally. “What?” He blinks at F’yr for a moment until things click and he has to bite at his lower lip to keep from laughing. Is it better? He’ll have some warning, before Ru’ien closes the distance and draws them both into a tight embrace. Turning his head just enough to speak, hushed, by his ear. “This is perfect.“ Thank you, unspoken and on so many levels. Another quick tightening of the hug and then he’s aiming to step back, enough to catch F’yr’s gaze and put space between them if the bronzerider needs it. “Really.” he assures again, smiling broadly, clearly touched by the gesture. “I —“ Ru’ien hesitates for a half breath, gaze dropping only so he can seek out F’yr’s hand again. “I’d give up every other plan I might’ve had for this, Fear. My ‘desire’ for tonight was just to spend it with you… however that would’ve worked out. So this? This,” Unexpected but not unwanted. “Is amazing.” It’s more than that, but it’s as far as Ru’ien can explain for now. The invitation to look around hasn’t been forgotten, but he wanted to address this first.

"I think I did," F'yr answers of the wrestling match, but there's not only a bemused something but a deep warmth and affection to his look. For the dragon? For the memory of the day? For both? Probably both. Still, he doesn't remain in his reminiscence that long. Honestly, F'yr was probably mostly worried about a careless impalement on some broken tree, but obviously all's well that ended well and he doesn't linger on it as that hand remains through their walk to the deck.

Once within, he doesn't seem concerned about the Smith's inquisitive look 'round, even if it starts to tend toward invasive. It might not really be able to become so, in truth, since he's already given his permission to share, and share some might not be within F'yr's repertoire of happy mediums. As the greenrider moves to step into his arms, his make move to reciprocate, hands gently rubbing across the turnday boy man's back. He probably wouldn't even mind Ru's laughter, if it came - he never has before. He lets Ru'ien have a little space back, but not overmuch, he doesn't need more, not after that night even as long ago as it was.

He does end up releasing Ru'ien, but just so Ru can take his hand and so F'yr can use his other to come up and cup the greenrider's cheek, thumb brushing across cheekbone and then moving back gently into his hair. The way the bronzerider's blue eyes focus on his friend's face shows he's listening, accepting. Ru doesn't need to say it twice - he takes the answer as the answer. There's a touch of a smile briefly on his lips, and then, simply, Fear tips his head to brush his lips against Ruin's in an act of simple affection. It's not a lingering kiss, not a passion driven invitation, just a felt thing given form through action. "Why don't you look around while I get things out." He squeezes the hand still held before moving to pad toward the kitchen side of this downstairs open floor-plan space.

While Ru'ien explores, there's a rhythm to be observed here. Having lived in this place now nearly a turn (but not quite) in relative privacy (except for a very few adult visitors and a HORDE OF CHILDREN), F'yr's moves are achingly those of a solitary home. He goes through the motions of dealing with the wood-stove, whom Roderick and Triumph were left to mind while he was fetching Ru'ien (because those stomachs with wings have to be good for something other than keeping Glorioth company, even if that much would be enough for their turnly room and board). The plates and other dining necessaries are on the table with drinks laid out, but the food (probably from the kitchens tonight because EGGS on the sands and all that) has been kept warm and the hearty stew will go very nicely with the homemade farmhouse bread that has been warming. He can talk, while he does these things of course, but perhaps the thing that sticks out in all of it, besides how somehow lonely all of this may be is how, here, F'yr seems comfortable in his own skin. It's not perfect, all of this, but it's his and he is unabashedly himself within it.

There may be plenty of laughter from Ru’ien later! At that moment though, he was drawn into leaning in that embrace, under the touch of his hands along his back. Easing away, he will tilt his hand towards F’yr’s when it cups his cheek, blue eyes fixated on him. They only drift closed when there's a brush of their lips in that simple act — such a change from the baths, oh-so many nights ago. He takes it though, welcomes it, smiling broadly after the gesture and as the invitation is offered again, he agrees. “Mhm, alright.” Half murmured, half hummed in the back of his throat, Ru’ien will squeeze back before letting his hand slip slowly free from his grasp.

He won’t go very far. Certainly, he will traverse the space open to him on this level, his steps slow and unhurried. There’s an energy about him though, that same giddy sort of excitement from before only now a little more colorful. Maybe it’s not just the weyr itself that has him so high spirited! Otherwise he is quiet, until he isn’t. His comments are largely neutral; discussing this or that element of F’yr’s living space that he finds particularly fascinating. Ru’ien finishes the circuit, notably NOT going anywhere further out of “range” — and certainly not up a level. It brings him back to the kitchen, which he saved for last to ‘explore’. While his gaze drifts over the design and layout, he finds somewhere suitable to lean just on the ‘threshold’ without completely immersing himself into that space. It is then that he may catch a glimpse of just how comfortable, how much himself F’yr is. Is it lonely? It doesn’t come off that way to Ru’ien, but then he has been living alone for a time now — and he does his best not to think about it. He knows it’s not polite to stare, but Ru’ien can’t help himself — even if his eyes have a thoughtful unfocused edge to them. Not so far gone, however, to not remark after a few beats of companionable silence. “Sure you don’t want some help?” Followed by a broad grin, playful yet sincere.

F'yr's head turns just enough to see Ru'ien's not-quite-stepping into the space that has become private by dint of the bronzerider going through the familiar motions and his lips pull into a soft smile. "Come on then," he invites in answer. The thing is that turndays on a farm are not a special occasion. All the chores still need to be done and working together is part of being family, even if it's just going to be helping spoon the stew into the waiting bowls, which Ru'ien will be allowed to do, but only with F'yr curled around his back, hand on Ru's hand over the ladle.

This is not because Ru'ien couldn't do it himself, because, of course he could, but because from this front-to-back embrace, F'yr can bend his head and kiss, softly where Ru'ien's neck meets shoulder, even if it takes a little nuzzling to find that spot. This goes beyond the brush of affection at the door. This includes the graze of teeth, the touch of tongue that might be hinting at something more. And yet, for a man that understands turndays so little, it's very unlikely that this behavior has anything to do with the celebration so much as because he has the greenrider here in his home and he's not worrying too much about what feels natural and doesn't; this is his space, it's all natural here.

F'yr's hand on Ru's just assures the stew won't spill if there are shivers, shudders or other visceral reaction. "This alright?" comes the murmur against Ru'ien's skin, beard tickling more than light brush of lips as he speaks.

Turndays are noted and celebrated, but not in the fanfare one would expect with Ru’ien; they are not that special to him. Just enough that he justified his selfishness in asking F’yr to spend it with him — he could have easily just gone for one of his nightly prowls for entertainment. Strangely, he didn’t find it as appealing! This? Has so far paid off wonderfully for the lack of expectations from Ru’ien. He figured it would be drinks, some chatting and done. Simple. Never this… And even as thoughts surface in his mind, he will step forwards at the invite. Of course there is no protest to the task given or that F’yr is curled around his back, with his hand over his.

What little sound does escape Ru’ien’s lips is something of a surprised hum that quickly dissolves into a breathless exhale. His head tilts, exposing more of his neck to that nuzzling and kissing. That hint of something more, at the graze of teeth and touch of tongue, his weight shifts under a not-so subtle shiver, to lean back firmly into F’yr’s body - a natural response, to what is unfolding here and now. It’s a good thing that the bronzerider’s hand is steadying his — his tremble, just slightly, in the wake of previous shivers. “Yeah,” he breathes, laughter bubbling with as he grins lopsidedly. “More than alright.” Ru’ien will try to turn his head then, to try and nuzzle back; even if to just the edge of his jaw or cheek. Is it alright with him, too? It’s left unspoken for a few heartbeats and then “revenge” sought with a playful nip. All while he does try to keep SOME attention on that original task!

"Uh huh," is soft confirmation to the greenrider that F'yr is alright. Seeing as how he's initiating, it's probably a safe bet that at least in this, he knows his mind. In fact, when the revenge nip is sought, F'yr in motion. Could it be that he anticipated the greenrider who's supposed to be so unpredictable~ (or is that just his lifemate)? In an case, the hand on Ru's proves to be to disarm him of the spoon, letting it drop into the bowl while the other deftly spins the other man to face him and the nip lands not on his cheek or neck, but as lips to lips which is with a caught breath, rapidly seeing F'yr pressing his advantage to kiss the greenrider, though one hand goes around him to make sure no one accidentally backs into the counter where the dinner bowls are already mostly full. He won't kiss him long, but he will kiss him with latent passion finding expression. There's no proddinesss, and tonight, this isn't about anyone but Ruin, and Fear.

When the kiss breaks he pulls his head pulls back enough to see blue eyes and for F'yr to smile questioningly as he searches Ru'ien's face. Was that okay, too? Without waiting for a real answer he leans in, reaching around Ru'ien to the bowls, one in each hand, "Let's sit and eat, and talk." There's a weight to that word talk, but after that kiss, there should be. It's not that bad tone for talking, just talk. If Ru'ien doesn't stop him, he'll move the short distance with those bowls to the end of the counter where the dishes are set with the bread already ready, even butter there ready and waiting for them. It's simple, but it's good, and very F'yr. He's even placed the seats on the short curve of the island with its stools so they can sit close and still sort of face each other, if on a slight angle. Evidently, even though he started the kissing, he's going to let Ru'ien take the immediate conversational lead.

Oh, Kihatsuth definitely has the quirk of ‘unpredictable’ down pat! Ru’ien only claims to be unpredictable~ No promises. Disarmed and then spun around to face the bronzerider, he will go willingly. That his nip meets F’yr’s lower lip only illicit a low, brief growled sound of amusement — soon muffled under that kiss. His body shifts again, curving under that hand and pressing closer into him. It doesn’t have to be a long kiss, that latent passion enough for now and eagerly returned. His hands, now freed of their task, have settled first over his hips and now move to caress around to his back; one hand eventually snakes up along the back of his neck and into his hair. Briefly, as once the kiss breaks, his hands drift back to F’yr’s sides as he meets that blue eyed gaze. The answer is already there, even before his signature smirk curves his lips, all coy and amused on the surface. Yes, that was more than okay!

“Alright,” Ru’ien murmurs in a voice that is only moderately husky and heavier on the humor. He’ll wait until F’yr has those bowls in hand and has stepped away before moving to following. There doesn’t seem to be concern etched in his posture or hesitation in his steps as he joins the bronzerider; just silent agreement that yes, they should talk. “This all looks so good. Smells amazing!” It’s not THE talk they’re likely aiming for yet but Ru’ien’s going to at least compliment the dinner thoughtfully put together — a warm thank you. All while they settle into their respective seats and he is definitely going for some of that bread. Who passes up good bread? Heathens, that’s who! Ru’ien’s going to let some time drift between them, tucking into that food because it’s warm and he’s actually quite hungry. “You been holding up okay?” he’ll start off with that and maybe it’s not the right path but Ru’ien’s not had a chance to really check in. They had different needs last time and tonight started off on another important note. It’s something he needs to know, first, before they delve further. He could have gone on about the weyr, about them and maybe that’ll come next. For now though, Ru’ien is checking in on Fear, and lacking any pressure or expectation.

F'yr shifts so that his knee touches Ru'ien as they tuck into the food. "The kitchens get most of the credit. I made the bread." He might not have shared that, but he's trying to be less private, so starting small. He's still F'yr, though, so there's no trace of a brag there, only statement of fact. The question isn't ignored so much as the warm food is prioritized. It's obvious from the slight pressure of F'yr's knee that he's acknowledging it, but giving it time to get turned over and meanderingly explored by his herdbeast brain so he can furnish his friend with a real answer, not just a quick throw-away. "It's been tough, being with Glori on the sands. Rhodelia's good company," so the issue isn't her, "except when we disagree about what's reasonable for a party," of which they have many, and might even explain the added aversion to wanting to go out to celebrate since surely someone must have told F'yr of that turnday practice.

"I'm… working through some things." He starts after a moment, looking up to Ru as a piece of bread is dragged across the bottom of his bowl to soak up the remaining juice. "I'm trying to get better at—" words? He makes a gesture with the bread that seems to encompass the weyr, himself and Ru'ien, so maybe he means his whole life. "It's… a process." Isn't it just. But that seems to do for an opener. F'yr's free hand moves to touch Ru's forearm briefly before it goes for his beer. "How are you doing?" Fear probably is looking for as real an answer as he managed to come up with for Ruin.

Ru’ien’s knee, likewise, will press back against F’yr’s in that gentle firm-like way. Comfortable, relaxed. Familiar. “Really?” he muses, while purposely taking another bite of that very bread and, once his mouth is clear, murmuring. “Not bad! Better than most.” And he’ll seal in that compliment by polishing off the last bite from the piece he took, an amused smile curving his mouth. Priority is turned to his share of the stew as well, the silence between them equally as comfortable and unhurried. “Do I even want to know what is reasonable for a party by Rhodelia’s opinions? I feel like mine would probably offend — well, actually the ice cream thing was ours…” Ru’ien can’t help but chuckle low under his breath, until he sobers in the next breath. “Sucks that it’s been tough, otherwise.'' His tone suggests there’s a sympathetic note there too.

His attention will drift back at ‘working on things’, gaze moving away only as F’yr gestures with that bread. Brows furrow lightly and a small half-smile curves his lips, but he is listening and intently at that! This is important, those words are important, no matter how hesitantly they may be delivered. “Yeah,” he murmurs after a heartbeat or two and reaches to quickly stroke his hand over the one the bronzerider sets on his forearm. “I understand. It — that sort of stuff takes time and… a lot of trust.” Normally, he would have left it there, some unspoken thing between them and maybe some parts are. After another beat, Ru’ien speaks softly again, “You don’t have to tell me everything, okay? Only if you want. Only if you’re ready.” Which may go against what F’yr is trying to change in himself, but Ru’ien understands how difficult it can be to open up to anyone — different scenarios, true, but similar perhaps in some veins.

How is he doing? Ru’ien runs his tongue briefly over his lower lip as he mulls thoughtfully, shifting on his seat to get comfortable, his knee still resting firm against F’yr’s. “In a nutshell for the last while?” he begins, head tilting slightly as he considers just how to summarize. It boils down to a single word, with an invitation to press for more if F’yr wants to go there. “Better. It’s been better! Keep myself busy with smithing,” There’s a wry smirk. “Sometimes nightly entertainment — drinks, y’know and whatever fits my mood.” He shrugs a little, “Kihatsuth fills much of the in-between. I was right, you know?” Now some humor drifts into his voice, a low throated chuckle to finish with. “Didn’t I call it?” He did make an approximate guess, just before their time in the bathing caverns took a very different turn and from the way his gaze narrows and his smirk broadens he won’t ever hasn’t forgotten.

"Glorioth has never been easy." That statement stands alone in stalwart elaboration to the tough. "Rhody's opinions have, I think, a lot to do with the balance point of what keeps things more or less peaceable-" if not sane, "-between herself and Inasyth." The party queen. "It's…" He seems to debate whether or not to go on, really, flicking a glance toward Ru'ien, "It's not easy for me, always. There's a lot that's not practical, here, and I grew up with the idea that the practical was the only thing there was ever time for. In some ways, that makes this place…. magical. Other times… I struggle." And doesn't show it. "I'm trying." He hesitates again and then adds, "When I first got here, I resolved to say yes to everything new that came my way. And I did. I learned a lot. I changed a lot. And sometimes I'm fine. Sometimes I struggle to breathe." Imagine just how long these things have been locked in his heart… because it never came up, or no one ever asked. He's t r y i n g.

His knee bounces a little against Ru'ien's but after a moment he stills it. "Glorioth helps me, with that. With staying in the moment and not overthinking things. But he's focused on…" HIMSELF. "Well, not parties, anyway." He presses his lips together, truncating that line of conversation fingers moving to get his napkin and wipe them before wiping his mouth. "I'm still trying to sort out what is too much and what is not enough." And he doesn't have to know, or have to share it all at once, so maybe that's why he stalls again.

Fortunately, there's another topic to grasp at. "You did call it. I'm… I'm glad it went alright for you." The flight, since he did not end up tangled up with Ru'ien, this time. Lower, softer, distinctly real, "I'm glad things are going better for you." A pause. "You don't have to tell me everything either, you know. Just what you want me to. Or what I need to." This, of course, harkens to those deeper topics that were no doubt coming along anyway. "How much… how much do you want to know, Ruin?" He probably means about himself, about the matters of his heart.

Ru’ien scoffs under his breath, not needing an elaboration on that remark concerning Glorioth. Are either of their lifemates easy!? There’s an agreeable low humming sound in reflection to the comments on Rhody and Inasyth, his head nodding eventually in agreement. True, true! He’s reaching for his beer, taking it in hand just as his gaze shifts to meet F’yr’s in turn; a shallow sip is taken, licking his lips briefly afterwards, brows furrowed a little more in thought. “It really has been a shock to you, hasn’t it?” he reflects, not intentionally stating the obvious but it takes a moment for the greenrider to wrap his head around it. He’s weyrbred and Xanadu has been largely his broken home! F’yr’s sense of family and his whole upbringing is likely hugely alien to him. Imagine? Ru’ien doesn’t have to. He’s kept things locked in his heart too for similar reasons. That F’yr is trying this is almost putting him into a sense of awe.

He can feel the way F’yr’s knee bounces and even though it stills, his hand will move across the distance to briefly touch his fingers to that leg. It’s okay, that gesture reassures without words, in those few seconds of contact. “Mhm. Those are often the tougher battles.” Ru’ien muses, just before F’yr stalls and the topics shift. He rolls with it, of course, giving a gentle if playful nudge of knee against knee. “Thanks!” There’s a pause, then a vague grin that is both amused but genuinely sincere. “Not sure if it needs to be said but I’m gonna go for it anyways — ‘tween you and I? I was rooting for you and Glorioth.” Sorry not sorry, F’yr! With a low exhale, he’ll drink a little more beer before really digging into the serious stuff. There’s a brief, if slightly mixed smile for F’yr’s softer but real words.

“I know,” he murmurs to the rest. How much? Ru’ien reaches out to cup his hand to F’yr’s cheek, even if it means adjusting his seat to reach him. “Honest truth?” Here it comes, some heart-to-heart and even he can’t keep all the nervousness from showing through. “Selfish as it would be of me?” He hesitates, just a fraction of a beat, while his gaze holds firm to F’yr’s. “Everything. I’d want to know everything but I’m not going to hold you to that, Fear. Only because it’d be damned unfair of me too, when I’m scared to even go that far myself.” Never mind that the bronzerider already knows more and understands him better than the majority of his own blood! That F'yr became that grounding source (second to Kiha) for him, gradually — until Ru'ien lived up to his name. “If you tell me something, share some part of you, I’d rather it be because you trust me with it or y’know, something along those lines? Maybe if you decide it, yourself, that it’s something I have to know. But I’m not going to pry at your secrets, Fear.” A slow smile curves one corner of his mouth, though his usual animated humor is tempered. “Unless you want me to. If —” Quieter, hushed, lips pressing swiftly into a tight line as he falters and pushes through. “— if I even deserve that much.”

There's only a nod to confirm the truth within Ru'ien's question. Xanadu is a shock to F'yr's system. He's just getting a lot better at not only embracing it, but enjoying it. It just doesn't make it any easier to navigate. There's a twitch of a wry smile for who Ru'ien was rooting for and a murmur of, "Maybe next time, once there aren't eggs," and Daddies-back-from-the-dead, HOW DARE. If nothing else, maybe this and the nudge of his knee back assures Ru'ien that F'yr wasn't //trying to lose, that it would be okay (more than okay?) if Glorioth did win, even with the… serious stuff.

Chances are pretty good that 'everything' was not the answer that F'yr was expecting from the greenrider, given the way he tenses and pauses (but does not choke, thank you) with his beer against his lips. He's not addressing this with any less gravity than Ru'ien is presenting it. Is it too much? Too soon? Is it too close in proximity to other wounds of the heart that F'yr hasn't thus far seen fit to share? Maybe. It's not so much that he's taken aback by it, but taken by surprise. Still, he's not rejecting it out of hand as the greenrider goes on. By the end though, he's raising his hands palm out in a gesture of wait, of peace, of hold up.

One of those hands comes down on Ru'ien's nearest, curling around it for a tight, tight clasp. It takes him a moment to formulate words at all, a hard swallow, a look at nothing while he tries (desperately to be quick) to filter his words into some sort of external expression that makes sense and doesn't do more harm than good. "That's… that's a lot of different things." Does the greenrider even realize how many individual issues and questions and their assorted related concerns and nuances were bundled up into the really rather brief summation of just so much? F'yr does.

He takes a slow and steadying breath, squeezing Ru'ien's hand in silent ask for the other man to bear with him. One question presses itself into the fore enough that it must be given voice, if only to alleviate the pressure of it growing larger and heavier inside his own head. "What if-" the words are delivered slowly, seriously, eyes coming up to Ru'ien's face, "-you don't like what you hear? In my everything." Whatever that entails in F'yr's mind.

“Maybe next time.” Is the only last thing echoed in regards to the flight and flights to come, as conversation and topics shift. Chances are pretty good that some part of Ru’ien inherently knew the risks of so much blunt honesty all at once. It begins to settle in his mind that perhaps he’s gone too far when he sees F’yr tense and pause. His brows lift, eyes widening just a little with a subtle note of worry (and maybe anxiety rooted in fears held deep down) but he holds his tongue and gives him those much needed moments — without him even trying to interject with humor.

As their hands clasp together, tightly, Ru’ien’s shoulders visibly drop a bit to a relaxed stance; he’d unconsciously begun to brace. His eyes though never quite leave F’yr, as he leaves him to find and filter those words with a quiet (only moderately tense) silence. Lot’s of different things? From the way Ru’ien tilts his head and the slight puzzled edge to his expression, apparently he hadn’t quite realized how profound that was. He looks like he is about to say something then, but decides against it, choosing instead to briefly tug at his lower lip. No apology either, though his hand does squeeze a little more firmly in that already tight clasp.

Which echoes with the one F’yr gives him and there’s a quiet unspoken moment, where reassurance is given. Take your time. Ru’ien blinks as the words are slowly delivered and now it’s his turn to look surprised. Why? Because that is his own fear, in a way, being mirrored back at him. How to answer that? When he’s so afraid, himself, of what anyone would tell him if it were him in F’yr’s place? Gripping all the more to his hand, his gaze shifts to meet his upturned one. “I’m not sure I know how to answer that,” he admits, honest in tone and a touch sheepish for the bluntness. It’s the truth, not all of it, but he’s getting there — just as slowly, carefully. Taking a steadying breath, he exhales heavily, mouth quirking into a nervous smirk. “And not put either of us into promises that can’t be kept or broken. But,” Another breath, another beat where he seems to weigh his thoughts. This is hard. “You take the good and the bad with those you care and love, don’t you? I’d try to talk…” he falters, grimacing a little. “Guess it boils down to trust — that I might not like all I hear, but that won’t mean I won’t give it a shot to understand.”

In this, Ru'ien has F'yr's absolute attention. Like Ru gave to him, the bronzerider gives his friend the time he needs, keeping them connected with that tight gripped hand, as if the grip could keep them from slipping off a precipice no one quite realized was so immediate a danger. He waits, patiently, but not without the body tension of dealing with something just this big. Initially, there's no visible reaction to the greenrider's words. Then a very slow, very ragged breath that has eyes closing a long moment before he exhales, barely audible the key word: "Trust."

Trust has not been easy to come by, neither for this nor with Ruin though not the two put together as yet. A muscle in F'yr's tight jaw twitches as he keeps his eyes shut for a short count and opens them to blinking away tears that are there but don't quite escape. And yet he has not let go, not even for a moment, not even if Ru'ien's wished his hand back at all. Breathe, F'yr. In. Out. Once more. In. Out. Then, just a whisper louder, "Okay." Beat. "I'll try." Maybe there's less risk here, given their more recent upheaval and shared heartache. Maybe it's that R'hyn told him to talk. And he can't stop trying just because it bombed the last time.

"Okay." That's probably for himself because he's drawing a very slow breath and then pulling his hand away so he can reach up and push it through short hair. "Not here. We'll go sit on the deck." Maybe the air will help. Maybe, since it will shortly prove that he means the top story's deck it's just so he can throw himself off if this goes poorly and at least trade emotional pain for a busted arm or leg. It's fine. What could go wrong? On a turnday even. HAPPY TURNDAY~ Emotional minefield ahead~~

Without waiting, F'yr gets up. He goes to a cabinet and procures for them a bottle of much stronger booze before moving with every intention of claiming Ru'ien's hand, or his wrist and leading the way up the stairs at the back, and down the hall to the winding stair that takes them up to the tower's third story, F'yr's room. They pass through the dim space, not turning on lights as they go, letting Fear lead blind Ruin to a door that slides open to admit them onto the wooden slatted deck with its rail that's enough to keep a mindful person from going over, but not enough that they can't sit right on the edge with their legs hanging.

It's only then, after he's opened a few glows behind them, and settled on the edge that F'yr will really allow conversation, and if Ru'ien wants to say something as he's been silently encouraged to not at least since F'yr got up from the table, he'll have to wait until F'yr says quite matter-of-factly, "I tried to start explaining myself, my things, to someone I love recently. It went badly." Very badly. But he can stare at nothing while he says it - the twilight over the trees? That makes it easier to say, and it must be said before anything else can be.

Ru’ien will keep that grip on their hands until the end. Just as his gaze won’t ever quite leave F’yr, though it’s hard for him to witness how much the bronzerider is struggling and those near tears. How tension creeps back into him despite the efforts to keep relaxed and calm; only to ease back a little when F’yr whispers those three words. “Okay.” he murmurs back in his own near-whisper to the ‘terms’ of ‘I’ll try’. There is even a flicker of a smile, to seal that understanding thus far.

He will let their hands draw apart and Ru’ien is only a few seconds behind F’yr in getting to his feet once the bronzerider starts to move. “It’s a nice evening for it.” he offers, unable to keep from making some form of neutral comment. Maybe the air WILL help! And foolish of F’yr to think he’d get away with hurling himself off the deck — unless he did it after he figures Ru’ien would turn and run. HAPPY TURNDAY, indeed! This might be a time that Ru’ien cracks a joke about how his namesake lives on and why wouldn’t “his day” be anything short of chaos? Only he doesn’t. He follows, with concern now joining his nerves when F’yr goes for the harder booze (but also, not complaining), showing a little in the way he glances sidelong to him; their hands meet again and he will reclaim it.

Up and up they go, Ru’ien in his own minor struggle to keep from instinctively slamming his defences into place. The temptation is there, to place the guards and slip those masks back on because it’s safe — but he resists. Locking F’yr out now would be the wrong thing. He leaves his full trust in the bronzerider and not only to lead him along blindly from that room. Ru’ien will wait by the edge and railings as they step outside, while F’yr prepares and then joins him once he settles. There’s a lot Ru’ien wants to say, much of it important but not at that moment and the rest likely best left to be unsaid. “Damn.” It’s nearly grunted, mostly sighed and the ‘sorry you’re going through this, sorry it happened’ is implied with it. Not unlike that time F’yr told him about his grieving of his brother’s death, Ru’ien doesn’t wax with platitudes or empty words. If their hands meet again, he will grip tight and he’ll lean against F’yr — just a little at first, then more if the bronzerider is receptive to that touch and quiet support.

Ru’ien had been glancing at F’yr, his expression openly sympathetic and concerned without saying it. Eventually his eyes will turn skywards, but he is still there for him and maybe, on some level, understands more of what the bronzerider is dealing with. Not quite the same, but Ru’ien’s heart knows how deeply some cuts can go — and not even in relation to them. What he offers may not seem like much, but it’s all Ru’ien can give in that moment; time and silence and all the quiet support and reassurance. It will be up to F’yr to set the pace, to continue when he is ready, but as much as Ru’ien is battling his own emotions, he does not pressure him.

Though the gesture of support is accepted, it's not held… F'yr needs two hands to get the bottle open. He shifts a little so only one of his legs is draped over the edge of the deck while the other pulls up onto the wood and flops, letting him angle himself a little more to face Ru'ien. "I'm going to go slower." This is how he's going to try to do it differently. "Because maybe I just went too fast the last time. Or maybe it was always going to come out the way it did." He sighs, shaking his head slightly. "Anyway. This is us." Not F'yr and… whoever he's talking about. "But tell me if you need a minute, or need me to stop or—" His voice falls to a hush as he lifts the bottle. "Just don't… give up." Is that what happened? No, but it's the best phrase F'yr can come up before he's drinking, deeply from the bottle before setting it by his knee, an open invitation that Ru can help himself if the need comes upon him, but clearly still within reach for F'yr's needs, too.

Ru’ien’s gaze draws away from the stars above them and downward, back to F’yr as he begins to speak. Shifting a little, he will put most of his weight towards one hip, allowing him to also turn to face the bronzerider. There’s a small nod of his head, for the choice to go slower — the rest he does not comment on. His gaze follows that bottle and how deeply F’yr drinks from it, concern briefly settling in a quick furrow of his brows. “Alright,” he agrees quietly. “I’ll tell you.” Promise. Ru’ien will reach out, not for the bottle right away but to clasp his hand over F’yr’s knee or leg. Whichever is easiest to reach and firmly grip in a reassuring squeeze. ‘I’m here’ that gesture will say. “Have I ever given up on you?” he murmurs, a quick and small smirk following; he’s not expecting an answer. It’s merely the truth, to him! “Take your time, Fear.” He reassures again, while taking a steadying breath of his own as he eases back — the bottle happens to come along with him too.

Blue eyes drop to the hand on his knee, but F'yr doesn't, this time, move to cover it, though there's certainly also no move to shake it off. The bronzerider's expression turns troubled and his gaze returns to Ru'ien's face as he says softly, "I wondered if you had. If that's why—" Why. That big complicated why. "Second-guessed myself if I'd have have warranted that. Been upset in a way that didn't make sense given… me." And he stops, studying Ruin's face, looking for some kind of answer. … and they haven't even gotten to the 'him' stuff yet, what fun.

Ru’ien’s gaze holds to F’yr’s as he lifts the bottle to his lips, taking a healthy but shallower drink from the contents. There’s a slight grimace but whether it’s from the kick-back or where the conversation leads? Is unknown. Leaning forwards slightly, he’ll set the bottle back within the bronzerider’s reach. “No,” he answers, “I never gave up on you. Not even once!” His gaze lowers, then drifts out past the railings to that open space, lower jaw tightening. “I didn’t ever mean to put you through that, Fear. None of it was your fault. I deserved it. It’s all on me.” He pauses a moment, only to sigh heavily and continue in a voice that is lower and heavier too. “And I’m gonna live with that probably for the rest of my life, y’know?” His expression certainly fits someone wrestling with wordless guilt and remorse. “How I nearly lost someone so close to me and after all the mess with my family. You do mean a lot to me, Fear. For what it’s worth.” Because Ru’ien doesn’t feel he is worth much of anything right now and that shows a little too, with this guard down. “I was so happy.” he whispers hoarsely, voice thick with emotion. “I had you and we shareverything ed, my weyr was almost done and I had a friend,” There’s a bitter-like edge to that, directed to himself. “Involved with that.” Or so he thought. “And I was going to tell you, but I didn’t know what. I didn’t know how deep…” Ahh, but they covered that. He just lightly snaps his fingers. “And then nothing.” Well, he had his weyr but that’s besides the point.

Blue eyes lock with blue. F'yr listens. That intense look so familiar to his face is here now, taking in every word, every intonation, every gesture. The question is… is there enough trust that he can take what's said face value? Only after Ru'ien has finished speaking does F'yr make any move. It's a slow one, hand moving to find Ru'ien's to slip his fingers beneath and detach it from his knee, which might seem bad, but it's because he's going palm to palm and pressing it up into the air between them so he can interlace his fingers with the greenrider's.

There's moment as the silence grows heavy, things being weighed, measured, and then simply, "I love you, Ruin." Sometimes the simplest delivery of the most complex words mean the most. Maybe this isn't the moment. "That didn't change when things did," to say nothing changed would be a lie and so he doesn't. "I just didn't know if you would want me to." Love him. "With me being me and loving the way I do." There's a touch of a deep pain there and a bracing in F'yr's face that he's probably not conscious of. A bracing for this to go poorly, and this isn't even the part he was worried about. This… is just something that happened. Happy turnday?

The movement of his hand certainly draws Ru’ien’s gaze back, first to their hands as they go palm to palm and then interlace. His eyes lift from there, seeking out F’yr’s and locking there. He lets that silence grow heavy between them until that simple delivery. Simple, but it packs a punch all the same (only not anywhere remotely the same or as bad as a fist to the face)! “I love you too, Fear.” Ru’ien can’t keep it from slipping past his lips first, as the rest of his thoughts scramble to absorb the rest. Wouldn’t want him to? He can’t help it, again! Laughter bubbles up and escapes, but it’s not mocking in the slightest. It is laughter of many different notes; of relief, of sadness and hurt, of nerves, of love and maybe some traces of humor.

Just as F’yr braces, Ru’ien’s hand curls tightly into his and grips tightly. Is he trying to reassure them both? Or is it an apology too, for the laughter? At least he is not long in explaining himself, though his voice wavers under the strain of keeping himself together — he might not be far from tears, either. “That’s why I love you!” he exclaims in a quietly tight voice. “Because you are you.” At least what he’s thus far seen and understands about him — he’s aware now that there’s more and F’yr’s been trying to get to that. It’s not a lie and still important to Ru’ien to mention it. “Of course I want you to,” he begins, pausing to smile weakly while his lower jaw works to ease some of the tension there. “To love me! I thought maybe you couldn’t because I’m…” His free hand gestures to himself. “Me and not what you wanted beyond what we have.” It’s his Turnday and he’ll cry if he wants to?

He may want to cry a lot by the end. "That's…" There's frustration in F'yr's face. This is not the joyous expression of shared love that it could have been… should have been? In another world may have been. "The love is a part of what we have." It's not above it, for F'yr, it's not another layer. Because he's seen Ruin. He's always seen Ruin. Maybe he hasn't always interpreted his friend correctly, but he didn't miss that look after they were together those first times. The love was there. If Ru'ien's impression is that it's new just because it's now been said after months of silence… well, that's a different problem to digest.

It's probably why F'yr reaches for the bottle to knock back a long drink before he carefully sets it back down and braces again. "You're not the only person I love. No two people are the same. The way I feel about a person is… unique to them. I can't rank people. It doesn't work that way for me. So I could never say to you anything other than that I love you. Because you're you. Because you are one of the people I love. I will twist myself inside out to try to meet the most important needs of the people I love, but I'm not enough for everyone I love and I can't just turn it off. Loving another person doesn't diminish my love for anyone who has it." There's a lot of turbulence in the bronzerider's expression, the tightness of his jaw. This is not at all how he wanted to approach any of this, and it may go very poorly. He's reaching for that bottle again, because maybe he'll be numb when it all goes wrong.

The impression wasn’t that it was new but more that that it was there and always had been and that it was acknowledged once more! And perhaps in a rush of relieved excitement he explained himself poorly (no surprise there, right?). It may be one and the same, but not intended to be taken quite like that. Ru’ien is openly confused by the frustration building up in F’yr, a touch wary as now he braces and tenses. He’ll watch again as the bottle is sought and knocked back, his features twisting into a myriad of conflicting emotions. Quiet throughout, he’ll bite his tongue while F’yr speaks. It clarifies plenty, touches on things he already assumed or knew and then he finds himself becoming confused further in — maybe it’s too much? Or it’s the tension, the anxiety rising in him, that has Ru’ien looking so bewildered.

“I didn’t mean to sound like I was the only one?” Ru’ien begins, only to pause a beat, brows furrowing. His lips press into a thin line, a grimace that is confusion, sadness and apology all wrapped up together. He tries to meet F’yr’s gaze, will make himself keep his gaze on his. The only brief deviation is when that bottle is reached for again and maybe he’ll manage and maybe Ru’ien’s hand will snatch it away first. Not to play keep away, but to lift it to his lips and take a deep drink of it before offering it back. He takes a long, steadying breath before talking again but his voice is a little more level. “I need a minute, Fear.” Maybe they both do. This is what they discussed, right? Not giving up. Or, in Ru’ien’s case, not panicking and shutting down along with it.

“I’m still here with you. I just think I might have fucked up a bit already,” Ru’ien’s mouth curves into a bit of a self deprecating smile. Go figure, right? His eyes flutter closed in the next breath, brows still heavily furrowed in thought and his hand still twined with F’yr’s unless it has been reclaimed. He takes his time to mull things over in his mind, untangle what he can from it. All that comes from him is the rhythm of his breathing and, if their hands are joined, the gentle rub of his thumb against F’yr’s skin. “I didn’t want to come off like I thought I was the only one, Fear.” he begins, apologizing once more in the tone of his voice. His eyes open, blue gaze turned upwards to his. “And I’m okay with that. I’ve always been okay with that? I’m not — I don’t want you to feel like you have to do any of that or even define us. Y’know? I — “ He sighs, one hand reaching up to scrub at his face and then sweep it back through his hair, drawing most of the unbound locks forwards as he does. “Can we back up a bit?” Ru’ien asks softly. A gentle plea. Don’t give up on him. “I want you to walk me through this. Please. I feel like I am with you on this but I think my fear of screwing it up somehow is well… fucking everything up.” Another little laugh, shaky, but the look he gives F’yr is vulnerable and genuine.

F'yr will wait his turn for the bottle, body and expression tense, but not leaving, not even mentally. The intensity of his eyes on Ru'ien's face is assurance of that much at least. He's present. He drinks, perhaps, a little longer, a little more deeply when the pause is called for, and his Adam's apple bobs maybe once extra but he makes himself nod. He can't quite bring himself to shape the word okay, but it is. It is okay, even if it's hard. He sets the bottle down and lets his gaze drop to their conjoined hands. He gives it the space, he gives it the time, when the greenrider starts speaking again, his eyes come up to track lips and then more of the expression.

He's breathing, he's managing, he's still here, and he's listening. His eyes close briefly and he shakes his head. That's not promising but when he opens his eyes and his mouth it's for him to say, "No. You're— It's me," his bad there, Ru'ien. It's his turn to sigh, to push a hand roughly through his so-short hair and drag down the side of his beard before falling back to his thigh. "Somewhere, I fucked up explaining because already what you're saying is diminishing your importance to me, to you." He can hear it, he can see it, or thinks he can.

The move is abrupt then, the free hand coming to snatch Ru'ien's party shirt and drag him in roughly, so nearly nose to nose, F'yr practically growls in his sudden intensity, "I love you, Keruthien." And as though the words are somehow not being plain enough, even though how could one really doubt the fervor of that completely unfiltered tone that conveys well the depth of the passion, his lips are locking with the greenrider's in a kiss so explosive in feeling that it should communicate everything he's saying so badly and leave them both breathless when it breaks, Fear's forehead pressing with fierce need to still connect into Ruin's.

Ru’ien will relax a fraction when F’yr nods to his request. Then a little more when he is still there and listening and that deep rooted anxiety is quieted before it can speak much louder in the back of his thoughts. The head shake doesn’t worry him, not with him so intently focused on the bronzerider’s expressions. Waiting for those words and when they come, he exhales low and heavily. Okay! Okay, this is a start and he is listening again too. Even when his gaze follows that hand, before tracking back to F’yr’s gaze. From the way Ru’ien smiles vaguely and lopsided, maybe the bronzerider wasn’t far off the mark with what he’d ‘heard’. F’yr knows Ru’ien, has seen him, and maybe Ru’ien’s mistake was trying to explain it when it’s already understood.

Genuinely surprised to be dragged forwards by his shirt, he doesn’t fight it, though his hands instinctively rest somewhere for balance, whether it be to the deck or to some part of F’yr or both. Nose to nose, a questioning expression flickers briefly before a startled one to hear his full name. Until that intensity is growled and his expression changes again, as it begins to sink home as it should. Before he can even summon the same verbally, their lips are locking in that explosive kiss. Half growled, half groaned, Ru’ien leans into it, while he expresses all that was unsaid through it. He loves him too — F’yr, Fear, Stefyr — and without question!

Ru’ien IS breathless by the end of it, already sinking forwards to keep their foreheads touching. Quietly, he will inch in closer with his entire body too, letting arms or legs brush against one another. Weaving them steadily closer together but not pushing for more — not yet. He exhales long, a touch shakily, from the intensity of the emotional rush. His tongue passes briefly over his lips as he goes to speak. It’s not a repetition of what was already said, in so many ways — not exactly. Instead, he whispers hoarsely three other words. “I see you.” He takes another steadying breath and more firmly: “I see you.

"I know," is a soft exhale to answer those three other words. "I want you to see more. But it's…" F'yr briefly chokes on the strength of the feeling and then carries on, voice raw, hiding nothing, "-very important to me that you understand that even if you don't understand how it can be, none of what else I want you to see for even half a moment takes away anything from that. From my love for you." His hand has found its way to Keruthien's jaw and he leans in to kiss him again after stroking his cheek. This kiss is no less full of feeling, but it's less surprising or explosive in nature. The kiss goes on for heartbeats, breaths, moments, as long as it needs to say everything that is not said. When it breaks, F'yr slowly pulls himself back from the greenrider, blue eyes seeking blue. "More?" Speaking, he means, not kissing, or are they still on time out?

Ru’ien listens, his gaze fixated on F’yr with a levelled seriousness not often present; it softens when he witnesses him choke on the strength of those feelings, but he doesn’t push. He listens and he takes the necessary breaths to calm, to let that sink in and his mind wrap around what is being asked. There is a nod, just as F’yr’s hand reaches his jaw and that second kiss is returned. It lingers as is needed and Ru’ien flows with it, sharing plenty that is unspoken yet again through it. He understands. He understands what is being asked and he won’t soon forget it. Slowly, gradually, he leans back as the kiss breaks, eyes opening to blink and turn upwards to meet F’yr’s gaze. Holding steady, firm. Collected. Readied. “Yeah.” he breathes, a small lopsided smile curving his mouth. “When you’re ready, Fear.”

There's a shudder that goes through F'yr when Ru'ien confirms for him that it's time to start. He shifts, his hand falling to their laps, now closer than they were before, shins kissing one another while F'yr's hands look to slip into contact with Ru'ien's, thumbs brushing along their backs in slow, but slightly agitated strokes. How to start? "When I was back on the farm, we had a neighbor. Gaelis. She was my best friend, even though we didn't know one another all that well. I had never… felt attraction for a person before her." His brow furrows as he feels his way along. "I thought I loved her. Thought I would marry her and live my life out on my family's farm." That was the plan.

"But she loved-" The hiccup of air can't be helped, "She loved my brother, Daro, who died," while they were weyrlings." Deep breath, F'yr. "After I came here, I started to realize that the reason I was attracted to her was because I had come to care for her deeply in another way. I'm still… trying to figure this all out because it's different from anything I grew up with, Ruin, but it seems like I start to feel deeply for a person and then develop an attraction. Only, I don't have to act on the attraction if there's a reason not to, even if that's as simple as that it's not right for us, myself and that person." His eyes go up to Ru'ien's searching his face, taking a pause and asking softly, "Too much? Keep going?"

If Ru’ien could see or sense that shudder, he would have given a comforting look for it. Even so, the moment their hands connect, he will communicate that reassurance. He’s here, Fear and his gaze will lower to where those slightly agitated strokes take place. It keeps him focused, as he listens close to what the bronzerider finds the courage to share. Quietly allowing him to feel along private thoughts and emotions that even Ru’ien doesn’t dare interrupt.

That hiccuped breath brings Ru’ien’s gaze up to level with F’yr’s, brows lightly knit but smoothing as he offers gentle support. As he continues, he will chew lightly at the corner of his lower lip, a habit when he really is attempting to wrap his head around his thoughts — but there is no sign of tension, no panicked look or darker emotions. Just Ru’ien silently absorbing and parsing what he can, in those few breaths. At the pause and soft question, Ru’ien will lift his gaze to meet F’yr’s and a light smile curves his lips. “No, I think … I’m getting it, Fear. It’s reminding me a little of someone but — “ His gaze dims a little, thoughtful and somewhat sad at some memory but it passes quickly as his hands squeeze tightly to his. That isn’t important and F’yr’s experience and story is. “I’m starting to understand and you can keep going — as long as you’re ready.”

There's a slight furrow to F'yr's brow when Ru'ien draws his comparison and in the wake of his squeeze, the bronzerider is shaking his head. "I— you—" He stops, expression briefly frustrated that the words are not easier. "I need you to— see me." He shakes his head a little as if that's not quite right. He's not denying Ru's comparison when he says, "Maybe I'm like that someone, maybe I'm not, but this is… it's just the edge. Comparing me to someone else right now when I don't even understand myself yet, so trying to see me through the lens of someone else is just probably going to complicate things." Maybe it's a little because of the slight sadness at whatever came and went so fleetingly, but mostly it's, "This is about me. And it's about us. Nothing else comes into it." Not for him, anyway. At least, not in this.

Ru’ien’s brow furrows, as his gaze lingers on F’yr in the wake of his frustration. There is a little frustration of his own on his features, but more towards himself than the bronzerider. He takes a slow, steadying breath, exhaling in a bit of a sigh that carries the brunt of his unspoken apology. “You’re right,” he agrees, after letting it sit unspoken on the tip of his tongue for just a fraction of a heartbeat longer. His hands move in F’yr’s, to renew the grip; it also feels a touch apologetic or sheepish. He’s trying and wants, so badly, to be the support F’yr needs — but this is hard for him; given he’s far more familiar with ignoring his own demons. This is unknown territory for him, but he’s going in for Fear’s sake. “I get it, F’yr.” And he will try not to have it happen again, is what is unspoken there too. His gaze will hold to his, a faint but still present half-smile curving his lips but he lets the silence fall between them — allowing F’yr to have the control over when and how to resume.

This time there's a nod, simple acceptance of what Ru's said and then… silence. It's possible to see from the set of the bronzerider's broad shoulders that he's struggling. It's a moment of tension where the much of this, becomes, for a time, too much. He doesn't leave, though. He doesn't even reach for the bottle again, instead keeping his hands with Ru'ien's. Finally, if Ruin can bear out the silence, an audible breath plays prelude to trying.

The words come slowly, literally searching his way along from one to the next. "I've come to feel deeply for people, here. It's not that someone— that you—" because he did say and tell them both this was about them "— aren't enough for me. Your youness is…" He tries, "You're imperfectly perfect to me, Ruin. No one else could be as you as you, and you couldn't be as someone else as they are. Redfruit and citrus. You can love them both, just differently because they are different." His brow furrows and then a single quirks as he looks at Ru'ien, the silent brospeak asking if he's making sense.

Ru’ien hasn’t forgotten about the bottle and he might be itching to take a knock from it; never mind that he’s pleasantly warmed enough by what he’s consumed so far. He resists though, knowing full well if he gets any more tipsy, he won’t be able to control himself and likely fuck everything up with a loose tongue. Instead, he keeps quiet, even shuffling slightly closer (or maybe he’s trying to get comfortable, the deck is hard okay?) while F’yr tries to find his words. Try as HE might, Ru’ien can’t entirely keep himself from looking confused again for the first bit. Could be the slight tilt of his head or the way his brows lower along with the vanishing smile. Even though his gaze lowers, it’s clear that he is mulling it over. How long does the silence stretch this time? Longer, maybe, until at last Ru’ien lightly chuckles under his breath as that frown smooths out — but if he was about to make a light quip about being which fruit… he decides against it. Blue gaze meets blue and he exhales heavily. “I’ve got the gist of it — of what you’re getting at so far, Fear.” And he stresses that seriousness in brospeak. If F’yr wants him to explain, he will, but rather than muddle either of them up, he extends the offer for him to continue first.

There's another nod from F'yr, and not nearly so long a silence this time, but enough that he can gather and order the next part. "Okay. So. Us. We developed deep feelings for one another. I became attracted to you over time, with that," he squints at the sky, "oh, sometime toward the end of candidacy. Maybe that started after we all went cliff jumping the once, but." He gives a little shrug of his shoulders as if to say the when doesn't quite matter to the point he's making. "It… made sense, it worked for us to kiss, and much later, to do other things." Those things may be brought a little more to mind by the way F'yr's fingers start to travel across Ru'ien's forearm. "But it could have gone another way. If you'd been involved with someone and content, I could have loved you as deeply as I do, been attracted to you, but not ended up being sexually involved with you." In theory, anyway. "But it worked for us to be." Until it didn't.

F'yr's brow furrows slightly and then shakes his head a little, off track again. "The point is that us not sleeping together hasn't diminished my love for you. Even everything we've been through hasn't diminished my love for you." Trust? A little. It's certainly highlighted a need for more in depth communication. "What-" No, not right, he scooches a little closer (okay, not really, because they can't unless they start tangling up together and it's not time for that yet, but he at least shifts in a way that suggests it). "I'm not sexually involved with most of my partners. I'm not even… I don't think my feelings are reciprocated in all cases, but that doesn't matter to my heart. Those people are still important to me, they're still people I would want to be with and support in whatever ways they want me or need me."

Ru’ien almost interjects when F’yr brings up a ‘moment’ in time, but while his lips part, he’ll quickly bite it back and settle instead for just smiling fleetingly, broadly. The cliff jumping is a good memory among so many others! But that isn’t the focus here and soon his features drift to an attentive neutralness. He listens. Is it what he wants to hear? Perhaps not or maybe parts of him already knew in some levels and the bronzerider is only bringing some of that to light and other bits he missed into focus. There is a small nod of his head, to acknowledge that he agrees largely with how things progressed for them — and if there’s any lingering sadness and regret, he firmly slams the door on it.

His continued silence isn’t a bad thing and the way his gaze keeps lingering on F’yr, his expression openly aware — he’s listening still. He moves, shifts, flows as the bronzerider does; following but never asking for more. As F’yr continues, Ru’ien’s expression and even his gaze carries less of that confusion, less of that uncertainty that comes with not fully grasping. Now? Clearer. Not entirely but enough that he feels he can begin to form the whole of it. “I’m getting it, Fear. Understanding what you mean, that is. It’s — “ he pauses, brows knitting briefly as he rethinks that thread and decides to mull over his words another breath or two. Are their hands still joined? Because he will squeeze, firm and reassuringly. “You’re making sense. I’m still wrapping my head around some of it but…” He’s got enough of it and none of it, thus far, has set his hackles up. If anything, Ru’ien is very quietly introspective about the whole thing.

Blue eyes study blue and then softly, "Okay." He's leaning in for a moment seeking to touch forehead to forehead and breathe for a grounding minute. When he straightens again, his hands are back to hands thumbs rubbing on their backs. "Okay." Once more, but a different okay. The first was belief, the second: 'moving on.' "You said you wanted to know everything." This is still incredibly complicated. "Tell me… please, what do you mean by that?" His brows furrow slightly, looking at the greenrider, gently lobbing the conversational ball. "What do you want from this, Ru? With me. Us."

Ru’ien leans forwards to meet him, touching forehead to forehead and his eyes closed for that brief grounding moment. Only when F’yr straightens does he drift back, looking down at their hands again as those ‘okays’ are breathed. Moving on! Right to so many complicated things. He slowly lifts his eyes to meet his again and his lips part, but nothing comes forth but a slightly strangled sound. Mhm, no! Not right. Brows furrow and he licks at his lower lip before they’re drawn into a thoughtful line.

It’s taking a moment but eventually he will sigh heavily. “What I meant is — what you just shared here with me? Is a part of that ‘everything’.” His hands grip firmly to F’yr’s in another passing moment of reassurance, of grounding contact. “I’m not looking to change what we have, Fear? Or diminish it or claim something was missing in the love I have for you or what you have for me.” Not intentionally and he has much to learn. “I just — “ Ru’ien grimaces, struggling again to bring what he usually keeps so deeply locked forwards. Bearing another small piece of himself, tentatively. “I was trying to show you — “ No, still not quite right. “ — tell you that I will listen to your ‘everything’ because I am here for you, as we are.” He pauses again, jaw working but eventually he settles for just looking at F’yr. “… is any of this making sense?” Ru’ien asks softly.

F'yr's lips are pursing ever so slightly as he listens, head slightly cocked, eyes taking in Ru'ien's face, the feel of his hands, all of it. "Yes…" BUT. "But…" No, that's not right. It is a 'but,' but that's not the right way to come around to it. "Mnn. Minute." He requests, trying to work through it quickly. "Okay." He has it. He thinks. He'll try anyway. He needs to reach for the bottle because the next moments are too much an echo of the thing he said that… well, didn't go well. He does, at least, squeeze the hand he's leaving to grab it and drink before offering it to Ru'ien.

"So, what it boils down to, in the end is that…" Is that right? Maybe, maybe not, he squints a little at Ru'ien, and then just asks, "Do you want the story behind it or just the moral? I told the story and—" He frowns, shaking his head, pain briefly flashing through his gaze as he looks up at the night sky before bringing his eyes back down to Ru. SCARY, RIGHT?

Whatever disappointment or frustration that threatens to naturally bubble up, Ru’ien clamps down hard and shoves it behind the door he slammed shut earlier. It’s quick-like, registering mostly as a flickering grimace as he watches F’yr and gives him that minute (and however many more). He will take the offered bottle, but he keeps it held towards his lap, as his focus settles more on F’yr. Noticing the pained look, however brief, has him lifting his hand to gently cup the bronzerider’s cheek — and probably even before he’s fully aware of what he’s doing.

Ru’ien won’t withdraw that hand either, unless F’yr reacts in a way to warrant it. His thumb will gently stroke over his skin, in a manner of reassurance and support. Comforting and all while he levels him with a deeply thoughtful look with just a hint of concern. “You’re a bit of an ass, you know, for having me choose?” he quips in his familiar teasing without barb or edge, but more out of loving roast; it carries no heat, just humor for Ru’ien to quiet his own demons for awhile longer. There is a fleeting smirk and a lower sigh, as his hand drifts back to find F’yr’s again and twine them firmly together. His gaze drifts to where his other hand idly traces the neck of the bottle. Introspective again, until at last he breathes the real answer in a gruff whisper. “Moral.” His eyes, at least, will lift too with that word. Scary is an understatement!

F'yr's face tilts into Ru'ien's hand quite naturally, really. There's no hesitation there whatever, which may be a balm to the earlier 'but.' He's just working things through with Ru, it's not Ru doing something wrong. He turns his head after those strokes, kissing the palm gently, breathing in the scent of the greenrider's skin and kissing once more before he turns his head enough to let the hand fall away (unless Ru wants to chase, but he's fixing to say something here, and that is distracting, tyvm, turnday boy).

There's no apology in F'yr's face, but plenty of wry humor that draws from the most honest bones the bronzerider has. "I have been telling people since I arrived that I'm an ass, but no one believes me. At least now you know." An ass, but maybe not that much of an ass, or not always anyway.

Moral. He breathes and looks at the greenrider, gaze steady. "Okay. So, for… reasons," that would be the story they're skipping, Ru, "it comes very naturally to simply keep the things I cherish most to myself. It's not that I don't want to share, simply that that's my… my default, I guess." He has to search the sky for that word, but his eyes do come back, shoulders rising and falling. "My not telling you everything has everything to do with me and how I am and not really anything to do with you and whether or not you've 'earned' that trust or are worthy of something. It's just… habit." He reaches up his free hand to rub across his mouth, trying to think.

"Okay. I think… we might need to take a break soon." It's a lot, truly. It's meaningful and important, but it's just a lot. "But before we do, I really want an answer to what it is you want from me. From this, us, that we're building." Still building. Sure, there was that fairly major hiccup, but as the bronzerider said, his love isn't diminished because of it, even if there are things to rebuild. (If asked, he'd probably tell Ru that this conversation, so honest, so raw and so willing to go to the hard spaces is doing much and more for F'yr to mend those breaches in their foundation.) Once the scariest question is reiterated, he just waits, looking at Ru, expression open, and never without the underlying look of seeing him, of accepting his love and loving him.

Kisses are definitely distracting, even ones made to the palm of his hand and Ru’ien has to fight hard not to chase it and the little shiver that tingles up his spine when F’yr doesn’t hesitate in adding to that gesture. Of course they’re working through this together and Ru’ien knows this and as much as he craves for more physical touch — he behaves (for now). Not that he hasn’t remained close and has likely drifted that much subtly further into F’yr’s personal space.

Ahh, then there is some wry humor! Ru’ien literally basks in it, his posture relaxing a fraction more as they trip into grounds of familiarity. He smirks, almost a grin in turn to F’yr’s answer, lifting that bottle at last as if to toast to it, to him, to them, to some degree. “Oh I think some part of me always knew? Just count yourself lucky, Fear, that I love both… assets.” Terrible. He knows it, which is why he masks his chuckling, taking a deep drink from that bottle. Time to sober back to tougher discussions! The bottle is lowered and set nearby for F’yr to claim if he wishes.

Ru’ien is quiet as F’yr speaks, gaze held steady as before. His head tilts a little to the side, brows knitting faintly as he follows along but does not seem as lost as with their prior talks. This time, there is a deeper understanding, something that is subtly communicated with another small, curved smile. “I get that, Fear. Really.” Honest and genuinely at that, as he reaches out again to touch him — maybe to rest his hand against the bronzerider’s leg or knee. I see you. He takes a moment, gathering his thoughts, clearly processing it a breath or two longer before slowly murmuring his answer: “And it’s okay. I’m okay with that and I trust you. I’m not gonna ask you to change that about yourself.”

Ru'ien's slow progress toward reducing by tiny increments the space between the two is something he has a partner in, for as the greenrider shifts, F'yr complicity adjusts in kind, drawing them just a hair closer. The jester's response to F'yr's honest (if wry) statement earn a smile that makes the edges of the bronzerider's eyes crinkle ever so slightly, a shading of delight mixed with affection now labeled love without question, despite the overshadowing seriousness of the topics at hand. "Very lucky." He murmurs in a way that might be much too serious for the joke but is fervent enough that if he trips Ru by making him feel loved, it's probably what he was going for as much as just what is.

He listens, he waits, he lets Ru'ien address everything before he speaks. "I know you weren't asking for me to change," there's a slight squint and he adds, "I might like to change that about myself. Just haven't had a reason to work on it. I just meant to make sure you understood that it's not so much about trust as habit." He reaches up a hand so he can stroke it into the greenrider's hair on the side that hasn't been dressed for the turnday but left loose, tucking locks behind his ear and then sliding his hand in and to the back of the greenrider's neck. "I trust you, Ruin. I need more of this. This open, honest stuff." It's called communication, farmboy. "I was hurt before, worried, confused, but even then I trusted you." There's more here, but not from F'yr, and he knows it. So this important thing said, his hand glides down from Ru'ien's neck along his arm to return somewhere near their touching knees to wait for the more.

Ru’ien likely was tripped just enough for a passing stumble for that serious but fervent murmur in turn for the joke — and the only response is a slightly broader, fleeting smile and maybe the hint of a blush. Could be the alcohol, too, finally catching up to warm him through. He doesn’t move from F’yr’s hand, allowing his hair to be tucked back while his gaze is otherwise riveted on him. Even when he feels him reaching for the back of his neck, he relaxes beneath the touch, sinks into it readily and without hesitation. “I’ll try to remember,” That it’s more habit than an issue of trust and he means that. He’s trying. “And I want to avoid that,” he murmurs back, in regards of hurt and worries and everything in between. “If we can. I want to — I need more of it too. Might not be real good at it,” He can’t help but poke a little fun; mostly at himself but for them both. A wider smile follows, however briefly this time. “But we can learn, right?” Together. One more important thing said and shared and more certainly follows in its wake.

It is a lot and even Ru’ien is fraying a little under the amount they’ve undergone but it’s all been meaningful and important and he’d do it again and again if needed. Now they’re back to that key question and now he can no longer resist — he needs to be closer and he will try to at least settle close enough to lean against F’yr but still be mostly facing him. It’s not a complete invasion of personal space but he needs this to feel grounded and calm. “I think —“ Ru’ien begins, carefully, speaking low and quiet. “I already have what I want, Fear. I don’t know if I can define it? I just… I want you, as you are, as we are now and what we’ve built so far between us. I’d like to see where it goes and I’m excited for that, y’know? To grow this — this bond we have further? However it might go.” Labels don’t matter. They never have, at least to Ru’ien. He’ll meet F’yr’s gaze again, a similar open expression of accepting his love and their love and loving him. “I love you, Fear. You. And it’s hard for me to explain what I want beyond that because it’s — it’s not something I can grasp. I don’t think words exist for it?”

Even with Ru'ien's self-deprecating humor, F'yr's soft, "We will," is firm and better than an answer of 'we can.' The single hand still joined with Ru'ien's squeezes. Then as the greenrider is shifting to get closer, F'yr holds up a quick hand of 'wait' and he's shifting more profoundly, pulling his leg up from over the rail and turning to fully face Ru'ien, to inch forward so that his feet slide in on either side of Ru'ien's hips and it doesn't put him in Ru'ien's lap (that would be distracting!) but it does bring him distinctly closer, creating that closeness that Ru'ien was seeking in probably a better way than initially intended. He's catching up Ru's hands to listen, too, while the greenrider speaks, blue eyes still so intent. There's the processing silence, because there must be for things that are this MUCH, but his thumbs are stroking on the backs of those hands so he's not running, just processing. Still here. Together.

"Okay." Okay. He means that. He even scoots a little closer with a slow release of breath, very nearly bringing himself into Ru's lap but stopping just short. "I want that. Too. With you." Mr. Eloquence goes on, slowly, but… well, this is important too and it's a furrow in how brow that forewarns it's not quite a 'but' but maybe it's near cousin. "The thing that… worries me most, Ruin, in loving you, in loving everyone that I do is that when things happen, like the explosion in the council chambers, I couldn't be everywhere I needed and wanted to be at once. It might mean that I'm a shit partner." His teeth snag up his lower lip to worry it, "I don't want to hurt you if I'm not able to be with you in a moment when you need me, or want me. I'll always do my best but—" But he's still just one man and he's left searching Ru's expression and then quickly because he needs to get all the things that might trip them up that are on his brain right now out there, "Do you want to know the names? Do you want to know how we relate to one another? Is that the kind of everything you want to know?" Because how can they avoid something like what happened? That's what he wants to know.

He will wait when F’yr lifts that hand up and Ru’ien continues to watch him as he moves. When he catches on to what the bronzerider is seeking, he moves willingly and a touch eagerly. As much as Ru’ien would wish to have either of them in each other's laps, he will stave off on that temptation (it would be distracting, so distracting!). This is just as good. This is better, lending a quiet sort of intimacy needed to take some of the edge off frayed nerves. So much said, so much shared. Ru’ien slips his hands into F’yr’s as they catch, gripping firm even under those gentle strokes.

Closer, just a little closer. Ru’ien inches himself along with the bronzerider, settling in a way that is comfortable for both. He listens intently, blue eyes watching him with attentive gentleness. There’s no masks still, here. This is Ruin he speaks to and when the words finally come and weave yet another explanation, he takes a moment to let it sink in. A flicker of a grimace for the memory of the explosion, but that isn’t the important part — all the rest is. Exhaling heavily, it’s largely thoughtful and not so much troubled. His hands grip, squeezing firmly, as he leans in to halve that distance between them just a fraction more. “I get it, Fear.” he murmurs low and sincere. There’s only the barest of smirks for the remark of being a ‘shit partner’ — Ru’ien quietly disagrees. “I can’t promise anything on how my reactions will be but…” His brows furrow. How to explain? One of his hands slip free, reaching up to cup his cheek again, fingers gently running over his much shorter hair. “I think — knowing that you do care, that you love me and are trying and will be there, when you can, is enough. More than enough.”

F’yr will only find genuine honesty in Ru’ien’s expression and so much more beneath that. Just as quick, there is more added to their conversation and he blinks, a little surprised by the abruptness of the offer — and a very important one! “Yes.” It escapes his lips before he can stop it. His features smooth to a warm smile, his fingers dragging along the curve of his jaw and then gently pressing two or three against his lips. Wait. He’s not done! It takes a breath or three for him to gather his thoughts, his words, and then he’s pulling his fingers away, leaving only the thumb to trace over F’yr’s lower lip. “I would like to know Fear, just maybe not right now? Not unless you think it’s important I know about them here tonight. It’s important—” But not immediately critical, to him. Neither does he seem concerned of a repeat of recent history between them. “And I’m not wanting too—“ How much further will he get with this? There is a half-breath of hesitation, as he shuffles those words around in his head.

One of the things that is a boon here to F'yr's natural way of turning all things inward first before expressing anything outwardly is that when Ru'ien's lips shape the words that stagger him, when the greenrider's hand is cupping his cheek, only a ghost of that intense feeling makes it through. Where F'yr has been convinced (and become more so with time an experienced) that it might be difficult if not impossible to love him in a way that accepts all of him without added conditions (of which there still may prove to be some), here is Ruin, ruining all that by making it sound easy. Fear fears to trust it, already licked too many times by the lash of opening himself to such a thing and being hurt by it - not even just in his life since arriving at the Weyr, but deep uncertainties set long before that. Can anyone imagine the man F'yr has blossomed into here would have had an easy time on a family farm where things were done as they were done and never another way? He never fit there.

He fits here. Particularly, he fits here, Fear with Ruin. In truth, he hears but doesn't process the rest beyond the ultimate answer of 'yes, but not now.' That suits fine because by the time Ru is breaking off the one word he's processed enough of that thing that so overwhelmed every good and bad sense in his brain that the need to express in more than simply words is slipping the leash and impulse has the bronzerider capturing Ru'ien's lips. Is it possible to have a more explosive kiss than before? F'yr is going for it, bro. It includes the bronzerider sliding into Ru'ien's lap as the kiss goes on, his hands invading hair, and sliding desperately down neck to shoulders and back up. "I need you," is soft and broken by the drag of a rough breath. "C'mon." The bed is not far away~ Unless stopped, that's just where F'yr's going to aim to get to after scrambling up and reaching hands back down for Ru'ien, bottle forgotten in his haste to all but drag the greenrider in what is hopefully a combined effort to get there faster, clothing starting to peel off along the way.

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