One Piece at a Time

Xanadu Weyr - Thea's Weyr

This clearing is sheltered by a thick canopy of trees, which seems supported at its centre by an immense, wild-growing fellis tree. Hanging from one of its high branches is a swing, made up of two ropes and a seat of softwood and leather. The grass is tall here and interrupted in places by clusters of white and blue alyssum. Alyssum covers the indentation of the wallow, remaining hardy despite being continually crushed. The constant sound of herdbeast in their pens can be heard close-by, though its source is invisible through the foliage.

The cottage itself is made of white softwood, like birch, though creeping vines cover all four of its walls from the outside and even encircle the brown-shuttered windows and matching door. The interior floor and walls are raw wood that has been sanded and lacquered to make them smooth and, for the most part, the inside is quite spacious. The bedroom area is plain, an ornately carved wardrobe providing the only real decoration, and at the rear of the cottage a brown lattice has been built into the doorway to a makeshift kitchen, where a breakfast nook has been carved into the wall, along with short counters. On one counter, a circle has been cut out and fixed with a clay-fired bowl with a nearby matching pitcher.

The cottage door is left ajar, the room is quiet, and at first seems deserted. But there upon the bed is Thea, face-down upon it, her face buried in her arms. Ruin is perched on her back humming with obscene delight at the sounds of quiet weeping coming from the pillow clenched in her arms.

Spark is the first one to break the quiet, swooping into the room and winging toward Ruin. The normally placid, independent firelizard is worked up by Enkavir's height of emotion, and he hisses at Ruin, flapping around him as if to drive him off.

Ruin ignores Spark, merely ducking with each dive the younger bronze makes, resuming his hum, giving a gloating cackle to emphasize his utter joy. He's watching the upset firelizard with much the same enjoyment he's showing for Thea's sorrow. Thea doesn't react at all.

Enkavir enters to this scene of choas above, despair below. His boots are loud on the wooden floor as he crosses to the bed, and the pair of firelizards get a glare and a shooing flap of his hand. "Go away. Or at least… move." Spark hisses once more, but for once obeys, spiraling up to sit in the rafters with an occasional little flutter of restless wings. Enkavir drops down on the bed beside Thea, hands carefully folded in his lap. "You said you would listen…"

Ruin snarls as Enkavir enters the cottage and disappears *Between* immediately. Thea stiffens for a moment, then simply nods, rolls onto her side to face Enkavir. She is curled around the pillow, still hugging it. Through a damp mass of tumbled hair her eyes peek out over the pillow’s top. She waits.

Enkavir only allows his eyes to land on Thea's tearstreaked face for a moment, then they are back on his hands, clasped in his lap. "I don't even know where to begin," is the only start he can come up with. Knotted fingers cease to be a good focal point as he pulls his hands apart and drags them over his face, pinches the bridge of his nose. "I am sorry that what I can give you isn't enough," he finally says. And it's honest, pained, not passive aggressive if his tone is to be believed. "I know that you don't like it when I stop sharing. When I shut down. So I try not to, but Thea." He flicks his eyes toward her and even through a fall of tangled hair they are beseeching. "Please just /try/ to understand that I've never given any part of myself to anyone, ever. I give you all that I can and then I push myself to give more. I know it's not enough, but I'm /trying/. If-" he breaks off, starts to turn away from her to face outward into the cottage, but stops himself. He can't face her directly but he doesn't face totally away from her either, caught in the limbo between what he wants and what he has. "If you decide it's really not ever going to be enough, I would understand."

There is no sound from Thea for a long time. Finally, she just whispers it, "You assume a lot, Kav." Other than speaking she is still, limp. "You don't even know, what I was thinking." Her voice breaks, in it there is a note of despair, "You don't even ask me." She shakes her head, "Don't you know I can see you are trying? I can!" He turns away and in that moment, a deep hurt flashes in the pale green of her eyes. The pillow is tossed aside as she pushes herself up on one arm, reaching a hand out palm up towards him, "Don't go?" The soft plea is there in her voice, her eyes if he would only look and there in the palm of her hand. "I wish-" It is low-voiced, "I wish you would know that you have always been enough, from that first night on the rock when I didn't know you so well at all, Kav. Why would I ever decide you were not enough- why would I do that Kav, when you fill my heart so?" She swallows, adding, "You still do not know something-"

Enkavir flinches at her words but remains where he is. "What else am I to think? Your actions speak loudly enough, I didn't think I needed to ask." Once again he rubs at his face, pushing fingertips over his eyes and across his temples. It is almost as if they share a single energy - as she sits up, he slumps a bit, taking a glance at her sidelong, through the shield of his hair. "I'm not going. Not until you ask me to leave." He reaffirms this decision made months ago on the Star Stones, and with a soft little despairing groan he flops sideways onto the bed. His back is to her but he fumbles behind him for her hand, tries to pull her arm over him so he can cover that hand with his against his chest. "What don't I know?"

Thea allows her arm to be drawn around Enkavir, moving to be closer until she leans soft against his back and her breath is warm in his ear, "I cannot tell you what to think," she murmurs, "Only that you may come to the wrong conclusion if you merely read my actions with no input from me at all." She rests her forehead on the hair at the back of his head, "I'm not ever going to ask you to leave, so please, please, Kav, don't ever ask me to do that again." She gives him a little tug, trying to roll him so he isn't facing away from her. "You don't know what went through my mind when you shut down, last night. Up there in the stars, you were something." The last word is breathed with the same wonder she showed the stars when she saw them. "The words I spoke about you giving them up were out of my mouth before I could stop them and I was partly upset with myself. But that is not all, my Kav."

Enkavir isn't stiff against her, he's limp. Like so much pliant mush he doesn't reply as she speaks, he just absorbs her words as he absorbs her touch. "I was going to try to talk to you but you weren't here. And then /he/ was." He shakes his head, cuts that thought short. And when she pulls him, he is as easy to move as his limp form suggests, obediently rolling at least to his back and almost reluctantly meeting her eyes. What he sees there has his mouth crumpling a bit before he can shore it up into a firm line, and he reaches for the nearest pillow, tugs it toward him as if he might hide away from her that way if she won't let him turn his back to her. He stops just short, leaving that one arm flung out to the pillow, the rest of him still. "What else?" His face is just in control, his teeth brush his lip as he speaks, his voice just a whisper.

Thea slides that arm Enkavir had against his heart further around him as he rolls onto his back, levering herself onto one elbow to look down at him. She leans in to meet his eyes until she is but a mere few inches from them. Her hair tumbles about the sides of his face and he is now in her sanctuary. Her eyes remain on his and the intensity of hers for once might match his. "I just want you to know I can accept those shut-downs better if you would just take me in your arms and hold me to you and just say 'I can't yet.' I would understand, my Kav." She pauses, "But you retreat far away and when you do that you run from me as surely as I used to run from you." Her eyes close, the lids tremble, "It's almost more than I can bear."

A breath Enkavir didn't even realize he was holding is released in a rush of warm air. It sends bits of Thea's hair dancing, remakes the sanctuary into a living thing for an instant. He manages to meet her intense eyes by sheer force of will, still holding still as a stone as if any motion would break his concentration and send him running. He nods though, slowly, and lets his hands slide up her arms to her shoulders and then down her sides to her waist. "I can do that," he whispers. And, "I'm sorry." Gently, he pulls her down to lay on his chest, wraps her up and lets his eyes slide closed. "I need to talk to you about something else, too. And I know this might not be the best time but… I don't know how long I have."

Thea melts in that embrace, allowing herself to be pulled to Enkavir, "I'm sorry too." It comes out muffled somewhere near his neck. And in the words there is a mixture of both relief…and sorrow. "I'm sorry I am not enough for you." She's aware of the guard that he has up still, saw the shutters in those eyes that were so open just yesterday. From where one of her eyes touch his neck tears slide out, but then he is speaking then and she merely nods, "I'm listening."

Enkavir grunts softly at her words, fumbling in her hair and trying to find her face, trying to pull her up so he can look at her. His eyes are open, the shutters banished at least for the moment that he says, "You are more than enough. You're everything. It would be much easier to just run away, but for you… I'm trying." He reaches to wipe a tear from her cheek and then just shakes his head. "No. No, it will wait. For now, just be with me. You should get some rest if you can." And so even while he gives her another piece of himself, he holds on to something else. He can't seem to help it. He's not blockaded away though, just biding his time.

Thea looks down at Enkavir, the pain in her eyes eases, "I know you are." She whispers it though a sad smile, but it is a smile! She leans down to give his lips a gentle kiss, then rolls to lie beside him, but keeps her arm around his waist. "Alright, when you are ready, I will be here. I will always be here." And so Thea gives him a piece of herself, that trust she cannot seem to give anyone else. And perhaps, just maybe they fill the emptiness within each other, piece by piece.

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