Disaster Date: Epilogue

Disclaimer: Adult language.

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

It was supposed to be a nice day. A nice date, even. Idyllic, maybe even romantic~~ in concept. There were all the requisites for something truly spectacular: a picnic lunch, a pair of men with mutually expressed interest early enough on in whatever might be happening between them to still hold excitement and apprehension in some measure, enough to make it a little more exciting, and runners to ride. They had intended to be in before sunset, really, but fate decreed this love like story needed at least one or the other of the header and footer of daylight.

… Destiny also decided that not a damn thing would go their way that day, except, perhaps, their choice of partner for facing such (small) trials and tribulations. First, F'yr's friend, Shiloh, didn't happen to be at the stables that morning when the two dragonmen came to requisition the runners and despite F'yr and K'vir's knowledge and experience, the tempers of the pair they ended up saddled with were— less than ideally cooperative. They managed, but at moments, it wasn't particularly enjoyable and more than once the notion to turn back was floated, just for that reason. But it was too much on the edge of wise to tell whether it was or wasn't the prudent course, so they went on.

Then, there was the mud on the trails from a spring thaw; that wasn't so bad in of itself, but became much worse when fetching their picnic from the saddle bags, F'yr managed to slip on an icy-not-quite-as-thawed-as-the-rest patch and send himself splatting into cold, cold mud and spilling the better part of the meal right out of their boxes and covering cloths into the mud along with him.

Of course K'vir being the sweet sinnamon roll that he is tried to help F'yr up, and that might have gone well, because surely F'yr was not trying to make him suffer, too, truly, but K'vir's footing went wrong while F'yr's weight was relying on the tether of his hand and thus they both took another coating, F'yr coming out the worse for it, with his double-dip. At least there was a little drink to pass back and forth between them, to lend the imagination of warmth for part of the journey back, having not enough food to share between them and being covered in cold-then-frigid muddy-wet until drying in the chill spring breeze seemed a mercy.

At least they laughed about it. At least there was the hot springs to greet them upon their return, even if they ended up with F'yr in borrowed clothes from K'vir's since his place was more on the way than F'yr's. There was also a very large tray of things like hearty stew and fresh baked bread, dessert and piping klah to take with them out to F'yr's, for the privacy it afforded them, to recover and reclaim some small measure of whatever they had optimistically wished for the day. If nothing else, there was bonding.

Once the silence that, per force, accompanies the spread on F'yr's stone-topped island being consumed, once the fires are stoked, high enough to inspire the place to start getting nicely cozy as the meal goes on, F'yr sighs a contented sigh, blue eyes going over to K'vir who— regardless of whatever he's doing in the moment— inspires by memory the man to grin… then laugh… then belly laugh, until he's folding a little forward and bracing one arm on the counter, head going into his palm until he's recovered enough to pull his head up and turn a warm look on the older man, "You should have seen your face when you hit the mud." Surely F'yr's was a sight, too. Twice.


Isn’t it funny how life just loves to take such sweet, innocent plans for some R&R and just piss all over it? That’s probably K’vir’s take-away, for the most part. Really, it was just supposed to be relaxing and easy (okay, there was nerves and excitement because of the feelings potentially involved too but as K’vir’s do, he’s doing his best not to stall his thoughts on it).

So it went from love idyllic story to a (tragic?) comedy, but it could’ve been so much worse! At least they didn’t end up at each other's throats (would that’ve been drama)? K’vir’s used to destiny fucking with him too and it probably takes several of the little-things to pile up before his frustration begins to bubble to the surface. It probably began with him giving his unruly mount a rather… impolite renaming … and dissolved from there. Mud dipping, bruised pride backsides…

Are there regrets for not turning back? Probably. Regrets for the entire day? Not likely. SOME good must’ve come from it… right? Right? Laughter did eventually come, as did hot springs to remedy the worst of their (mis)adventures. It comes again, now that they’ve washed up, changed and settled somewhere much cozier and with some hearty (comfort!) food. To which K’vir has tucked into with barely contained relish (he’s a hungry man, okay?), unaware of the grin F’yr is sporting until the bronzerider begins to laugh. He stares at him for a good moment, before his expression shifts into a bemused grin. Laughter follows, but lower and gruffer and finished with a rueful shake to his head. “Speak for yourself,” he counters, smirking now as he takes another mouthful of his stew. Just a little call-out on F’yr, though he’ll add once he’s cleared his mouth. “Care to refresh my memory?” Is that a suggestion for the bronzerider to re-enact the expression of the moment? it is


F'yr would be happy to laugh at himself if K'vir would do him the honor of a replay, such as he's just requested. It makes him grin, and then reach up to stroke his beard in exaggerated thoughtfulness. "I could," he replies to the question agreeably enough, and everyone here surely knows F'yr is not above such antics, but letting his expression go bland in the way he has of expressing some of his deepest humor, he deadpans, "But then you'd know what it looked like and couldn't have plausible deniability if anyone else were to ask you about it." Who would ask K'vir about it? WHY, JUST GUESS. Of course, that same someone could just ask F'yr, but we all know she's too privacy-conscious to pry for realz.

Still, it has F'yr grinning at K'vir as he changes the topic while he plucks up a hunk of bread to set about mopping the bottom of his bowl clean of the last of the stew liquid. "So, was it what you remembered it was like? Or did you have better luck in your youth with the temperament of your runners? You mentioned once, I think, about there having been a particular friend of yours that you went riding with. And learning to shoot, I think you said?" DID HE? MAYBE F'YR IS MISREMEMBERING. Honestly, those early conversations about these things they had in common, though geographically not far removed (they were on the couch then, rather than on the stools surrounding the island), are so temporally removed from the here and now that even the memory of the younger man might well be faulty. It's an invitation to share, to talk, to engage in a more personal way than they had much opportunity to do earlier in the day, given its eventful progression.

K’vir’s brows knit in light puzzlement even as his smirk remains for the brand of humor exchanged between them. WHO, INDEED? It takes a moment and then it clicks and his expression breaks into quiet mirth, a lazier grin now and a knowing understanding under that unvoiced laughter. “You don’t think I can’t play it off?” he asks, as deadpan as he can be in return. LISTEN, even HE KNOWS he would relent under enough pressure to those he cares deeply about; he is a soft-hearted dolt and doesn’t always pick up on the finer nuances of verbal ‘teasing’. Sometimes prying doesn’t even have to happen!

He’s picking at the last of his stew, likely feeling a stitch self-conscious for the gluttonous way he devoured much of it to start. Manners? What’re those!? “Well—“ he drags it out, likely not purposely meaning to tip it in a joking manner and more from actual thought as he goes stumbling back into memories long since hazy from time. “It wasn’t exactly like that.” For a moment, the way he pauses, it may be all that the younger bronzerider receives. If he has any grasp of what K’vir is like by now, if he’s patient, he’ll carry on. He’s cautious and careful, not from lack of trust or desire to share but simply because of who he is — but there are times he is dense, too (this is not such a time). “I was reckless on purpose. My runner was named Calamity,” Remember? “For a reason. Always attracting trouble — ah. Maybe that’s why our outing went as it did? Haven’t escaped that unfortunate curse.” There’s humor there, poking at himself and the obvious logical conclusion that it has nothing to do with his purported habit — and not like they were LOOKING for trouble. It was just shitty luck, all around, but K’vir chuckles all the same.

He may not have said it yet, but despite their misfortune, K’vir enjoyed their time — or at the very least, is taking enjoyment from it now that they’re here, fed and warm. Drifting back on topic, he smiles vaguely. “Yeah, Sharaza and I would go riding. That was a long,” Long. “Time ago. We were just kids.” And kids do reckless things. F’yr hasn’t entirely misremembered and K’vir doesn’t appear to mind filling in or acknowledging those facts. “Learning to use a bow, yes. Ha’ze did try when he was a Candidate, until my parents put an end to it. A Weyrleader’s son doesn’t take lessons from a former renegade or some bullshit like that. They were very unfair to him.” Maybe for good reasons? K’vir still hasn’t forgiven them. Never mind he was maybe… seven Turns old, at best, then? What does a child know of the world? Enough, apparently, to still be bitter despite a deeper understanding now. He makes a dismissive sound low in his throat — enough on that. “What about you? Ever have a day of riding go that sideways?” Your turn to share a little, F’yr!

"Oh, I have no doubt you could," F'yr returns to K'vir, smile in his voice if not on his lips, the tone playful but underscored with sincere belief, "but this way, you won't have to." He's helping you out here, bro. It's not even a chore for him to hold out on you. Nor is it any kind of effort for F'yr to continue to put food of his own away, so probably there's no need to feel self-conscious about quantity of food consumption. Bodies like this do not happen without an appetite to match. Having food to still tuck into (albeit at a slower pace than the initial inhalation) makes it all the easier to wait for K'vir to find the words, not that patience has traditionally been a problem for the younger bronzerider in the past. That K'vir benefits from a patient conversational partner, however, is something F'yr has long since grasped, so there's no sense that the time spent between the first statements and the next is anything unexpected or problematic, either. It's just the two of them here, after all. Unless you count the firelizards. Don't. It's better that way. There's no rush, only ease and comfort now that the other hiccups of the day are behind them.

His lips tug at the idea that their day was all owing to the Man Who Rode Calamity (And Lived), blue eyes warm and amused as he glances up from his bowl to the once-Fortian. The chuckle makes that smile grow wider but this time he resists joining in (probably because he's about to take a bite of his soppy, delicious bread). He chews while he listens, but otherwise K'vir has the whole of his attention. "Who was Sharaza to you?" Not who was she, but rather, what significance does that person hold in K'vir's history. Ha'ze doesn't get an immediate inquiry, perhaps because he's been mentioned before, or perhaps because K'vir elucidates a little voluntarily and maybe he doesn't want to go down that road just this moment, or needs more time to turn it over in his mind before addressing it.

Maybe it's just a deeper conversation than he can start in light of the fact that the older man has turned the question back on him. There's a bemused smile on his lips and his fingers get wiped on his napkin before he pushes his plate back and reaches for his warm drink. "Well, runners weren't our bread and butter, just part of the workforce that kept things moving along. The farm, as large as it is, supports a variety of forms of farming, including bovines. We're all trained up to all sorts because you never know when someone's going to get hurt or sick or vanish and where hands will be most needed. But there are some tasks a youngling just isn't fit for, so going along when it comes time in the season to drive the bovine getting cut from the herd to where they'll be slaughtered and sold," with goods coming in trade or in marks to go back to the farm and be put back into the function of it, no doubt, "is a milestone." Beat. Beat. "And it so happens that I'm the youngest of eleven, and have— had—" it's a quick change, but a change, "—seven brothers, not all of whom went on that particular trip, but all of whom wanted to make sure I was properly inducted to the role." SOUNDS LIKE A JUICY STORY, F'YR. DO GO ON. "Suffice to say I never wanted to go on another bovine drive again." The end. BOOOOOO. Cheater.

On a hummed note of understanding and a vague smirk to go with it, K’vir’s amusement lingers a breath or two longer before letting that first joking banter between them slide. It’s true he shouldn’t feel self-conscious, but that doesn’t always come easy (though perhaps it was more the pace he was setting and not the quantity, really). It’s a relief too, that the younger bronzerider has picked up on some of his quirks; that alone has benefited greatly at keeping things comfortable between them.

It’s funny, isn’t it? K’vir loved that runner, too, despite being too young to fully grasp what the name meant (and all the wonderful opportunities for so many jokes)! His hand pauses for a fraction of a second as he mops up some stew with a chunk of bread but resumes as if nothing happened. Still, it takes several seconds more (and him completing that bite of food) for the bronzerider to gather his thoughts into an answer that is more than a blunt handful of words. “Childhood friend." Simple. nothing is that simple "She was from the Trader families that’d come through Fort for part of the Turn. We were as thick as thieves for awhile, but I lost track of her when I was Searched for Igen.” And time progresses on, as it often does. K’vir’s tone is level, some fondness lurking for old memories — but there is no tone of discomfort or remorse. It was and then it wasn’t, as some friendships go, but she made a mark on K'vir all the same… or he didn't have many friends.

He’ll be all too happy to lapse back into quiet attentiveness as F’yr takes his turn on talking. While his gaze is mostly on finishing the last of the bread he’d taken, it does lift at times to focus with interest on what the bronzerider is sharing. Most of it either makes logical sense in his head or is unsurprising — what he picks to focus on is the milestone. Surprised? don’t be Or he WOULD have, had F’yr not dropped that hook to a JUICY STORY! Oh, ho! Not so fast! Do you think K’vir is just going to let that slide? “I’ll hazard a guess and the drive went bad?” It’s not prying, that prompt. F’yr could easily just acknowledge it with a yes or no, maybe a teensy bit more incriminating information and he’d be satisfied with that! Or he could relent and tell him the whole tale and just make K’vir squirm pay up at the end~

If K'vir wants to paint it as simple, F'yr will accept it. F'yr may not even have a notion that it was anything but. He does offer a half-smile, "Search has a way of uprooting a lot of things." He knows, he lived it. There is, of course, the open invitation pervasive in their conversation that if the older man wishes to come back, to revisit or go more in depth, that he certainly can, but there's F'yrs story next. And then, the younger man levels a thoughtful look on the older man. "You can't imagine?" Maybe that wins points for K'vir? Or maybe it just means F'yr needs to educate his imagination.

"The drive went well. My highlights, however, included more than one tunnelsnake in my sleeping bag," and thank Faranth they're not poisonous, "someone sneaking a powder of shell if I ever want to know what onto my saddle that managed to work itself between the weave of my trousers while I rode and left my—" he cuts off, blushing just a touch in spite of himself, not so much at the term he doesn't get to or the mental image that might call to mind, but rather at the remembered embarrassment, "having my clothes stolen while I was having a quick wash in a cold stream, having my soap replaced with one that one of them had mixed grubs into, and then, of course, all the verbal encouragements along the way."

There's a brief pause in which he takes a sip of his drink before setting it back on the table and leaning a little toward his companion. "Most of my brothers weren't even along, but you know the old 'give them the worst advice but do it convincingly' gag? Let's say it was already old but on that ride it became downright ancient. I gather it was traditional, but being the youngest and— well, me— paying it forward didn't appeal. I laughed then," but not at everything, there's a sense of that, "and it makes for a good story now," does it? "But I left them the drives in future. Not that there weren't those sorts of things back home either, but Mum's Spoon was a fine deterrent for the worst of it."

That's just how things were, his tone says throughout; there's no self-pity here, just the honest telling of how life on the farm wasn't perhaps as picturesque as F'yr's thus-shared personality might lead a person to believe. Everyone has things in their pasts that they choose to leave out, even F'yr. (Makes a person wonder what he's leaving out here.) But there's a distraction offered for K'vir to lead them a distance away from anything that might not bear too much deep examination, "You're… oldest?" He knows at least that K'vir is not an only child, but perhaps the details beyond that aren't yet something that's come to him in more than passing. It might account for the slight lift of brows and study of the older man as if he might be trying to sketch a mental image of what K'vir-as-brother looks like to his siblings.

K’vir is content to let the conversation slide on mutual understanding on how Search uproots and upends one’s life. They may yet return to it in some roundabout way, but he seems more inclined to let F’yr share his story (only fair, right?) and move away from his past for the moment. Can he imagine it? There’s a faint grimace, but amusement flickers in his gaze. No, he can’t imagine it, F’yr, so humor educate him! Reaching for his drink, he’ll lift it to his lips as the younger bronzerider begins to share his story.

Does he have anything to say? Plenty, only he keeps his mouth shut and leaving F’yr uninterrupted while attentively listening. It’s his expressions, few that they are, that give him away; a frown probably for the tunnelsnake (who does that!?), a lone quirked brow for the cut off (and LOOK, he does use his imagination a bit there, if his deepening grimace is an indication), and then tapering more into a bemused and dismayed look. Pranks were never his thing — that this is an apparent tradition is going right over his head. “They definitely went all out for your initiation into that milestone.” Is he giving them credit for their… creativity, at least? Maybe (sorry F’yr). A smirk then, for gags that outlive themselves and he shakes his head, while notably not laughing. Did he even chuckle? “I’d not want to go back on one, either, after all of that. Even if there were some laughs.” So no judgement there. There IS a knowing chuckle, however, for the mention of the threat of Mom's Spoon. THAT, he can grasp! It just might not have involved kitchen utensils.

It’s true that everyone has parts of their pasts best left unsaid by choice. K’vir isn’t pouring out every detail of his life, just as he doesn’t pry any further into F’yr’s woven tale. He’ll welcome the prompt, though there’s a significant pause as his mind mulls over an answer that isn’t simply ‘yes’. “Oldest of…” Now there’s a small frown and some inner fact-checking. “Four. Two are only half-siblings, we share the same father. ” Flight siblings, then. He doesn’t elaborate on who or when or if he’s ever even met them. F’yr might not get much for that sketch, other than K’vir isn’t yielding anything further unless prompted (and correctly, at that).

F'yr's lips twitch just slightly at K'vir's assessment of his younger self's experience and if this conversation were happening with someone else, someone who's acquaintance with F'yr does not include having spent one long night, vulnerable each in their own way, with a variety of dark thoughts after near-disaster, he would let it lie. But this is K'vir. So, one hand lifts to rub his knuckles along the line of his jaw before scratching into the short hairs and then offering the words that are still not the easiest thing to give even when he's willing to. "The laughs," he says and there's a small pause, a soberness to his voice along with some shrouded feeling in those blue eyes, not for this moment but for what was, "were a shield. It's not a hard lesson to learn that if you don't laugh, even when you're about to piss yourself, that it gets worse." With so many siblings, apparently not all of whom were the kind of person anyone would choose as a sibling, surely young Stefyr had plenty of opportunity to practice. Maybe that's why he can lie so fluidly when he wants to… not that he has much since coming to Xanadu.

That, that he not so much corrects as adjusts in view, isn't something he wants to linger on though. In fact, he seems either ignorant (or maybe just willfully so) that siblings might not be the easiest of topics for the bronzerider either, and asks with a genuine, holder-stock curiosity, "How did that work for you? I mean, I know, " because he's lived in a Weyr a while now, "that all different riders kind of do things all different ways. But…" But he's never had that, a half-sibling or any of the things somewhat unique to them. Maybe he'll be able to parallel it all to his uncles and aunts and cousins that were just as much residents of the farm as he was, but who can say. Maybe K'vir won't answer him at all. He'd let him not, of course, but there is something about that earnest 'just-looking-to-learn-something' face that might be a little endearing or convincing.

Soberness is mirrored by K’vir despite having not uttered a single word to interject; he can afford the same patience given him so the younger man has the chance to gather his thoughts. Brows knit in a heavy frown, his features settling not in sympathy but understanding (and disapproval, perhaps for the actions of his siblings) — despite having never experienced something of that nature himself. He readies to say something and them fumbles in finding the right words (or figures that all he has are not the ‘right’ ones). Exhaling heavily, he merely grimaces while giving F’yr a look to acknowledge that he grasps what was shared, but otherwise does not push further into the topic (yet). It doesn't make it any less important, because it IS important; but words are never K'vir's strength.

Instead he finds himself stumbling in a new way, under the weight of the inquiry put to him. He doesn’t mind (and probably can’t resist the earnest face F’yr’s adopted), so much as that he’s struggling to wrap his head around how to explain what ‘simply-is’ to him. “Uh, well…” K’vir begins, jaw working slightly as he takes a breath or two. Slow and steady~ “It just happened? I actually didn’t know about Elynthoria until after she was born. I was already long gone from Fort and our lives … actually never really intersected. It’s similar with Khythrin. He’s four Turns,” The age gap is brought up only for significance to the ‘distance’ K’vir feels towards all his siblings. “And I’ve seen him, briefly, only a few times.” There’s a shrug for that. Time and life circumstances have worked against any sibling-bonds. “As for Elladyr and Aranthi - my full siblings - we’re six Turns apart. I’ve few memories of us as kids, but I was gone for much of their lives too.” He smirks faintly, leaning back in his seat as he settles in comfortably despite the mildly awkwardly-personal conversation. Was that the answer F’yr was seeking?

If F'yr finds anything lacking in K'vir's lack of right words (spoiler alert: he doesn't), there's no trace of it in his expression of body language. Whether or not this is the kind of answer the man was looking for is hard to say because it's quite likely that F'yr, as is so often his wont, didn't have any particular expectations in mind when he asked. "It seems like that'd be easy to have happen, once you're living somewhere removed from the day-to-day of your blood kin." There's no judgement from F'yr, only his mental reach to ascribe explanations to what facts were given him.

"It seems different, to me, in a Weyr, when it comes to blood mattering at all. The weyrbrats," with whom he's certainly spent time playing or otherwise helping out with because SORRYNOTSORRY F'yr likes kids and misses the passel of them that he had daily contact with back home, "seem to treat one another by and large like my younger cousins all treated each other. And I suppose like my agemates and I must've once done." When they were 'kids' as opposed to being the very grown up versions of themselves that they would have been when F'yr left the farm at the RIPE OLD AGE of 21 or so.

Rather than offer K'vir the run down on his bevy of bloodkin, he offers, "I was mostly close with just a couple of my siblings, but we all had some kind of relationship." Clearly, given the story, some more pleasant in variety than others. "I was closest with my brother, Daro, who was just a few turns older than me, and one of my sisters, Seyfae. She was older than us, but not so old that she didn't still seem more like a friend than another parent." Some of the horde definitely seemed that, judging by his tone. "Saving those two, though… I really don't think I was seen by my family. More like I was number twelve of twelve." This might be an intentional turn to the conversation. "I value that about the relationships I'm building here. That I'm seen, you know?" Does he? It's a real question, brows lifting a little, body leaning just a touch toward this one who is included in that 'relationships' word.

“You’re not wrong,” K’vir answers that much easily, along with a light scoff of amusement for the statement. Living as far away as he has, it was just accepted that time marched on without him in the lives of his siblings and extended family. He chafed against it once, the delay in knowing of the changes and addition of new half-siblings, but has since accepted it as another ‘just is’ fragment of his own life.

He tilts his head slightly, mildly thoughtful while lifting his drink up to his lips. His gaze remains on F’yr while he talks, the barest change in expression marking another silent nod of agreement to Weyrs and the matters of blood. K’vir likes kids too and that much should be obvious given his own brood — and how only ONE, Kyriel, technically shares his blood and yet he loves them all equally as his own. “I’d never considered looking at other weyrbrats like cousins. It’s not entirely different, I guess? But it’s true that blood never really factored in.” Not always. The way K’vir grimaces suggests that it wasn’t always the case with him.

He listens in comfortable silence next, intrigue and attentiveness clear on his expression as F’yr expands on the important relationships among his many siblings. There’s a faint smile for that, for both Daro and Seyfae; he may not be close with his own kin, but he can appreciate the bonds others have with theirs. His features shift to a more pensive look when the mention of being seen is brought up — that gives him pause, as he tumbles it about, withdrawn in his study of that concept. Is this similar or different to his own experiences? “I think I understand…?” he offers tentatively, reaching out with that not-quite question as much as he’s shifting a little towards F’yr in turn. “One among so many. It would be difficult at times, wouldn’t it?” It’s a gentle nudge for elaboration, but comes with no expectations, as he will always respect it if the young bronzerider isn’t ready yet to cross certain topics in depth; there’s plenty yet that K’vir hasn’t even begun to broach on his side.

"Unless it is?" That's F'yr picking up on the exceptions to the rule of blood not mattering. He does add as he sets his mug down, "We don't have to talk about it," to make sure K'vir knows that whatever he asks, however he prompts, the younger man will never hold a decision not to answer against him. In fact, one hand moves to cover K'vir's nearest, in a light touch of the same reassurance, but also connection. The hand might go, or it might stay, depending on just what K'vir seems to prefer and only after K'vir has responded to the rest does F'yr suggest, "Want to take our drinks to the couch?" He nods toward the nearer-to-the-fire and softer seating across the room, but there's no pressure to go if the man isn't finished. "We can have our dessert there," though is literal sweetening of the deal. This is not, of course, a 'no' to elaboration, but F'yr will wait to say more until the answer has come and they've relocated.

Once there and settled, with a blanket to share, and a table tugged near enough to put up socked feet so the fire can toast their toes while they split the tray of spiced redfruit bake with nuts and plumped raisins, topped with an oat blend that gives it a nice, crispy bite, F'yr comes back around to the question, the clarification, whatever it was. "This is an example." There's a little hiccup where F'yr probably cuts out the words 'kind of' or 'sort of' because it is. "You're here, listening to what I have to say. Maybe you're thinking about ten other things, but it feels like you're present, and more than that like what I say is something you're interested to hear, something you find value in, maybe regardless of the content. I mean, unless I start discussing the filing system." The one that doesn't exist. Actually, strike that, judging by the flash of a grin, there's probably more than one good story there despite all obvious probabilities for the topic in general.

Initially, K’vir’s expression holds relief when F’yr reassures him that they don’t have to talk about it. In the next breath, brows settle into a frown and his jaw tenses, but works in a way that tells that he’s thinking on it. Reassurance is welcomed, the connection between their hands reaffirmed by a slight tilt in his to briefly draw their fingers together in a firmer hold. He’s still working on a reply to that prompt, which is slowed and delayed by the offer, gaze following the nod to the softer seating. Drinks and desserts? SOLD! no need to sweeten the deal

Settled now under that shared blanket, K’vir will lean in comfortably, closer with the ease of familiarity, legs stretched out and crossed at the ankles; no protests either in splitting the tray of that delicious spiced redfruit bake! He’s listening between bites, as F’yr starts on his example and offers his own dry chuckle for the grin surrounding the non-existent filing system. “I think I’m grasping what you’re getting at here too?” IS HE? He’s well aware of his shortcomings; often when he thinks he’s on track, K’vir’s actually somewhere far off in another neck of the woods, so to speak. “Not that I don’t want to talk about it.” The question asked. “It’s just — a lot of it is from old memories and from when I was too young to know better.” So he’s trying to parse what could’ve been child-K’vir’s view versus his understanding of the world now. “For the most part, I was just any other weyrbrat or any other kid — but sometimes it’d come around that I am the Weyrleader’s son. I always hated it.” For a variety of reasons he doesn’t immediately elaborate on, but he does help himself to more of that dessert!

"I take it-" F'yr begins, carefully making his tone bland, but leaning a little closer in case this form of teasing doesn't sit well but then, K'vir is Risali's weyrmate, so F'yr is pretty sure he's safe, "-that it's not what the Harper romances would lead us to believe? A charmed life as the great man's son, or a cursed life in his shadow that finds absolution from all childhood wrongs in the moment of impression to his very own bronze?" The younger man puts appropriate color of swoon into his tone, which is really a very comedic effect on F'yr.

He shamelessly flashes a grin to K'vir and then takes another (heaping) bite of dessert - maybe this datey will end with duelling forks for the last bite. "I've always thought those plots a little ridiculous, though some people have told me not. That magic moment thing always strikes me as particularly laughable. Maybe I'm just not old enough to have seen it in action, but impressing Glori has been the closest thing I've experienced to an instant change, and even then there were months and months of learning how to be together, you know?" This opens a variety of topics but still leaves open the door to the one they were on — and probably, maybe, he'll get back to the other eventually. There's no sense that this is purposeful redirection, but rather just following the flow of the conversation where it readily leads.

F’yr will really have to step up his teasing game to really ruffle K’vir’s feathers the wrong way! He’s been Risali’s weyrmate for Turns now! He’s kind of numb to all forms of shenanigans — kind of. Sometimes if the timing is wrong, he’ll be more likely to have his hackles up than laugh along. That is not one of those moments and the teasing is met with a good, firm, elbowing or even the sudden shouldering to give the younger bronzerider a good shove bump. He smirks, eyes flashing with amusement to a topic that would’ve once brought a mixed bag of reactions. “Don’t believe everything the Harpers say.” GASP. Blasphemy! It’s evident enough that he’s teasing for the most part — adding to it with a genuine grimace of distaste. “… do they actually write stuff like that?” Stuff carrying an inflection that suggests he had a far more rude word in mind.

Don’t think for a second he would back down from a duel— over the last bites of dessert. HE WILL FIGHT YOU, F’YR! Or be the sweet sinnamon roll he is and share (let’s face it, it’s probably going to be that). He scoffs lightly when F’yr at least considers the stories to be ridiculous (they are!), but lapses into quiet thought as the conversation goes on. “Yeah.” He does know. “It’s not something you can easily explain to most and the reality of it is probably nothing that folk really want to read or hear. Doesn’t mesh with the visions they’ve got.” K’vir uses his free hand to tap a few fingers to the side of his temple, for further emphasis. “Of course, I’m a hypocrite. I had all those thoughts and dreams at the age I was Searched. Wasn’t at all prepared for the shock that came after the dust settled and reality set in.”

"They do," F'yr answers with both apology and regrettable personal knowledge. It might beg the question of why or how F'yr can speak to such certainties when he's putting off all the air of one who doesn't enjoy the genre, but he's not about to stop there where there's a ready 'in' for that kind of question. He won't even take another bite of dessert before he responds to the rest to ensure there's another topic or at least adjacent idea out there. "Well, of course. It seems only reasonable if they're going to fill our heads with tales about that kind of thing that we, per force," someone's been using his dictionary~ "believe such things are possible."

"I used to daydream about dragonrider heroes. I think becoming one— a dragonrider," IF NOT A HERO?? 'SCUSE YOU, F'YRSOME, TALK TO YOUR LIFEMATE ABOUT THAT~~ "was a bit out of my range for things I could daydream in a way that didn't feel silly. But for you… I mean, it's the family business. I don't think anyone would call you hypocrite for being the person they write so fantastically about. I'm sure it was a mixed bag, like all life is." LISTEN, this is sort of a F'yr pep talk even if K'vir neither wants nor needs it. There's a rueful sort of look when F'yr seems to realize he's been listening to himself talk a bit. "Sorry," is a little bemused but genuine. "You don't need me to tell you." Of course.

There would be questions had K'vir received a chance to mull on that apology and regrettable personal knowledge. What is he missing here? It doesn't register strong enough to merit a full-stop and soon he's swept up in the course of conversation and all the variable shifts. "You made it sound like an actual law," he mutters affectionately and with a faint grimace more out of amusement than actual disapproval. "Why did it feel silly?" K'vir will ask, a touch abruptly but with enough curiosity to make the blunder almost adorable forgivable; if not the slightly dismayed look that follows when the answer strikes him a breath later. "… I guess it was more 'dream' that real chance?" Is that it? He makes a face at 'family business', but he doesn't fault F'yr for the sort-of pep talk angle. Apology is met with another gentle elbowing — all is forgiven, even if there wasn't any real faux pas. "Well, I'm not a hero?" ZEKATH WOULD BEG TO DIFFER AS WELL~ "And my… start as a rider wasn't story-like." Maybe a cautionary tale, more like!

Belatedly, he circles back, speaking up after a brief pause (and another bite of dessert). "You're right, I don't need you to tell me — but it's also fine." Pause. "Since it's you." Anyone else would've likely irked the bronzerider into a chilled, irritated, silence but he has, thus far, remained warm and amiable to F'yr's choice in topics.

One hand waves, even as F'yr chuckles. "I've been filing contracts this seven." Unlike some, he does actually like to skim at least whatever he's set to getting organized and stored. "Ended up getting a dictionary from one of the Harpers to brush up on all those phrases that aren't really necessary to say what a person means. With words like that, you wonder if Harpers are just making sure commonfolk can't do it for themselves. My Da couldn't, certainly." There's something wry about the ideas presented, but not without an underlying note of seriousness.

"I guess that is sort of why it felt silly. Mum did the best she could with all of us, but with so many and only the Harper who rode through on their circuit… I mean, before Risa offered me a job in the office, I didn't—" He stops, corrects, goes on, "Couldn't read much. If it felt like a stretch to think I might be able to apprentice to a Beastcrafter, with my background, becoming a dragonrider seemed an even more distant star to shoot for." There's a little smile that is more sad than not, but in a 'that's just life' rueful sort of way. "In hindsight, really, I think I wish I'd been picked up by that Harper that rode the circuit, but it never would have happened. Not after we snitched his favorite blue hat and put it on our favorite goat… who ate it. Naturally." It's the kind of memory he can grin about now, even if those choices made differently may have sent F'yr's life a whole other way.

"Your start," he finally comes back, "might not have been the sort like Harpers write about, but more interesting to me than any of that rubbish." F'yr remembers, that K'vir's early beginnings were really the first conversation they ever had. One hand moves to nudge a thigh with his knuckles, but then he's reaching back for his fork lest he lose his shot at a few more bites. "Is there anything you didn't tell me in that first conversation we had about your beginnings as a rider that you'd tell me now that I'm hook-line-and-sinker for this life and a lot less easy to spook?" A lot less easy than that time he came to K'vir during weyrlinghood, even. After all, Glorioth has been flying after greens and golds a while now, and he's yet to spontaneously manage to impale a senior gold, thank every star and Faranth too.

“I wonder if we’ve got the ears on every Harper in the Weyr burning yet.” K’vir muses, though he almost seems inclined to ask about the dictionaries and the rest. Almost. Wryness is similarly met, but the topic isn’t followed, allowing it to draw back to the threads of past, hopes and dreams. “Your farm was that remote?” Is this a detail he would have known, but has lapsed on? There’s no judgment or look of surprise for admitting to not having the skill to read. He focuses on threading the pieces F’yr shares to knit a more cohesive whole, silent in his thoughts but still present. Present enough to offer a hearty chuckle for the incident of the hat and goat. “Guess it couldn’t be forgiven that youths will do seemingly harmless idiotic things.” he muses, assuming that it was never the intention for the hat to be eaten. “So the Crafts were more of a realistic goal? Still unattainable but not out of the realm of possibility entirely?”

F’yr is wise to hurry to snag a few of those remaining bites, while K’vir is distracted both by the nudge to his thigh and the prompt. Is he a little sheepish? YES. YES HE IS! It’s not everyday he has someone say his experiences are interesting! look at that adorable faint blush! He lightly clears his throat, gaze wandering upwards and away as he works on that answer. What he starts with is a teasing jab. “Are you?” Less easy to spook, F’yr? LOOK, K’vir believes him but he’s going to give him a stare all the same.

"Fairly remote," F'yr nods. There's something a little distant in his face, and then a sight shake of his head, "Think maybe I've thought enough of them, just now," the implicit, 'if that's alright' is left to hang, with some small measure of apology. There wasn't anything wrong with K'vir's question, and they've been talking about it, so his explanation is gentle, "I haven't been home. Since I Impressed. Sometimes, I can talk about them and feel alright… sometimes, not." It's complicated, he's simply hit his 'limit' for today. Maybe that's why K'vir is left to assume the answer about the attainability of crafts and the reality of dreams; he's spot on though, and maybe the reassuring squeeze aimed for his arm or thigh is meant to subtly communicate that even as the younger man departs from the topic.

TRUE, the above does not lend itself well to being less easy to spook, unless one looks at it as that F'yr, knowing his limits in a way he didn't before, has managed to gently flag the progress toward one before smacking into it. That is some kind of progress. "About some things," F'yr can answer with a silent exhale of laugh that doesn't quite become one, humility there for all that it was a tease. Maybe K'vir has no one to blame but himself between looking adorable and ribbing F'yr that the man catches up one of the last remaining bits of cream and aims it as its own sort of kiss to K'vir's mouth. It's about the only amount of roughhousing that won't (theoretically) upset what remains of dessert. Will that teach K'vir to stare so effectively at the younger man?

It’s always alright. K’vir will very rarely ever push; it took him several long Turns to have that lesson click but it’s stuck so far. The cue is met with an understanding nod and the vaguest of smiles to reassure, in time with that squeeze to his thigh. “That’s fine, F’yr.” he murmurs, no lack of genuine tone to his voice — he means it. Complicated, hitting limits … that’s all the sort of ‘walls’ the older bronzerider is familiar with.

Progress isn’t always linear and sometimes, in K’vir’s case, it is — but a very painstakingly slow forward crawl. He offers another light smile for the silent exhale, perhaps looking all the more adorable when he looks momentarily perplexed by the ‘kiss’ of cream. Is it the expression or the blush that does it? At least he takes it in stride, wiping the cream away from his lips almost by reflex with a quick pass of his tongue. Lesson learned? Hardly. He’ll just be cautious in the future~ Would there be room for retaliation? If there was, K’vir doesn’t jump upon the opportunity, ‘yielding’ by leaving the last of the fruit dessert for the younger man to enjoy. “I’ll try not to spook you again,” he muses, with an unspoken promise to try being the key. Where were they? Who knew a ‘kiss’ of cream could so effectively unravel his thoughts? where did they go? “I remember we talked a bit about my experiences. When I went through Weyrlinghood and a bit after that, right? Was there… anything that stuck out that you wanted to know more?” It’s a tentative offer, but offered all the same based on the trust already built between them.

SOME PERSON might have called this a missed opportunity. In fact, she did. But it's just not the right moment for F'yr to go chasing the cream with something more interesting than his finger. LIKE LIPS, RISA. LIKE LIPS. But what is won in the moment is some laughter from the younger man as K'vir takes it in stride. In fact, it makes K'vir the recipient of one of F'yr's warmly affectionate grins, like K'vir in that moment is the best sight of the day. It's not even because of that sweeping tongue action, either. STOP LAUGHING, RISA.

"We talked about impressing, about weyrlinghood and your having been very young and what that meant for you." The younger man sums up their first meeting. "And then we talked about how you handle the stress of knowing you could become Weyrleader with one mischance in a flight." MISchance, you see? No high and mighty aspirations linger here. F'yr is quite happy to be a glorified secretary in Quasar Wing, tyvm, he has no need to LEAD it. Keep that bad juju to yo'self, R'hyn. "I did take your advice, you know. Researched all the wings, their histories and leadership in depth before I went though each one— or as I did, in some cases. Some of the long-time riders had quite the colorful set of anecdotes to add to the—" DRY, "—recorded history." There's no sense that F'yr is telling K'vir this to gratify him, but does it? That F'yr listened and did as the older man suggested without ever pausing to consider that maybe his was just one view of many? Or maybe he did consider that and did it anyway because it was a good or important piece— or maybe just because it seemed important to K'vir? With F'yr, it could be any or all of these reasons.

"There were things that stuck out to me later as things you… may have glossed over, either because they were personal or because I was spooked enough," in either situation, really, because although he wasn't spooked per se during candidacy, he was nervy about the whole thing. "I don't want to ask you to share anything you don't want to," the hard stuff particularly, this doesn't have to be that kind of talk, "But I wasn't sure if there was anything you would want to share that expands my understanding," of you, is implicit, "now that I'm not where I was and now that we're not where we were." You know, back when they were just a guy who had kissed another guy's weyrmate. NBD.

Who said there won’t be other opportunities? don’t waggle those brows now Laughter and warmly affectionate grins are welcomed and K’vir relaxes further under it; there may even be a smile in return that holds a sliver of that affection reflected back.

K’vir quietly follows along as F’yr covers, in brief, their previous conversations. There’s a flicker of a grimace at the use of ‘MISchance’ and some relief that that isn’t immediately broached again. Does he think discussing it too much would bring misfortune on either of their heads? maybe Caught off-guard is more likely than any feeling of gratification (initially, perhaps) to learn that F’yr took his advice. Sure, he’s a Wingsecond and it shouldn’t be new to him — since one would HOPE that his fellow Wingriders follow his suggestions, along with instructions. It’s different, so very different, with F’yr. “Did they?” he utters in a voice not quite clear of that faint bewilderment. Recovering in the next breath, his features relax as he exhales and adds in a dryly amused tone. “Do I want to know?”

“Might have been both.” Blunt is that interjected admission, but his mouth curves in an apologetic slant. K’vir’s version of an unsaid ‘sorry but not sorry, F’yr, for glossing over details’. Leaning back into the couch, his brows knit in thoughtful consideration as his gaze drifts to no particular point within the room. “It’s not so much that I don’t want to share? More … I don’t know where to start. I’d rather not ramble.” Give him some parameters to work with here, F’yr! K’vir glances back to the younger bronzerider, a very small shrug following. “If something comes up that I don’t feel I can answer,” Uncomfortable, basically. “Then I won’t.” And then they’ll just skirt around it and to something else. Simple enough, right?

"No," is solidly returned as F'yr lets his expression go deadpan. "I think it's best I give you plausible deniability on that, too." The stories from the older wing riders. But then F'yr's grin flashes back to life as he adds, "Besides, half or more were probably exaggerating terribly or flat out telling tales to a gullible and eager weyrling." K'vir has met some of the general population of Xanadu, has he not? Is it really that outlandish a notion?

That request of K'vir's sounds simple enough coming out of the older man's mouth, and yet, of course, the first thing F'yr has to say is thoroughly unhelpful to the cause, but perhaps not to the greater point of the day - the getting to know one another and just having some fun. "I don't think I've heard you ramble." Beat. "I've heard you claim to be rambling." There's a playful nudge for all that the rest of the words seem sincere. "I like hearing about you, and— well, whatever you feel like telling me." That's probably in a very general sense, not pointedly about the older man. Still, the way F'yr is finishing that last bite finally and setting the plate aside to trade it for a drink and then slouch down just a little to look up at K'vir with his warm, encouraging smile, that would definitely be worth a nudge if it weren't so darned genuine and adorable, he's clearly waiting for K'vir to pick something.

"Is there anything we haven't gotten round to talking about that you think I should know about you?" He relents that much after a moment, though maybe the question packs a slightly bigger punch that K'vir was ready to field. If it takes the man time to answer, he'll find F'yr (as he usually is) patient while thoughts are examined.

K’vir has met some of the general population and it really isn’t that outlandish of a notion. Which is why the scoff he gives is lighthearted and so is the smirk and half-roll of his eyes to the grinned response F’yr gives him. FINE! Have your “secrets” (that he really wouldn’t ever push for anyhow).

He grunts under his breath for the playful nudge, smirk changing more to a gentled and faint, smile. “I try not to ramble.” he repeats again, amused yet hinting there are reasons he does not; F’yr may yet learn why, without the bronzerider having to (awkwardly, messily) explain himself. Brows lift in mild surprise, “Not used to hearing that.” he admits, bluntly direct in the face of honesty — it’s not a move on his part to garner sympathy or pity. It merely… is.

Settling in, K’vir will cross his arms loosely over his chest, with one hand lagging to scrub along the curve of his jaw. F’yr probably does earn a nudge for the genuine and adorable look or it could be brushed off as an “accidental” bump from him shifting to get comfortable. It takes time, only because of the weight of options before relenting, at last, on one thread. “I’ll tell you something then that I don’t bring up to anyone.” Except ONE and she already knows. K’vir allows that to drift, not for any purpose other than to prepare the rest of the words he’s gathering.

“Impressing so young messed with my head,” They touched on that already and his retelling becomes more ponderous and hesitant as he continues. “Even when I graduated and in a Wing, I … didn’t know how to be anything other than what I thought I was. Wingrider. Bronzerider. Easy enough to live in the walls of a box, act as you’re expected to be, when that’s all you think there is or what you were meant for. I still struggle with it,” he admits with the barest of grimaces and shrugs to follow. “Worse,” his voice grows softer, more hoarse. “Is that I want to try to step out of the boundaries I created but I don’t know how — or I’m not sure that it’s what I want.” What K'vir cannot grasp or explain simply is this: it's an identity crisis he's dealing with.

"I'll tell you, when you need to hear it." F'yr's answer holds no pity or sympathy, simply… fact. The soft smile lingers as he looks up at K'vir - not overly gooey, mind, just an open warmth that's probably a much better look on him than the other would be. He sips on his drink, but when the lead in for K'vir's choice of sharing is that, his brows tick up and his head tips a little in inquiry. He's not quite wide-eyed about being accorded such a place among… apparently no one (or just one), but he certainly is offering space for whatever this thing is that the older man is gathering himself to share. If the weight of him shifts just a little to be more against K'vir, it's probably less silent bolstering and more silent reassurance that he's here, whatever K'vir says or chooses not to say; he wouldn't hold either against his companion.

The first words cause those brows to go knitting down in consideration, but not judgment. As he goes on though, F'yr shifts enough to set his drink down again and when he comes back, he's sitting up a little straighter, turning so he's facing K'vir, one leg drawing up on the couch and shin pressing against K'vir's thigh, while one arm rests along the back of the couch where F'yr was leaning moments before. The other hand comes up to— stroke his beard thoughtfully? No, not quite, to cover the lower half of his face. Why? Because smiling as his eyes are indicating he's doing when K'vir's voice is growing softer and more hoarse is not an appropriate reaction to the obvious eye. He's trying so hard not to, but his eyes are giving him away. And the hffhf he chokes back is not going to help things either. BUT, before things can go all the way to a greater level and more emotional kind of shit than the earlier part of their day, he's revealing the smile and reaching the hand to K'vir's knee, a bid for extending a little of the rope F'yr might yet hang himself on.

"I'm sorry," is real but more helpless than regretful; that's for his reaction. The next, "I'm sorry that you struggle with that," is just as real, but manages to express properly in tone of voice how genuine that empathy is for the older man. "I'm—" LAUGHING, he's trying so hard to extinguish the smile that's threatening to become grin (and he should probably get a pillow to the face for all this), "I can relate. Probably a lot better to that than you can imagine." Currently, anyway. His brows lift a little, perhaps asking for more of the patience so he can explain (which he will, but he's not about to roll right over K'vir's confession, and his hand only leaves the older man's knee to seek his hand instead, intending to interlace fingers with him if he's willing. Contact that might convey better than his words his deep understanding of that problem.

With the amount of concentration it takes him to get the words out, K’vir isn’t wholly aware of the change in F’yr’s expressions or that he shifts to lean more against him (and that he, in turn, leans back). Even when that position changes, the bronzerider is too into his own head to take in those hints and signs. It’s the eyes that give it away first, when K’vir finally makes eye contact again. His brows knit in puzzlement and the grim, thin press of his mouth follows with that choked back amusement. It deepens, touched with very distant flashes of temper, with the helpless apology and all that follows — there’s no pillow to the face or disgruntled shift of F’yr’s hand off his knee (which is a GOOD SIGN that lines haven’t been mistakenly crossed).

For all the sour expression he adopts, it’s wiped immediately away once it CLICKS and K’vir realizes what has drawn such a reaction from F’yr. INSTANT FORGIVENESS! Isn’t he lucky? It could’ve gone so wrong, but isn’t that the theme of their day so far? It still takes him a moment to shake off that renewed tension, those mistaken knee-jerked emotions, with a heavy exhale and scoff. “You can?” he asks, unable to keep the tiniest sliver of disbelief out of his voice. Another steadying breath, a blink to not only clear his focus but his head as well. Two words to prompt the agreement of patience and the invitation for F’yr to continue; K’vir is listening with full attention. His gaze lowers to the contact sought between their hands, the gesture accepted with less hesitation than in his words.

It could have gone so wrong, and F'yr is fortunate that K'vir was able to so readily forgive - even if it takes a moment to shake of the start of the knee-jerk reaction. "I really can. Differently, of course, but…" He lets his eyes drift toward the ceiling and then draws them back to give a smile to the older man. "Try to picture this," he almost coaxes, or at least invites with the warmth of one who feels a new layer of bond with this other, a new piece of trust, a new way the puzzle pieces of their souls seem to lock together. It takes him back to the farm, and for this, he will go there, despite the earlier stated boundary. "I was born to be a farmer. I was born to a very specific role with varied duties and raised for nothing but doing that. From the day I was born, my future contributions were in the books, anticipated to be able to increase the yield of production, to take on a set number of animals that could be added to herds, a number of acres that could be put to one crop or another because if I grew into half the man my oldest brother was already becoming, I could do the work to make those things feasible. That was my box."

"In my box," he makes the shape with his hands in the air between them, "I had set duties and roles. More than that, I could predict what was wanted of me. One day, I would pick one of the girls from the neighboring farms and marry and have children who would be numbers of beasts and acres of field. Or I would remain unmarried and help my brothers and sisters who stayed on with their kids. Work the land until I was buried under it." His hands come together. "I'd have suffocated in it, but I'd have done it because that was the only box I knew, the only thing I knew how to be." The younger man's hands drop to K'vir's thigh, fingers picking gently along the seam at the side of his pants for something to do.

"I really only left because the girl I thought I loved married my favorite brother, and I couldn't stay and poison their joy with my—" Hate? "Lack of it," he settles on, shrugging. "So there I was, and then I was at the Weyr. And I had no idea how to be any of the things I suddenly was supposed to be. A Weyr resident. A gardener. A single man. An adult without kin to see to everything that had been the living breathing work of a community. And I struggled, and I was terrified, and I got so many things wrong." The laugh comes brief, but very real, "I decided, because I had no idea who I was or who I was supposed to be, that I would say 'yes' to every opportunity that came my way, no matter what it was. Try everything. See what was right for me."

Here he makes sure he has K'vir's eyes and says deadpan, "And that is how my very first dragon flight ever was on Leirith. How I almost lost my lunch on Risali's shoes. How I earned my first real 'badass' from Leirith, and probably, in a way, how we're even sitting here, today." And, "I was scared sick. And I still struggle. Though Glori's been helpful," if a person can believe that anything about that dragon could be helpful to anyone, even his own lifemate. The smile is wry but real. Then he winds to a stop, giving K'vir a chance to gather words, to get any in edgewise.

K’vir is not good with picturing things, but from the way he turns in his seat, to angle himself closer to F’yr, suggests that he is wanting to try. He feels that same pull of new pieces, a new shape to this bond and the trust stretched and woven between them. Where it takes them after this is an unknown, but one the older bronzerider is willing to follow. Listening, he does not interrupt, though his features occasionally shift and change under the new perspective laid out; for once, he feels the threads of understanding in a deeper way. Their lives were so vastly different, but this? He can get his head around this without his usual blundering.

His gaze follows the movements of F’yr’s hands, the shape they make and when they come together. It drops to where they drop to his thighs and for the longest moment he does nothing. Not until one of his hands come to rest over the younger’s, gripping in a firm squeeze. Does K’vir understand the need to leave too? Maybe. He’ll listen to the very end, even meeting F’yr’s eyes and trying hard not to smirk for the tale of his first ride on Leirith and the aftermath — he partially fails, his lips twitching before he can keep it under wraps. It is a lot to process, but it doesn’t take him as long; just a few steady breaths, a little span of thoughtful, comfortable, silence. “No wonder you were so…” he begins, falters a half-second before giving a half-smile, dryly amused. “Easily spooked.” Not that he ever held it against F’yr. “Zekath was helpful for me too.” So there’s that, at least, that K’vir won’t be questioning just how Glorioth is helpful; he tends not to ever question anyone’s bond with their dragon, no matter how opposite.

“Do you…” K’vir hesitates now, brows furrowing as he almost considers dropping what he was going to say, before the resolve settles and he inhales, shoulders setting in determination to follow through. His gaze holds an apologetic edge, even as he bluntly puts the rest of his thoughts out. Will it be too much? Too soon? Poorly executed? He won’t know, but the need to ask was too sharp and prevalent for him to ignore. “…like what you’ve become, the changes you’ve undergone?” Any regrets, F’yr? K’vir apparently wants to know.

There's no objection, of course, to the connection made with hands on hands. It's more than likely appreciated even if such gratitude doesn't manifest in word or action. Probably, F'yr meant to get that smirk from K'vir with that particular choice of a time yes got him into trouble. "You don't know the half of it," F'yr's rueful response to being easily spooked comes after the words about dragons, but before the question - and yet he's not immediate in expounding (though he will).

After K'vir articulates his question, the younger man's lips tug into a smile that touches his eyes. "I remember one day some jerk asked me why I was standing. I gave him what I thought was my answer — what I thought it was supposed to be, and he pushed me. And that understanding of the new box I was trying to build myself into just crumpled like a house of cards, touched in just the right place. I felt destroyed." There's echo of that moment, that feeling in his voice, perhaps enough to tug heartstrings. "I went to R'hyn. I fell apart." This is important. Important because, "He didn't help me rebuild my box." FAILURE~~~ BUT NO, IN TRUTH: "What he did was help me recognize that even though it hurt, even though every moment of being unmade from all my own expectations was agony and grief and a mourning for someone I'd never wanted to be but always expected I would become, when I made choices that started to build a real foundation for who I wanted to be, I didn't need walls to box me in. I needed something else." And here it gets a little more complicated.

F'yr flips his hands and rubs gently across K'vir's palms. "What I eventually sorted out was that walls weren't as good as touchstones, or— Cardinal directions, people who helped me keep my orientation in the world. It's less confining, which is scary, but freeing all at once." He doesn't apologize when he tells K'vir, "Risali is one of those for me." She always, always will be that for him, no matter the nature of their relationship. "R'hyn's another," and wryly, "Ila, too, but in a different way. I imagine I'll find more, you know? But…" He flips one of K'vir's hands, laying it palm up in his and brings his other hand to trace a pattern there, from between middle and ring finger to wrist, from web of the thumb across to the outer edge. He doesn't stop there, he draws more, at the North-East, the SouthWest, and the rest. "It's not even a flat thing, because Ila feels more like the sea floor when I'm floating atop it." Does any of this make sense? He might not be sure but he shrugs, and finally answers K'vir's question.

"I make mistakes. I try things I find I don't like. I get hurt. I sometimes hurt people I care about. And that sucks. All of those things suck, in their own ways. But overall…" Blue eyes cast upward a moment to be sure of his words, sure of his answer, "There are things I wish I'd done with greater care, with more thought or understanding, but no. I'm— happier, this way. Happy this way. It's not perfect. I'm not sure it will ever be perfect, but one of the things about going through all that shit to get out of the box— or at least, to reshape them, is that if something's not working, I feel like I can go make mistakes until I sort out what's right, or at least, what's better." It's not always true, of course, but that's life. Now he'll fall into silence because there was so much more delivered there than what he started with and he's going to give K'vir whatever time he wants or needs to digest it all.

Did he have an inclination of just how deep of an answer he’d receive? K’vir wasn’t entirely prepared for so much at once and he’ll be an attentive listener even as his mind spins and his thoughts stall to a glacial crawl. Overwhelmed, without a doubt, but digging his proverbial heels in to be there as F’yr shares such a trusted piece of himself. It’s important — all of it is important! Despite all his efforts, his expression turns grim and tight with tension.

Needed something else? That draws his spiralling focus away from crumpled boxes and not rebuilding — and of mourning one's self. Maybe he’d already brushed on something close to those lines? It certainly stings, but he’s spared further reflection as their hands meet again. K’vir focuses on that as an anchor, inhaling deep to keep the edge to panic emotions in check. F’yr doesn’t need to apologize for telling him and that Risali is among the names, along with R’hyn and Ila? Unsurprising. Most of all, Risali! It draws an abrupt huff of mild amusement from him, a good sign that K’vir hasn’t withdrawn so far into himself.

Touchstones. Cardinal directions. He frowns heavily, eyes flickering with a distant understanding, as he reaches to grasp the concept but can only brush the very edges. His gaze will track the movement of F’yr’s hand tracing over his palm, the pattern work bringing puzzlement to the surface of his features. It might be making perfect sense, but it will take K’vir days awhile to figure it all out.

So much more delivered for his inquiry, but the answer is not rejected or dismissed. K’vir’s reaction may not be the most reassuring, but neither is he apologetic for the lapse of heavy silence between them when F’yr finishes and gives him that space. What to touch upon? Where to start? He hesitates, floundering a little under the weight of so much to grasp and process. “Very little is ever perfect,” is the first response he can bring himself to voice, followed by a vague smirk. “I …” he clears his throat, his hand flexing under F’yr’s if it has lingered and remained. “Don’t know if I can find the words—” For his feels. HE’S TEMPORARILY BROKEN (partially)! “To explain what’s in my head.”

The look he gives F’yr is an apologetic one and one that pleads that the younger bronzerider not take that in a way to blame himself. K’vir ASKED, after all! “It…” Another pause, another passing grimace and a disgusted twist of his features based in frustrations directed at himself. He exhales and gradually gets the words out. “It’s reassuring — everything that you said. Reassuring and hard to hear, especially how you struggled - struggle? - with your experiences, but … if you could make it through it, then maybe there’s hope for me yet.”

That's okay, K'vir. F'yr doesn't interrupt to say it, but it's conveyed through the hand that has fallen to covering the older man's in the wake of not being needed to demonstrate those three-dimensional constructs that help keep F'yr's world pointed the right way. There is no sense of impatience, of urgency, nor even of any expectation at all, really. K'vir doesn't need to have the words, to find them, for F'yr. He doesn't blame himself, blue eyes warm and understanding as they meet the apologetic one without any judgment or hesitation.

When K'vir finds some words, he listens in the intensely focused way he has of doing just that. He doesn't interrupt, and that's a force of will, really, the fingers of the hand under K'vir's twitching like they are wanted elsewhere at that grimace and twist of his features because he wants to smooth that sense of inadequacy away. It's more important, here, now when such gestures still being made part of whatever is building between them are not routine, that he doesn't interrupt the attempt at words coming. At the end, though, the hand is slipping from the bottom of the stack, leaving his right clasping K'vir's left while his left comes up, slow, but not hesitating and if it's a little like what he'd do to sooth a spooked animal, WELL, he grew up a farmer, okay?? to bring it to K'vir's jaw. He's going to use it to make a silent ask to be met half way for the familiar gesture— forehead to forehead.

"Nothing is ever hopeless." Except when it is. BUT, F'YR SAYS IT WITH A DEEP, BELIEVABLE CONVICTION. He's a liar, a fool, it's fine~ "Your words will come when it's the right moment for you to share." This, too, he believes. He tips his forehead so they're no longer pressed together, but stays rather intimately close PUT YOUR POPCORN BACK, RISA to murmur, "What I like best about work," farm or office might not matter with this, "is the time I have to chew things over. The people who know me best," though they may not realize it, "have conversations with me that last days." Because it's here, and then there. Maybe they see it as new conversations each time, but not F'yr. It's his mental melody joined with harmony (or discord) of another's that just takes time to sound every note.

Lower still, "My way and your way-" Forward? In communicating? Either? "-may be different." These words are as much cautionary as encouraging, really. "I'm glad we can be together a while, when our paths come together." Okay, okay, fine, RISA, GET YOUR POPCORN!! If the moment, then, there, feels right… well, F'yr's going to shift, enough that K'vir, even with his need to take time to process will know what's coming before he tips his chin to let lips contact lips in something meant to be soft— something that is connection as much as their hands, but more.

K’vir won’t shy away from that hand lifting to his jaw and it’s exactly like trying not to spook an animal, F’yr, though his expression briefly turns quizzical for the gesture. Half a beat later, it registers why it was made and there is a subtle change in his posture, a silent agreement to meet in that familiar gesture to press forehead to forehead. Welcomed, in fact and a source in which to ground himself.

LISTEN, he won’t be sold on that deep conviction but he’ll let it go for now. His half-hearted scoff is mostly habitual and maybe him just being a smidge of an ass, but he doesn’t counter F’yr for the rest — because it’s the truth. Those words will come and he’s relieved, in a way, that the young bronzerider is as understanding as he is. As they tip away from each other, K’vir’s gaze will immediately turn to F’yr’s, searching. Tension ebbs, as he listens and finds nothing in what he says that raises his hackles in defence. He says little in turn but that doesn’t mean for a second that any of this is less important to him (it all is, so very much so)!

K’vir is given time enough to half-mutter a like-minded opinion on different ways and how their paths have so far come together but the chosen moment proves to be the right one! With the older bronzerider still at the whims of his struggling to untangle so much, he's not feeling the least bit cornered. Had he been on the defensive or not given enough time to come down from that, it would have ended differently! K’vir picks up on the shift and follows through, allowing their lips to connect in a gentle, if all-too brief, kiss. It’ll have to be enough for both of them, for now. He is not desiring to rush into more just yet and like his words, this will need time too. His grip will tighten on their joined hands, as he breaks away, mildly sheepish that there is no chaser, no follow up. At least, not for kissing! He’ll give a small tug to F’yr’s hand in his. Come closer? it’s snuggle time and don’t you comment on his blushing, F’yr, DON’T DO IT “Thank you,” he breathes on the cusp of a heavy exhale and that’s all he can apparently bring himself to say just then.

F'yr is many things, but a salesman is not one of them. The scoff his conviction draws from the older man in no way lessens the younger man's resolve on the matter. Time will prove him right; he has faith. He even manfully resists an urge to nose-boop K'vir for the scoff. BUT NEXT TIME, he's coming for you, boop-free nose! F'yr would not wish for his partner to feel cornered - that alone would ensure this a 'wrong' moment unless nose booping must be done, but that's another matter entirely, and yet, since it's the right moment and the kiss is received and reciprocated, if so-briefly, that's enough. There's no disappointment, no sense that F'yr was looking to make it more than the grounding moment of connection that it was.

HE doesn't comment on K'vir's blush aloud, but his lips do, twitching very slightly at the edges in silent appreciation. There's a little incline of his head for the expressed gratitude, not the sort to refuse the words, even if his truth might not include something he thinks worthy of it; there's humility in that gesture and a variety of definitions - a 'it was nothing,' as much as a, 'I would do it again,' as, 'you're welcome' all muddled together. The snuggle time lines right up with what the younger man had loose plans for next, so there's no hesitation in responding to the tug and maybe a touch wider of a smile for having been invited to it before making the invitation himself. He doesn't respond to the tug by leaning into it, though, rather, shifting himself on the couch to be better positioned to use the hand tugged to tug back, to seek to draw K'vir into the arm that seeks to slide in behind his shoulders, to encourage the older man's head to find his shoulder.

It could be that F'yr is merely trying to be the stable someone while K'vir deals with mental fallout (if not necessarily mental tumult), but it also might just be that having spent snuggle time with this particular one of his people before, he remembers where that other still relatively unknown body settled into the most relaxed patterns of breath and seemed to find the most comfort. He doesn't need to talk, not really, but after some minutes of sitting, he's shifting a little more to edge into a semi-reclined state, making it easier for them to be more sprawled along the couch in this snuggle than sitting properly. ('Proper' and 'snuggling' only belong in a sentence together when it's a 'proper snuggling' - but not a 'prim snuggling' - it is known.)

If K'vir still has no need to speak then, the man who has him semi-tucked along his side between his body and the soft back of the couch is going to close his eyes while fingers trace simple soothing patterns on whatever part of him is under his hand - back, upper arm, side - nowhere particularly invasive just something that contributes to his contented moments in this company. It's a much better end to the date than how the day began… even if he (they?) might fall asleep there for a while and have to deal with cramps and limbs fallen long asleep whenever they wake.

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