Time and Space

Xanadu Weyr - Shiloh's Room
It's a room. There's probably room-stuff in it. Like a bed. And a dresser. And maybe a rug? Sure. There can be a rug. It's probably cozy. It definitely has a small, private bathroom for REASONS (like that middle of the night 'gotta go now' pee-sesh).

ICly takes place 2 days after Stubborn Idiots

There is a knocking upon the door, coming from the direction of Xanadu Weyr - Residential Hallways.

The knock brings no immediate answer, but a moment later there's a shuffling and the slide of the bolt and the crack of the door. A rather unkempt Shiloh blinks out at him, squinting into the much-brighter light of the hallway. Wearing nothing more than a pair of loose cotton pants, it's clear enough he wasn't expecting company of any sort, let alone Averil. "Oh," comes with some surprise and a moment more the door is pulled wider, open enough that conversation can happen. Or at least, so that it doesn't look as though he's going to be slamming it shut again. "Averil. Uh…" Cue hand through the hair and awkward look before, "Hey."

Averil has no idea anything is amiss, barring Shiloh being 'sick' and smiles brightly the moment that the door is opened. "The apprentices said you weren't feeling well, and I haven't seen you in the living cavern, so I brought you soup and some rolls." In the wake of the words, he's immediately offering over a small stone crock of what smells like wherry stew and a bag that is (presumably) filled with rolls. "The rolls are fresh," he assures. "I'm pretty sure they are still warm, too. I'd have brought butter," he adds almost sheepishly. "But I was afraid the rolls would melt it and make a mess…" Trailing off, his gaze sweeps down the length of Shiloh's form, lingering a beat, before drifting back up to his face. "Um… I… don't want to keep you up, though."

One hand on the door, the other rubs at the back of Shiloh's neck; a distinctly awkward gesture that comes with a clearing of his throat as he glances to the food. "You didn't have to do that," he notes, but there's a hint of something softer pulling at the edges of his mouth. "Thank you, though." He'll definitely take it, reaching out to collect the bag and pot. A moment more, and he steps back, angling his body in a manner that suggests invitation as he says, "Do you want to come it? I'm… not actually sick." Just in case Avi was worried about catching whatever he might have.

Averil tilts his head at the last, his brows furrowing mildly as he steps into the room. "But they said.. And you weren't at the barn?" Confused, he still takes a moment to look around the space before twisting around to meet Shiloh's eyes. That he is worried is clear in a glimpse at the beastcrafter's face, his teeth nibbling at a corner of his lip before he lightly clears his throat. "You don't… Is something wrong?" Clearly something is wrong, given the firm belief that Shiloh isn't the sort to just not go to work without good reason.

"I told them I was not feeling myself," explains Shiloh, closing the door softly behind Averil. "And that I needed a few days." Which apparently was interpreted as being sick. Moving toward the main part of the room, Shiloh sets the pot and the bag on the desk before moving to a corner and snatching up a shirt. It's at least 'clean enough' to suit his standards, as it's pulled on a moment later. "I didn't mean to make you worry," he says, reaching to pull out the chair at the desk. The words are at least honest, if a little apologetic. "I just…" Hands though the hair again, he drops to the edge of the bed and squints over at Averil. "I just needed some time." But it's the worry in the artist's expression that has him up again, closing the distance in a few short strides and reaching for his hand.

Averil follows, but only tentatively, his brows furrowing as he comes to a halt next to the chair. He doesn't sit, though, grey eyes casting to the floor for a moment before finally drawing back up to Shiloh's face. "You needed some time? From… from what?" Despite the words, it's relatively clear that he knows the answer to that question, (Or part of it, at least) particularly when he looks away. "I see." Whatever else he was about to say, though, is lost when his hand is taken, his gaze flicking up to Shiloh's face before darting off to the left. "I understand," he promises. (He doesn't) "Really."

"No," comes in a quiet rebuttal to the unspoken assumption. "Not time from anything. Just time for me." The classic 'it's not you it's me' excuse? Except Shiloh's hand tightens around Averil, a squeeze that means to reassure as his thumb brushes across his knuckles. "It wasn't about you. Not… directly. Not the way you're thinking." Because Shiloh doesn't need to read minds to jump to the correct conclusion. A sigh comes as he rubs his forehead with his free hand, grimacing slightly. "I wasn't trying to hurt you," he adds. "But it seems to be all I'm capable of doing." The bitterness is faint, but definitely there. A squeeze of Avi's hand, and Shiloh releases him so that he can take a seat on the edge of the bed.

Averil doesn't know what to say, he's confused and it shows as he moves to perch on the edge of the chair. "I thought everything was fine, though," he admits as he brushes his hair out of his face. "We talked and things seemed to be ironing themselves out?" Pausing a beat, his eyes widen faintly, a rush of color rising to stain his cheeks pink. "Is this about the sex thing?" It's the rest though, that has him frowning faintly, a flash of anger darting through his eyes. "You confuse me, Shiloh, you don't hurt me." He's been hurt, a lot. This is not that. "And really, it's okay if you've decided you just want to be friends. Really," he adds in firmer tones. "It isn't going to change how I feel, but I -do- get that you don't feel the same. And that's okay," he promises. "Really."

"Try telling that to Tej; I'm pretty sure I'll get a crop to the leg for the look you just gave me." It comes before Shiloh can censor himself, and is immediately followed with a wince. "I'm sorry. That was…" A frustrated sound and he reaches for the bag on the desk, rifling through it for a roll which he immediately tears into chunks. "No, it's not about the sex thing. It's not about you at all." Which definitely sounds harsh, and he knows it, and once again he's making that sound in the back of his throat. Frustrated. The chunks of bread get put back on the desk without being eaten. "Can you just…" A pause. A suck of his teeth as he sorts through how to say this right. "I'm not in love with you. But that doesn't mean I don't feel things for you, Avi." And it kinda hurts that he keeps assuming otherwise. "If I'd 'decided to just be friends'," he quotes, "I'd tell you that that. I'm not a monster."

Tejra. The moment the words are spoken, Avi sighs, his head lowering to scrub his hand over his face. Even then it is a long moment before he looks up, his expression serious as he listens to the rest of what Shiloh has to say. It is only when he is sure that Shiloh is finished that he nods slowly. "First," he notes gently. "I don't have so many friends that I would consider you wanting to be one of them monsterous, Shiloh. We've talked about how you feel, already, and I understand it." Picking up the bread, he leans forward and presses the chunks back into Shiloh's hands. "Eat. It's my turn to talk, anyway." And, of course, he waits a beat for Shiloh to hopefully complie. "As for Tej? I love her more then I could really ever put into words," he admits. "But she is a lot." And he is well aware of that fact. "And I'm not suggesting you have be bosom buddies with her," he notes pointedly. "But I do want you to try to understand why she is the way she is when it comes to me, alright?" Shifting in the chair, he draws his legs up to sit tailor style, his arms folding atop his knees as he leans forward to better meet Shiloh's gaze. "I've been hurt a lot in my life. Not this emotional, trying to figure out what we are, sort of hurt, but hurt-hurt. Bleeding hurt. Broken bones hurt. And," he adds quickly. "This is not a bid for sympathy. It's just… She's had to sit with me and take care of me when I wasn't even able to feed myself."

The monstrous part would have been hiding away in a room, instead of being honest. Instead of talking. Which is something Shiloh would never do. He'd never just ghost Avi if he decided they should 'just be friends'. But he doesn't bother to correct him. Just sits, accepting the bread and popping a chunk into his mouth. Even if he'll only eat the one. There's a flash of anger in those dark eyes, but it fades quick enough, for the information given. And while Shiloh will say, "I know," what he really means is 'I guessed'. "I'm not faulting her for her… protectiveness." Jealousy. "Just—" but he stops short, lips pressed together as he exhales a rough sigh. "I don't want to talk about her." Does he even want to talk at all? "This isn't about her. It's not about you. It's about me." And he can't seem to figure out how to make that any more clearly. "I just needed a moment to breathe." Two days at least.

Averil tilts his head as he listens, his chin dipping in a slow nod of understanding. "Alright," he notes quietly. "That's absolutely something I can do." Glancing toward the crock of soup, he unfolds his legs and braces his hands atop his knees. "Take all the time you need. When you are ready to be around me…." Well, his room is just down the hall. "I'm still going to ride, though," he notes seriously. He's starting to be very comfortable astride a runner and has no desire to change his morning routine.

Shiloh pinches the bridge of his nose, eyes squeezed shut as he just takes a moment. To breathe. To think. To mentally kick his own ass. "I'm not trying to avoid you," comes as he drops his hand once again, gaze finding Avi once more. "It's not about avoiding you. It's not about not wanting to be around you— Avi I want to be around you. Right now," he insists. "I want you to stay. I just… don't know if that's fair. To you. You said I confuse you," he adds. "And I'm sorry for that. And I know this ain't helping. But… I don't want you to go." But he won't stop him, either.

Averil spends a few moments watching Shiloh in silence before stepping over and sitting on the bed next to him. "I can stay," he assures as he reaches for one of the beastcrafter's hand a laces their fingers. "And I don't think you are trying to avoid me. You said you needed a moment to breathe," he reminds. "As for what is fair for me? How about we let me decide that? I don't think you are being unfair. As for confused? Given we had been talking about going camping and everything was fine and comfortable before you needed personal time? I was confused. Now that I know Tej is involved…" Well, he gets it.

"It's not about Tej," repeats Shiloh. "She's not the reason." She's not the sole reason. She's probably not even the biggest reason. Not directly. He studies their hand, fingers lanced together, for a long moment before lifting them to press a kiss to the back of Avi's. He twists, laying flat on his bed and tugging Averil's hand gently to try and get him to join him, to lay next to him as Shiloh stares at the ceiling. "Everything wasn't fine," he corrects, the words quietly spoken. "When I'm with you… it's better. But… Xanadu is not what I thought it would be." And apparently, that is taking a toll on the beastcrafter.

Averil stretches out next to him, sliding in until he can rest a cheek on Shiloh's shoulder. Watching his face, he reaches up and ruffles his fingers through dark hair before letting his hand drop to rest on the center of the beastcrafter's chest. "What did you think it would be," he asks curiously. Rather then make assumptions, he waits to ask more questions, his gaze trailing Shiloh's up to the ceiling.

A softer smile tugs at the beastcrafter's lips for the ruffling of his hair, dark eyes sliding toward Averil where he's settled at his side. His arm curls around him, the other lifts to tangle his fingers with Avi's where they rest on his chest. "I don't know," he admits with a sigh. "Different. Better, I suppose. I thought… it was a great opportunity. Even if it's the Weyr and not… one of the major holds." A self-deprecating little snort for that. "I didn't want one of the Holds. I'd had enough of Holds. But… I dunno. I thought Xanadu would be… different. Than what it is."

Averil watches Shiloh's face as he speaks, his smile softening as the words go on. "Despite what people think, Weyrs aren't really all that different. I mean, there are dragons, naturally. And people are more open about some things, but people are always people." No matter where you go. "It can't be easy," he imagines. "Being away from your family and friends. And you just had a breakup, that's not easy, either." Falling silent a beat, he lightly squeezes Shiloh's hand. "Can I ask what you thought it would be like?"

"I didn't really know what I thought it would be like," admits Shiloh. "I just… thought it would be different. Just… Different." And one would think that without expectations, Xanadu couldn't let him down but… clearly it has. For a long while he just lays there, staring at the ceiling while his hand moves up and down Averil's arm, tracing his fingers from elbow to shoulder and back. "I miss my family but I don't want to go back," comes in another low murmur; like the confession of a dark secret. "My sisters… My mother… I miss them. But it wasn't… I wouldn't go back, Avi. I can't." And if that's vague, Shiloh makes no real attempt to clarify. Either he's not sure how to explain or doesn't want to. "I guess I thought… I would 'fit' at Xanadu. At a Weyr. But maybe I don't fit anywhere."

Averil notices that Shiloh did not mention his father, but it is not something he is going to point out. Instead, he shifts until he can push up on his elbow, his gaze very serious as he meets Shiloh's eyes. "You fit here just fine. It's new and a little scary, and has been a little stressful, but you fit here, Shiloh." And while he could give examples, he refrains in favor of letting the beastcrafter speak, instead. "Why do you think you don't fit here?"

'Because I don't' is not a good response. At least Shiloh recognizes that, and doesn't speak it aloud. But it's definitely a thought that passes through his head. His gaze lingers on the ceiling for a moment more before sliding to find Averil's, studying him in silence a moment longer. "I don't think I can explain," he admits. "I just… I don't know how to. But it's a feeling. Like everything in Xanadu wants me gone. Except you," he adds, because he knows Avi doesn't want him gone. "You fit here," he decides, voice gentle. It's not an accusation, just a fact. "You've charmed everyone you've met. Even that beast of a bronze." He's making an assumption here of course. But he won't take it back. "You're thriving and I'm… surviving." And the faint little expression that accompanies that word says Shiloh's not even sure that's accurate.

"F'yr wants you here, too," Averil points out quietly. "And Willow and Lightning and Red is happy as can be, even your apprentices. They are worried about you, you know? Even Tejra wants you here, regardless of how she might have sounded." He's certain of that. "And the only reason that Glorioth was nice to me was because I was serving his vanity," he admits. Falling silent a beat, he purses his lips before abruptly twisting around to sit astride the beastcrafter's hips. "You're not surviving," he points out as raises thier hands and lightly pecks Shiloh's knuckles. "You're sad. You've lost a lot really fast and things have been very…. well, you know. But that doesn't mean you don't fit."

While Shiloh does not directly challenge those points, there's definitely a look that says he does not agree. Particularly with the idea that Tejra wants him here. That has him arching an eyebrow and biting his tongue to keep from saying something he might regret. Arguing with Avi about his best-sister-friend is not really what he wants to do. Instead what he says is simply, "I'm not going anywhere." Because there's nowhere for him to go. And because he doesn't want to. Because even in the thick of things, when Shiloh feels like the whole world is against him, Avi is a bright-light that he wants to stay near to. "Come back down here," he urges, giving a little tug on his hand. "I like when you're laying against me." Or on him. Just… close.

"Figured out I was going to try to hold you down, eh?" Like Avi could /ever/ get away with something like that. He does, however, tumble back to the bed, dragging himself in close enough that he pressed against Shiloh's side. With a bit of squirming, he ends up with one leg drapped over the beastcrafter's, their joined hands resettling on his chest. Once he's cozy, his lips turn up in a quiet smile, pale eyes returning to watching Shiloh's face. "Thank you, though," he whispers. "For not going away."

With Avi tumbling down, Shiloh shifts onto his side, tangling their legs together and pressing that hand close against his heart. For a moment, he buries his face against his hair, just holding him close and breathing him in. The quiet smile and pale eyes watching him brings a quirk of an expression in return; something subtle and faint but tender at its core. He presses a kiss to his forehead, lingering there once more, before whispering a quiet, "There's nowhere else I'd rather be." Than right here, with him. Because even if Xanadu sucks — and Shiloh is pretty certain that it sucks right now — Avi makes it bearable. "Will you sleep with me? I mean… a nap. Like… literally sleep…" lest the connotation be misinterpreted. "If you've somewhere to be…" He'll totally understand.

"I don't have anywhere to be." Avi's answer is coupled with a light thumpthump as he kicks off his shoes and nestles in closer against the beastcrafter's chest. And while he isn't particularly tired, he's cozy enough and warm enough that the thought of a nap is more then a little tempting. And, while it does bother him that Shiloh feels out of place? He makes the determination to make sure that, in time, Xanadu sucks considerably less then it feels like, right now.

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