Six Gifts, Four Notes, and One Dance

Various Places Around Xanadu Weyr

A few days have passed since K’vir’s disastrous confrontation with Risali. During that stretch, he’s had FAR too much time to replay the events in his head. It got so bad by the third day that he was excused by his Wingleader, when the young bronzerider’s distraction almost led to serious injury during drills. Told to ‘get a hold of himself’ and ‘take some time’, K’vir… has done exactly that. By going into hermit mode. No one really knows what is bugging the bronzerider and most are brushing it off as stress. He’s known to take a lot onto his plate and push himself. So maybe he just went too far? It’s the perfect cover.

Only K’vir is slowly driving himself mad and Zekath is growing increasingly uneasy with his inability to truly comfort his rider. On the evening of his dismissal, he desires nothing more than to go to Risali right then. He starts by ineffectively pacing his weyr. Then he moves to go to Risali’s old room and tortures himself further in there. Rum is no doubt involved, but he doesn’t drink himself into a stupor (yet). A small idea comes to mind and, with some shred of hope and light to grasp, he heads off on his task.

Later, when the weyrling dragons are sleeping, Risali will be alerted by the arrival of Groot, one of K’vir’s more grounded firelizards. The brown will attempt to lure her away, or guide her, at least — should she be compliant. If she follows him, she won’t be led far. Just to one of their private meeting spots, some hidden nook in the Weyr. Only K’vir isn’t there. Just Tweak, his bronze, guarding a little wrapped package and a rolled note tied to the top.

The note reads:


I am an asshole and don’t deserve you, after what I did.


Alarming, maybe, except for the gift. The gift itself stands for a subtle apology and sign that he still loves and cares for her. Sweet too — literally. He’s gathered a few of her favorite treats, in that little package. A token, to start.

And only the beginning.

It’s three more days of agony, for both of them, before Risali finally responds.

Potato comes in the night, interrupting K’vir’s sleep during hours better left to rest. Revenge, perhaps? Risali knows his schedule well enough to know that he probably has drills in the morning, but Potato is persistent in her task, biting at fingers and hair, tucking her gold body in against his and catching him with claws every time he dares to try and ignore her siren call. But once she has him up, if she can convince him to follow her, she leads him on a merry chase through the weyr - perhaps another form of revenge in and of itself.

Potato leads K’vir through alleys and open spaces, between weyrs, going in what seems to be circles until, just when it seems as if they are headed nowhere, she’s in that spot. That spot where K’vir once pressed Risali up against a wall and the tiny harper let him, delighting in the feel of him against her body and the taste of him on her tongue as much as the thrill of uncertainty that lie in the possibility of getting caught. There is no Risali here, like there was no K’vir before, but there is a blanket stolen from his weyr at some point and now returned, smelling of her, wrapped around a bottle of familiar rum. There is a note, too, tucked away in the wraps of rum-cradling swath so that he will definitely miss it falling out of he’s not careful.

The note simply reads:

You are.

If he’s wondering at what her reaction to the treats was? Well, he can answer that question if he’s observant enough to really look at that innocuous piece of paper. There’s splotches in the ink, places smudged, and a hint of the tears Risali was crying as she wrote him back.

Another series of days pass and there’s nothing from K’vir. No firelizards, no messages, no little gifts. Maybe her gift was too much (it was perfect)? Or he’s being very careful in how he makes his next move. He could be nursing a hell of a hangover too, if he drank all that rum (he got about halfway through the bottle on his own and her shirt has been stored somewhere safe). Finally, just when she thinks that’s the end of it? The second one arrives. Along with a third.

Her second gift is left on her cot in the barracks. Carefully wrapped, it’ll be discrete enough that none of the weyrlings should be able to see the contents, unless Risali opens it and shares the reveal. Otherwise, she can wait for whenever she desires to open the gift; which turns out to be tools to help her with her first set of straps and a few extra pieces to make them unique to her or Leirith. Or not. K’vir has no idea what she is doing with these tokens and gifts but it doesn’t stop him from making the gestures. And neatly folded in all of that and with a protective layer around it, is not a note but fabric. A tunic, to be more exact but one that would fit her… and a flight jacket. The cut and style is different and it’s evident enough why. It’s one of his, older and likely from when he was a little younger, but tailored to suit her and yet not entirely be undone and remade. Not only does he want her to have it, but he wants her to be able to wear it… if she chooses to. Something to add to her flight gear, at least. Maybe? K’vir’s trying not to HOPE here, too much.

Her third gift will be another hidden one, with Groot leading her to it and without the wild chase she had Potato send him on. This one is private for a reason, because it’s nothing more than flowers. Potted ones, of course. For the symbolism… or something. Cut flowers die, but potted ones are meant to last. It’s a hardy plant, likely to survive even life in the barracks. Leave it to him to possibly botch gifting flowers but he’s TRYING! And it’s not like he can gift her a bottle of rum in return.

Three gifts and yet no offer to meet. He hasn’t even hinted in a note or any other means that he wishes to see her. Of course, it’s obvious enough in those gestures that he’s thinking of her but even if Risali goes to hunt him down if she can? K’vir is elusive. Not even Zekath lurks by the training grounds, as he had before.

K'vir's second gift earns him a letter, a hastily scrawled penning that comes, again, when hours are better left to resting in preparation for another day. And again, it's Potato, the firelizard queen, leading the bronzerider on a merry chase throughout Xanadu Weyr, for an entire hour, until they are… right back where they started. And there, on K'vir's pillow, rests a note:

Are you telling me that I have the body of a young child, or a man?

But if the bronzerider listens to the rumors or happens to spot Risali in those exceedingly rare moments when she is unaware of him, she is in that jacket as often as she can be, just like she uses those tools to make those straps, and sometimes, late at night, she's even in that tunic before she goes to sleep.

It's a fortnight of silence after his flowers are received before Risali communicates again, however (though any look into the Weyrling Barracks will find them alive and thriving beside Risali's cot (well, at least until Leirith got confused and ate them, but they were alive until then)), broken in Risali's tradition of a really late night debacle when she should definitely know K'vir has drills and a job to do the next day.

Potato appears, to be the same pestilence of annoyance she is always sent to be, and if K'vir goes against what common sense might dictate he should do (given the build up for nothing last time), then Potato will, for once, lead him directly to where Risali wants him to be. No chase, no long ways, no games: it's Risa's room, where that sheer dress she wore the night she gave herself to him is laid out on the bed, and beside it, where K'vir used to lay, there's an extravagant case made of wood. It's detailed by the hands of a mastercrafter, with dragons stained in rich, vibrant colors: Zekath, and his very first clutch. Inside, wrapped neatly in fine cloth, is a stunning compound bow, and a leather quiver in the colors of Zekath's hide, full of arrows. Beside the case is a leather arm-guard, once again stained in the colors of Zekath's hide with a note tucked away on the inside:

I hate flowers.

She doesn't ask to meet him, but she always looks for him in every crowd.

When he receives the first note, K’vir smiles and even laughs a little for the first time in days (at least not forced or faked). He keeps it tucked in a pocket somewhere on his person and finally returns to full duty. There’s no knowledge of the fate of that plant to Leirith’s confused appetite, but even if he did catch wind? He’d not be upset. He’d probably have a good laugh over that too. When Potato comes to lead him away again, he’ll follow. Even if his judgement tells him otherwise, as he really doesn’t always have time to chase the gold firelizard around the Weyr. Arriving back at RIsali’s old room brings mixed feelings. Good memories, mostly. Recently bad and difficult ones, thanks to his terrible blunder. Shame still clings tight to his heart and it won’t be something he shakes off so easily. When he finds her gift, it’s almost too much to bear. “I don’t deserve this.” His gruff whispered words feel loud to his ears in the quiet of the room, but he’ll run his fingers along the carvings and carefully handle the bow, touch the quiver and arrows and the arm guard. Lavish gifts, that make him both so very happy and so achingly sad in the same moment. Gathering them, he’ll bring them home to his weyr and the next day, uses his practice time to work on brushing up on his archery skills; he seems to have inherited his mother’s ability to wield a bow, though he has a long, long way to go before he’s as good as she.

Her second note brings another smile and if she is looking for him in the crowds, she’ll catch glimpses of him. There’s no way he can hide entirely from her in the Weyr. She’ll see him going along his day or with fellow Wingmates and it’s in those glimpses she’ll see him unguarded in a sense. He looks well and happy enough but it’s a front. Alone, he is much like his father. Brooding, withdrawn and distracted. It settles around him like a cloak and weighs down his movements. And if she ever tries to approach him or make herself visible, K’vir never seems to see her or stop; somehow, he always slips away or melds back into the crowds. Coincidence or just by chance, it’s unknown or uncertain.

Several more days pass and there’s nothing from him again. Until, at last, late one night, Tweak arrives and does his best to rouse Risali but keep things as quiet as possible. She might end up nibbled and nudged (or chased by Potato), but he keeps trying until she’s up and willing to follow. The bronze leads her through the deep forests, until they find a little grove. Probably a spot K’vir and Risali shared once, so long ago. And there, seated on one of the flat topped rocks, is the very man himself. When she arrives, he’ll stand and wordlessly hold out a small box to her. It’s not until she takes it, that he speaks up, eyes lowered and head slightly bowed. It’s a mixture of nerves and lingering guilt; he’s still unable to look at her without reliving that confrontation. “I was going to save that for after you graduated, but… Maybe now is best. I’ll figure something out for then.”

The box, when opened, reveals nothing more than a simple metal chain but it’s the pendant that means everything. Somehow, K’vir got a hold of a shard of Leirith’s egg and had it dipped in protective clear resin and encased metal edging. It’s delicate and feminine and yet not overly elegant and fancy. Simple; but with a whole lot of sentiment. It probably cost him an arm and a leg too, even with an aunt who’s a Journeyman Smithcrafter.


It always has to be at night, doesn’t it? (Yes, because of Leirith but SHUT UP SHE WANTS TO BE MAD ABOUT IT OK). That’s why Potato does chase Tweak away several times before Risali finally gives up on rest and pushes herself out of bed. She’s as GUILTY AS M’TAN (who is probably also gone and snuck off somewhere) WITH THE SNEAKING, but she’s not getting entirely dressed this time. She’s in a nightgown just long enough to hit above the middle of her thighs (so… short), her hair is a disheveled mess hanging about her like a loose-curled cloak, Risali has her blanket pulled around her shoulders like a makeshift shawl, and the boots on her feet are unlaced. She looks a mess – her eyes are red, with either too much crying, or too little sleep, or both – and her expression crumbles as soon as she sees K’vir standing there, waiting for her, unable to meet her gaze.

And he will wait a while for the weyrling to move, because she’s checking her emotions as she stares at that box, and part of her is unsure of where this is going, but is just as certain that she doesn’t care because K’vir is here, and already her heart is doing that thing it always does when K’vir is involved, and she can’t stop herself. So she steps forward, and she takes his gift, and her voice and her breath catch in her throat as grey eyes take in just what it is she’s holding in her hands and… “K’vir, you can’t afford this.” And everything is there in her voice: elation, misery, she’s missed him, and this is too much and still somehow it’s not enough because she doesn’t want his stupid notes or his beautiful, kind, thoughtful gifts; she wants him. Just him.

And she’s crying again, though there are no wretched sobs or gasping breaths. Risali’s tears fall silently, as unwelcome as they are unacknowledged as the weyrling closes the distance separating them and does what she’s wanted to do every time she saw him in a crowd and he disappeared like some kind of dark magic or apparition sent to taunt her and remind her and leave her feeling constantly bereft of him. She catches the lapels of his jacket in tiny hands and she forces him down to her level, and then she kisses him. But it’s not frantic, or needy; it’s a slow burn, like she has forever to kiss him and not just this moment, not just tonight, not just this small reprieve from a growing dragon who will ask too many questions when the sun is up and her emotions are too complex. She kisses him like he’s a damn fine wine, an expensive bottle of rum, and then she tangles her fingers in his hair and holds too tight and she kisses him again, with lips, and teeth, and tongue - and her tears, but she doesn’t care.

“I love you, you stupid bronzerider,” she breathes when she pulls away to catch her breath, and there's that characteristic anger again, as the hand void of his trinket comes down on his chest, though her next words are exhaled on a sob. "And I'm tired, Kyzenviro. I'm exhausted. Hating you is the most exhausting thing I have ever done and I don't want to do it anymore." Not that she ever did.

And then in typical Risali fashion, the tiny woman will do her best to distract from the fact that she is crying by holding out the chain to K'vir, so that he can put it on her.

Part of the gift is the chain, the other half is HIM. He wanted to see her too, even though another half of K’vir is wanting to slip back into those shadows and disappear again. Not because he doesn’t want her. He DOES! With every fiber of his being. But it’s still RAW, what he did. What was said. And seeing her now, half dressed and all disheveled, makes it incredibly hard NOT to just go straight to her but she ends up solving that dilemma by covering the distance first. Her tears were like tiny knives, but the moment she is forcing him down, his focus turns to her and he is lost to her kissing. Kisses that he returns with just as much emotion behind them, deep, slow, burning kisses while he wraps his arms around her and crushes her body to his. He holds her like a man drowning and there is no denying that he has missed her and yearned for her all this time. Through the kisses and unnoticed by him, he makes a low throated sound between a groan and a small, sad sound as relief overtakes everything. She’s here now, in his arms, kissing him and for that brief moment, the world is balanced again. He can forget everything that happened. It’s a small, tiny moment of bliss. She kisses him and he kisses back, until she pulls back and he has to catch his breath… and stop before things escalate further and they bend rules best left as they are. “I love you too and I’m sorry.” For everything. For all of it. For seeing her so exhausted by it all and for the tears and pain he’s caused. He kisses her tears, then straightens and lifts his hands up to brush back some of her hair and gently frame her face. “You don’t have to forgive me,” he murmurs, his voice thick and hoarse, a low gruff tone. He doesn’t deserve forgiveness, in his mind, quite yet. “And if you are ready, I would… I would love to see you more. Like we did?” K’vir is trying not to seem too hopeful. Too desperate. Her distraction works; when she moves and offers him the chain, he will take it and slip it around her neck, fastening it with ease. His fingers curl about the pendant, gently sliding it to place just below her collarbone. “It looks good on you.” Worth. Every. Hard earned. Mark.

While K’vir works, Risali is silent, pulling her hair up to sit above her shoulders and letting it down once he’s done. Grey eyes study his face the entire time, watching him when he talks, aching at his hurt, softened by her irrevocable adoration for him, by a love that transcends the emotion she can express in three words. And so she’s reaching her hands out again to grab his face between her hands, fingers at his jaw, applying gentle pressure across his cheeks, curling around his ears and catching at the back of his neck so that she can pull him back down to her level again and press her forehead to his. Those attentive, revering eyes close, arms slip around his shoulders, and Risali simply holds on for a moment that seems to stretch towards infinity before she finally answers him. “I want you to meet him, K’vir,” and she holds a little tighter, lest he thinks of escape. “I want you to meet D’lei, and actually try, like I did with Bethari. He’s… my person. Like… Like Calisi is my person, like you are my person - he is my person. He makes me happy. Like… Bethari makes you happy. And I have never tried to take her from you, so you’re not allowed to take him from me.” And there’s a long pause then, as if Risali is allowing K’vir a moment to digest her request, to think on it, to decide. And then she’s taking half a step back from him so that grey eyes can find blue. Risali holds K’vir’s attention with an almost feral intensity, breath hitching in anticipation, lips parting in a way that can only be described as titillating when Risali pulls the blanket from her shoulders, releasing it to puddle at her feet, and fingers catch her gown around her hips, bunching the fabric in her fists to pull up and over her head. All that’s left are those unlaced boots and… well… that newly gifted necklace. And Risali will allow the bronzerider to have a moment to appreciate what he’s been denied so long before she’s stepping back into his space, pulling him back to her level, pressing her lips to his ear and breathing, “And I want you to hold me, because rules tell me that I can’t hold you like I want to, and I want you to dance with me. And then, bronzerider… only then, I will forgive you.” Though she has already. She will always forgive him everything, because she loves him. And that… that will never change.

K’vir does not shy from her touch, but rather leans towards it and towards HER. In that moment, his arms slip around her again as well and he holds her. Holds her, without crushing or stifling her but lending her his strength and comfort in another form. “I had no idea that my friendship with Bethari had caused you so much upset, Risa… And I want you to be happy. I never meant to make you feel like I was trying to take it from you. I’ve… never felt like that before.” That level of jealousy. “It was — I don’t want to ever feel that way again. I don’t want to hurt you that way again. So…” He sighs softly, but manages a small smile for her, tilting his head a bit to nuzzle her. “I’ll try. I’ll meet him and I won’t take him away from you. Even if I don’t like him.” There’s a small chance! K’vir normally approves of anyone until they do something to break that. Poor D’lei is already shuffled into an ‘unsure’ category, but that might all change when he actually talks to the other bronzerider. He didn’t need too much time to decide on her request, but he will enjoy the stretch of silence between them, until she moves away. Holding her gaze, he will be instantly curious to that feral intensity in hers but all becomes clear soon enough. “Risa…” It’s part groan, part sharp intake of breath with held notes of desire, need and admiration. He doesn’t even follow the downward fall of all that fabric; his eyes are on her and her now naked form. K’vir welcomes her back into his arms with no hesitation, allowing himself to be pulled down again and she will feel the racing pace of his heart, the heat of him, the way his body shifts and trembles slightly with his restraint to keep himself from indulging in ways far too inappropriate right now. Her whispered words have his eyes drifting closed and he gives into temptation briefly, tilting his head just enough to brush his lips along her neck and shoulder, while his hands roam over her smooth skin to take in the shape of her body. “Do you want to dance… now?” There’s a hint of laughter in his voice, underneath all the layers of seriousness and soberness.

“It didn’t,” Risali breathes and… she means it. Then she amends with, “doesn’t.” But she doesn’t elaborate on the why it bothered (bothers?) her, because despite the weyrling throwing it in the bronzerider’s face in a heated moment of upset, well… whatever gave life to her quiet hurts, she’s already accepted it, hasn’t she. Because she had gone to Half Moon Bay Weyr, and he had faced her father to get her back, and she had gone with him. That had been her acceptance, her forgiveness, her willingness to move passed it even if she didn’t quite understand it. And she’d never brought it up again – not until that night. Not until then. And like she did so well before, she buries away all those quiet, ugly insecurities once more, because it didn’t matter. Not when K'vir’s here, not when he's agreeing to meet D’lei for her, not when he’s looking at her like that, or when his hands are on her body, giving rise to gooseflesh and the thrill of anticipation. She’s slipping fingers into the material of his jacket, under his tunic, pressing along his chest and stomach and down his arms as grey eyes find blue once more and hold. There’s a quiet smile for him: sad, happy, something heated, and frustrated, and something that just might be love (it totally is). Does she want to dance? Now? "Always, Kyzen." Because that's a fundamental part of being Risali, isn't it? The dancing, and the singing. It's as fundamental to her as all that anger; it's as fundamental to her as that unwillingness to simply sit down and cry. Risali's either pissed off, or she's doing something about it, like she's doing something about it now: pulling him in for another (probably inadvisable) kiss, bending her body to the curve of his, and then taking that little jump between their bodies with faith he will catch her, so that she can wrap her arms around his shoulders, and her legs around his hips, and kiss him even harder. And then? She will sing, of course, if he will dance.

K’vir had no idea the damage he had wrought on her, with the firelizard flight and the inevitable outcome. Of what he’d roughly explained to her once, only to seemingly go back on his word. He did, however, cross his idea of Hell to get her back and he’d do it again and again, if he had too. This has been pretty close to it, but at least didn’t involve challenging her father a second time! Feeling her hands slip beneath the fabric of his tunic, the touch of her fingers to his skin, is akin to a soothing balm. It calms and ignites him in the same breath and she will likely feel his response in all senses; even the more embarrassing of forms, which he ignores in acknowledging. Meeting her eyes, he will drink in that smile and the way she is pressed to him. Fonder memories, than the last encounter they had. Perhaps it will allow him to heal or it will, at least, give him something to grasp in the lonely hours he spends some nights with no company but his own thoughts. He’s becoming more of his father everyday, but for now? All is pushed and brushed aside. When she takes that implied leap of faith, he’s there to catch her, not caring how much this broaches lines or bends rules. FORGET rules! Even Zekath is in agreement to break them, this once (okay, second time)! Bronze and bronzerider alike can learn. Her kiss is returned with just as much reverence and he will be incredibly reluctant to let her go. He even admits as much, later. K’vir doesn’t even suggest that Risali dress herself first, before he’s moving to twirl her into the first steps of a dance. His skills may not match hers, but he’s doing better! He even improvises, following her leads. He will dance for as long as she desires it or until they both risk everything by lingering out here for too long. Her singing soothes and electrifies, another token that he so greedily hoards for the time they have; he won’t sing in return, but he does hum. He wouldn’t insult her by trying to sing! And at the end, he will embrace her again, help her back into her clothes, kiss her with gentle intensity and painfully bid her farewell for another night. Another set of days.

But he doesn’t hide anymore. She will see him again, in these little meetings. During her days, she may glimpse him on the fringes, where he pauses briefly to watch her and the other weyrlings but he does not interfere with their training. Later, perhaps, he will get to know them more but for now, he simply lends his support to Risali in other forms as much as he can. And hopes that it will be enough.

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License