Not Perfect

Xanadu Weyr - Xeosoth's Nanook Nook
One of Xanadu's few subterranean weyrs, while this one isn't technically below ground, it is within the shelf of rock that protrudes over the meadow forming the meadow ridge. Rather than taking the path that crests the hill leading to the top and the observatory up there, by taking a path along the side formed by a long ledge that skirts the side and follows the gradual rise of the edifice, one will find several ledges and manmade cave openings. Xeosoth's is one of the first and therefore lowest in elevation. Still the ledge provides a nice view of the meadow, the paddocks, the forests beyond and a bit of the mountains that rise behind the deep forest. Sunny in the mornings, by midday the ledge is in deep shade and remains so for the rest of the day. Following the tunnel in, one finds a smallish cavity enclosed in stone perpetually cooled by its position on the north side of the ridge. The wallow, a depression formed in the rock, is just the right size for a large blue to sprawl in or a blue and green to cuddle in comfortably together.

Early morning finds Xeosoth out on the ledge to absorb the morning sun's rays. He sprawls out, fast asleep. From deeper within the entrance to the weyr is open and the sound of cleaning is heard. Off-key humming accompanies the cleaning moments before a figure appears on the ledge with broom in hand as a cloud of dust and dirt go flying past the snoozing blue.

Well, ain't that a greeting? It's just as Marel finds her way to that ledge that all that dust and dirt goes flying towards her, eliciting a quiet shriek as she turns away and ducks her head to try and avoid the worst of it (and this all when she not so much as batted an eyelid at Isyriath learning to flame). Coughing follows on the heels of that shriek, as the brownrider brings her hands down away from her face and dares to look back at the ledge proper, shaking dust from the lines of her skirts.

Shriek? Wait…what? Already turning to head back inside the sound of a female ( familiar female) voice catches his attention. Shifting back he blinks. "Oh!" Hurrying forward he's at her side quickly trying to help brush off the dirt and debris on her top. "Marel! I'm sorry…I didn't look…" he hurries to apologize.

There's something that looks awfully like a dry, dead leaf in Marel's hair. She lifts a hand to pull it free, sighing as she inspects the state of her skirts further, leaving M'kal to do as he will with trying to put the rest of her to rights. "I know," she murmurs, acknowledging apology or the fact that he didn't look, sincerely enough to be accepting the former. She gives up on her attire and mutters a low, "I was prettier before this happened," as if she could promise it. "Maybe I should go change…"

M'kal offers a shy smile, leaning his head down to plant a soft kiss on the corner of Marel's mouth. Claiming a hand he shakes his head. "You look fine. I've some warm klah in a pitcher inside. C'mon in and have some with me? I could use a break from cleaning."

Marel manages to find a smile in answer to his kiss, though runs her free hand through her now dusty and in disarray hair as she surrenders to him her other hand and inclines her head in a little nod. "Okay," she agrees. "But I'm not sure I should let your pour it if your aim with the pitcher is anything like your aim with a broom."

"But it was simply supposed to go flying into the wind. I'm innocent only of being in the wrong place at the wrong time." M'kal proclaims innocence as he tugs her along further into the weyr proper. Xeosoth snoozes on. "However I offer no objections to your pouring and no promises that the klah is warmer than luke warm." once inside he gestures with his other hand to the table with the pitcher on it. "I do, though, have two mugs. I was hoping maybe you'd stop by this morning. How're you doing?" is asked suddenly, reluctantly letting her hand go if she moves away to pour.

"Oh, that makes it okay…" Marel drawls as she follows on after, going so far as to approach the pitcher with overplayed caution. "You're sure it's not just warm mud?" she jokes quietly, finding readily enough that she can pour klah into mugs without needing to reclaim her hand. So it means she doesn't steady either of the mugs, but then she doesn't pour from a height. "I'm fine," she says with somewhat tight cheer, making to hand him his mug. "I've a sevenday of notes from meetings to go through, but it shouldn't take long, provided Ka'el doesn't run off with them or park his boots on them." All said as if it's one of her brothers living in her weyr with her and not one of their former wingmates. "What about you?"

A flash of concern etches into his green eyes momentarily as he goes with her, hand in hand, to the table. "Tell 'em to keep his boots out of the way." is said in a lightly joking fashion. "At least it's just a seven days worth and not more." it's optimistic! M'kal takes the mug and a sip before locking his gaze on her again. "You sure you're fine?" he hesitates then blurts out quickly. "Ya know I had seen Ka'el going in an and out…and I'm glad if you were able to get him to talk." he takes a small step closer. "But are /you/ okay…?" he asks worriedly. "I've missed you." is added.

Marel doesn't even get or go as far as claiming her own mug, too busy watching M'kal with a guardedness she usually leaves behind when she's with him. "You know there's nothing going on, don't you? He's sleeping on my couch." One of the couches. "There's nothing… like that between us." Whatever he interprets 'that' to be. She hesitates as he takes a step closer, her gaze sharpening and as her shoulders square, the slip of her hand from his either inadvertent or very deliberate. "I'm fine," she says again. "I just—" There's no end to that sentence. There must be some subtle difference between him brushing off her clothes and getting that much closer to her. "Don't." It's almost a plea, and from the way she clasps her hands behind her back, it's not him she's worried about, but her.

M'kal stops in surprise at her nearly pleading tone of don't and he immediately steps back two paces, dropping her hand in confusion. "I…know." he says firmly trying to deny that there ever was any doubt in his mind over it. "One of your lovely /pink/ couches…" a hint of a smile appears. "It's Ka'el. He's with Soriana. I'm not worried about him." his gaze though is watching her and it's her that's his concerned look is watching. "Marel.." her name comes out in a whisper. "Don't retreat from me. Talk to me." he pleads.

"…I… You don't know what I would have done," Marel utters in a hushed whisper, backing up a couple of steps herself. "I've no right to tell him how to feel about anything." Ka'el? Isyriath? Someone else? "You don't know what I would have done if you had been there or you'd been on my doorstep when I got home. You don't know," she insists, still without actually explaining anything of what she means. "And if Isyriath does it again when I'm with you, I don't know what will happen. You don't know what I want to do even without his influence." Oh. Getting towards an explanation there. Maybe? She darts a look back towards the weyr's entryway and the meadow beyond. "I should go…"

"I…" bewildered is one way to describe M'kal as he tries vainly to follow along with her logic and her explanation of what she would have done and when and where. Without thinking he reaches for her hand and if that's able to be taken he'll tug her towards himself to curl a protective arm around her waist. "You can't worry about everyone else and leave yourself a mess." he murmurs, hastily setting down his klah mug. "Don't go. Stay with me today." cleaning forgotten his breathing increases a bit. "Please…" he adds.

"I'm not a mess!" Marel exclaims in protest, the heat of anger slipping into her voice and momentarily into her expression. Her first instinct when he reaches for her is to twitch her hand away, but it becomes a more half-hearted thing by the second and so he gets his way and she moves towards him with her other hand still clamped firmly behind her back. "You don't know what might happen if I stay," she insists, another variant on whatever she was trying to tell him before. "…And I'm covered in dust and I'm not perfect and it's…" Whatever it is, she runs out of words.

M'kal shakes his head against each protest she may have. "Stay with me." is murmured quietly before he dares a tentative kiss that is soft but with much promise behind it. There's no doubt to what he's asking, gently, for. He knows what will happen. "Stay…" so much goes into that simple word. Stay. Be with him today. Under /their/ own terms. No dragon emotions involved…just their own. Together. A promise of protection is hinted at behind that simple word too. Not right away but slowly he'll tug her further into the weyr and towards the sleeping away. Slowly though in which she can refuse if she wants. Another kiss is planted softly against her lips. "…love you.." is murmured.

Marel still keeps her other hand held behind her back as he kisses her the first time. Still she does, even as he speaks. She watches him; she listens… And then her arm uncurls and she follows after with no resistance at all. Her reply? Well, that's his to hear and no-one else's, lost between her lips and his and one room and the next.

Later that day…

They say that action speaks louder for words. After M'kal tugs her gently further into the weyr and towards the bedroom, indeed there are no more words needed between the two of them as M'kal attempts to express his concern for her as well as the depth of his true feelings. Inexperience plays a factor as does youth. Eventually mid morning becomes early afternoon and the pair remains inside.

Now is the time for words. Drawing Marel to himself he runs his fingers through her hair, quiet for a moment before he murmurs. "I do love you, Marel." is whispered.

Marel's inexperience and concern of what losing control might turn her into are of no doubt not aided by a shyness she cannot help but retreat to when unclothed, in a manner that she rarely shows when fully-dressed. Are Marel's clothes and necklaces and all sorts her day-to-day armour? It might look that way. Still, once she finds her footing, so to speak, it turns out that she might be better with actions than words for once, especially given the lack of sense from her earlier in the morning. In the quiet and the stillness, she tips her head back to look up at M'kal as he runs his fingers through her hair. "There are better girls out there," she answers quietly. "Girls with greens who Xeosoth could catch. And I do… I do love you, but you might not want to love me when I'm angry or upset or…" Or any number of things.

M'kal is shaking his head even before all of her words have escaped the confines of her mouth. After a moment he draws her closer to him, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. "And you think perhaps I'm perfect hmm? I never get angry or upset? Will you love me even if Xeosoth wins a flight?" he asks quietly.

Marel still has enough fire in her to nudge him beneath the covers, one knee aiming to knock gently against his thigh. "You're not perfect," she teases lowly. "But you might not like who I am when everyone isn't watching." If she even knows who she is away from the gazes of others. "…I don't know how I'm going to feel if he wins. I don't know how I'm going to feel if Isyriath wins. What if one of them catches and then we can't talk to each other?" And yet another thought strikes her: "What if we end up going after the same green?"

Starting with the easy part first, M'kal's words are laced with amusement. "If our boys both chase the same green." emphasizing green since Xeosoth can't chase blue. "Then we hope we both loose and we comfort each other?" this much he's seen from his experience at living in a weyr for nearly his whole life. Ista or Xanadu some things don't change. Then the hard part. "Xeosoth hasn't chased. I'm scared when he does. I'm scared he won't!" he heaves a deep sigh. "I want to get to know everything about you. The part of you not everyone gets to see. Please…." he offers quietly. "..share. We'll learn together."

Though she still seems slightly unsure of herself, even minus her clothes, in his bed and in his arms, Marel folds herself in more closely against him and tightens her arms around him, her head ducked down atop his chest. "We can… we can do that," she agrees in a whisper. "He will chase. Sooner or later. Maybe he's waiting for the right green? I had to encourage Isyriath to; he wanted to, but I made him hesitate. It's not… awful." She takes in a quick breath, holding it as tension strings across her back. "If… when Xeosoth does… if he loses, will you find me?" As for sharing and learning, it's another opportunity for actions to speak louder than words, as she uncurls and tips her head back to touch a kiss to the crook of his neck.

M'kal's fingers run through her hair in a soothing manner, he hopes, as they talk. "Learn together." he agrees to her whispered words of agreement. "Hopefully I'm not holding him back." is murmured thoughtfully. "Flights aren't awful. They are unknown to us. We've watched our whole life from the outside. Now we're on the inside and it's scary." he admits. "Xeosoth will loose." he nods a bit, bumping his chin lightly against the top of her head. "..if you don't object then I'll always come find you when he looses." he promises, her kiss at the crook of his neck drawing a small shiver and a smile touches his expression. They are talking. This is /good/.

"I know what it is to lose. I don't know what it's like to win," Marel says softly, closing her eyes as she settles back against him. "Maybe it's good." Though they may both have someone who can provide evidence to the contrary in mind. "I've seen some riders send their dragons up after anything green or gold; why do that if it's not good?" Perhaps she is still too young or too willingly naive to consider other possibilities there. "…And I can come and find you?" she echoes in answer to his promise. "If Isyriath loses. I can stop him, even without thinking sometimes."

M'kal holds her close to him, enjoying the warmth of her and the feel of her against him. It feels good. Comforting. "He'll win sometime. Not fair to him if he doesn't." Since dragons need that release of mating as well as humans. "Don't stop him. Not fair to him." he presses another kiss to the top of her head. "You can always come find me." he'd drop anything for her is his unspoken words. "…I'm here for you anytime, love. I promise. For anything."

"I know," Marel murmurs in agreement. "I don't mean to do it. I don't mean to keep him from chasing or doing anything he wants to, but we're close enough that he must sense things I don't ever say." Though her eyes are closed and she might be snug and content and seem not about to move anytime soon, she stirs, tucking her legs beneath her as she props herself up to look down at him, icy-green eyes opening again. "Anything," she echoes back at him, her voice soft, though the kiss that she seeks to deliver is not quite so gentle as all that. Nor is it a calming, soothing thing. She lets the blankets pool at her waist as it becomes, gradually, all the more obvious what her intentions are. While she has him there in his bed, she's going to keep him there a while longer. She - they - have learning to do.

"Anything…."And then no more words are needed as he reaches to let his hands rest on her hips. They have plenty to learn together and the afternoon to get started.

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