One Shot Down (Vignette)



Nature Gone Wild Weyrbarn

The victim of one of the major storms to pass through the Weyr this past turn or so, this weyrbarn stands amidst the majestic trees of the forest like a testament to rebuilding and carrying on. Though it used to be little more than a shack, with a lot of hard work and effort, this structure has been returned to its former magnificence. Broad boarded dark wood walls rise two stories to a slate roof, a stone chimney rising up along the right wall crafted from smooth river stones. Windows with shutters often stand open, glass panes also propped up to invite breezes, or closed and latched to keep out the weather.

A smaller human sized door is nestled within the larger dragon sized one, and walking in you are treated to the vastness of space. Much of it given to Kalsuoth's couch on the left side of the building, the worn stone comfortable and perfectly sized for the brown. The human part has been built up from nothing, with fresh wooden floors laid and new furniture brought in. The walls are left to their natural wood, though many of the cabinets have a fresh coat of blue paint, and fabric accents also hold hints of blue and green to soften all that brown from the natural wood. A sitting area on the right side is reached up a few steps, nestled near to the fireplace. Beyond, the open floorplan boasts a kitchen and a laundry room, as well as a spacious bathroom with a wide, deep tub. A spiral staircase leads to the top floor, where there are two bedrooms - only one currently in use - and an office.

Just the kind of fixer-upper Thea would recommend for her son, if indeed she had anything to do with assigning the dwelling. It builds character, right? +views available

Mur'dah's hands clenched painfully, dirty nails digging into his palms as he left the hatching area. Pausing, he looked skyward to the darkening blues, and took a deep breath.

The exhale was a string of swear words to make his father proud, as he squared his shoulders and stormed down the path towards the forest. Towards home. His feet found the path well enough, which was good because his vision was clouded. More cursing spilled from his mouth, and it was then that he felt the dark brush of his lifemate's mind.

« What troubles you, brother? »

« Everything, » came Mur'dah's heated, bitter reply. Seething, he yanked open the door to his weyr and slammed it behind him, breathing in deeply of the scents of wood, polish, new furniture. And dragon. There his dragon rested, shadowed despite the lights Mur'dah had left on. Again.

Mur'dah stalked past his watching dragon, up the few steps into the living section. Yanking open a cabinet he pulled out a heavy glass shot glass. Why the fuck do I even have these? he thought to himself as he set it heavily on the countertop.

Stretching, he grabbed his father's whiskey bottle and set it down beside the glass. For a moment he simply stared at the glass and the bottle. Fuck it. Maybe it'll get /me/ some attention, he thought bitterly, tearing open the cap and pouring a sloshing shot.

Lifting the glass towards his lips he inhaled deeply, and felt his stomach heave in protest. Even my damn body is against me.

« Perhaps it is for a reason. »

« Shut up, Kalsuoth. »

The brown snorted, giving his rider's mind a mental nudge.

Staring at the shot, Mur'dah lifted it again only to have to turn his head away. "For fuck's sake!" he swore, his hand flinging the shot into the sink, while the heavy glass felt even heavier in his hand.

Panting softly, the brownrider set the glass down and clenched his hands against the counter, staring at the whiskey. "One shot down," he muttered to himself, angrily capping the bottle and slamming it back onto its shelf, pushing the shot glass into the sink to be washed later.

"Why the fuck do I even bother?" he demands, running hands through his hair. "Good ol' Mur'dah gets fucked over again." Turning to his dragon, he stares at Kalsuoth while the brown just looks back at him, quiet and calm.

« She appreciated you. »

"Like hell she did," Mur'dah said heatedly, anger rising in him as he stalks to the back of the weyr. And then towards the front again, trying to burn off his hurt, trying to leave his anger behind. But, no. He feeds it. Instead of letting it go, of rationalizing it away, he fed his anger. "Maybe I should be an asshole. Then maybe I'll get a nice girl."

Kalsuoth's mind reached out to his rider's, and in an instant Mur'dah was not in his weyr. He was standing in the middle of his dragon's old growth forest, overgrown, vegetation up to his ankles. "Fuck you, Kalsuoth!" Mur'dah lashed out angrily, trying to walk but finding that he has sunk in too deeply.

Kalsuoth's voice flowed from the very air surrounding him, humidity pressing against him until he squirmed. « You need to be calm. »

"I don't /want/ to be calm! I'm so…hurt and pissed and angry." He was throwing a fit, but he felt justified. Giving up the struggle, he just sat down heavily in the rich undergrowth, digging his hands into the decomposing leaves from the previous fall, letting the damp earth slip through his fingers.

"I didn't do anything wrong," he hissed to the earth itself, as Kalsuoth's mental presence surrounded him, pressing down upon his skull. "None of this is /my/ fault either, and I'm just trying to /help/. I talk to him, I talk to her, and what do I get. Nothing, that's what. Shoved aside like usual, because they've only got eyes for each other. Well, whatever. I'm done. I'm so done. Ka'el can go fuck himself for all I care, I'm so sick of his attitude. Of his delusions and of his judgements. I was not trying to take Sori away from him. Just because he's incapable of doing anything generous doesn't mean I have ulterior motives." Rambling, Mur'dah squeezed the leaves and brush until it was pulp, and he flung it aside to grab another handful to destroy.

"Fuck him," he said heatedly, thoughts full of hurt and of venom, stomach twisting with the knife wound of betrayal. "I can't believe he's so selfish. Well. Yes, I can," he said with a bitter laugh. "That whole tirade about how he's been her friend longer…obviously he has been. What's…why…I get that he's jealous and I get that he's hurt but how about thinking about how /I/ feel for a second, in all of this? Sori's my friend too, of course I'm going to try and help. It was just a stupid back rub."

The brownrider took a deep breath and sighed, shaking his head and wiping dirty hands against his blurry eyes. "Why does that even matter," he muttered. "It doesn't. He's just…why does he always turn to me as his little whipping boy bitch? I'm done. I can't do this anymore, Kalsuoth. I just can't. I've tried to be his friend - tried to be both of their friends - and I just…I don't know what to do."

Gently, Kalsuoth's mind shifted, the oppression lifting, replaced by comfort. The embrace of a friend which Mur'dah hunched his shoulders and leaned into, letting his mind be held by his dragon's as he started to cry. "I'm so tired of it," he whispered to his lifemate, letting himself cry in the privacy of their weyr, of their shared mind link. "I thought we were friends…I feel so…so used. So untrusted. So disrespected," he whispered, to which Kalsuoth only hugged him tighter.

« It will work itself out, brother. You are a good person. They are only confused. They will figure it out. »

"I don't know if it's worth it to try any more," Mur'dah whispered. "If I can't even comfort one friend without the other flipping out on me, and then Sori barely looking at me as I left… I know they've got issues and I want them to work it out, but, fuck. That was just…so hurtful. Why did he lash out at /me/?" His stomach twisted again and he hiccuped, curling over on himself as another sob tore at him. "I can't even drink!"

« You do not want to drink. »

"Yes I do." But it's the petulant whine of a child, and he let it go. Slowly, his anger faded, leaving him feeling empty and hollow. Only then did Kalsuoth let him return to his body, and Mur'dah found himself curled up on the floor. Picking himself up, the teen wiped his eyes on his sleeve. "I don't know why he's so hurtful," the brownrider whispers. "I…I love him. I love her. I love my clutchmates but sometimes they make it so fucking /hard/. I don't know if I should even try any more."

Straightening, he pushed his fingers through his hair and took a deep breath. "And now I've got to go find her a cot. Fuck. I don't want to do anything for anyone right now, but…" Stupid honor. Stupid promises. Stupid so-called friends. Splashing water on his face, Mur'dah left his weyr again, going to the store caverns. To find a cot. To send a Smith to install it and make sure it fits (because he sure as hell isn't going to the galleries any time soon), to send some light linens and a few stupid books.

Then he returned to his weyr and sat at his kitchen table, staring at the whiskey bottle.

One shot down.

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