Under the Influence

Warning - adult situation…uhhh… ahead?

Xanadu Weyr - Hali's and Darsce's Room

This is one of the many windowless, standard shared rooms hewn from the same rock edifice that also forms the living caverns. The walls have been painted a sheer olive green, the color so light it's barely discernible while white-painted ceiling, doors and trim brighten the small room, large enough to squeeze two single cots and a dresser in. It comes with a six-foot high niche carved in one wall that serves as a closet, hinged wooden double doors fold open to allow access to the clothing hanging within and shut to disguise the chaos that reigns after having been riffled through. In one corner there's an oval, antique-brass-framed, full-length mirror, while in the other an ivory-colored overstuffed easy-chair is situated. Serving to cushion bare feet from chill stone is a pretty tapestry rug that reaches nearly to the perimeters of the room, the floral and leaf motif mostly dark olive with touches of gold, fuchsia, peacock-blue and smoky-toned purple.

If kept neat, this would be a sophisticated and stylishly feminine-looking abode. Alas, while Hali's bed is made, teal and fuchsia pillows on her gold bedspread neatly arranged and her side of the room clutter-free, Darsce's side looks like a bomb went off in it. Coverlets are usually left rumpled and thrown back, pillows scattered anywhere BUT on the bed, piles of clothing discarded there instead as well as heaped on the chair and floor while searching for the perfect outfit for the day - the rug is usually but barely glimpsed underneath the carpet of cast-off clothing. The nearest half of the nightstand between the two beds is cluttered with hairbrush, nail polish, make up, jewelry, bottles of perfume, an empty klah mug or two and who knows what else. C'est la vie!

Restless. Darsce has been deeply asleep, tired after a busy day, and the sort of unmoving somnolence has given way to a fitful tossing that abruptly changes to alert wakefulness. A tingle in… certain parts of her anatomy. What the-? A dream? Perhaps? A warmth… like the slow heat of a warming unit is being turned up in her belly, at first minimal, barely felt, but gradually rising in temperature as it spreads until she flings the covers off of herself. Her mind… refuses to focus on anything coherent until as last she rises from the bed in one fluid motion. She needs to… move!

Jethaniel sleeps. It is somewhat usual for parts of his night to be restless; he shifts and moves and drifts partway to wakefulness before receding into slumber once again. His eyes have, thus far, remained closed, but there is a shallowness to his breathing that indicates he may soon awake - or, at least, transition to being half-asleep with his eyes open instead of half-awake with his eyes shut. Jethaniel is, despite his proximity to sleep, not dreaming. His thoughts do not have even that illusory cohesion, instead hovering around half-heard sounds and a growing sensitivity to sensation that has his fingers curl to clutch at the sheet - though he is not yet awake enough to be certain whether that is because he is seeking to clutch it in place or to move it. Soon he will be awake, his quickened breathing claims - or perhaps there is another cause for that, one that mingles with other sensations and sensitivities.

This particular room is never pitch-dark. Has Jethaniel ever noticed this fact? The dim nightlight prevents Darsce from stumbling into furniture as she prowls silently but with a rising restlessness. Her steps are merely that - unhurried at first, paces that carry her from the bed to cross the space where Hali's bed is situated, around the end of that, along the wall where the closet is to turn at the corner, past the door back to the bed where Jethaniel is, around the foot of it, back to her side, a sharp about face, back to Hali's side… The circuit repeated as a caged animal will seek its freedom. One of those times she actually reaches for the knob, grasps it with a white-knuckled grip. She's hardly dressed to be seen in public even though it is the middle of the night. Her filmy shift barely brushes the tops of her thighs and there's nothing underneath it to preserve her modesty. She knows this and yet…had reached anyway. The knob is released, unturned and she does not venture forth. Her steps resume.

Those steps echo in Jethaniel's head, and for a moment, his eyes press further shut - then open. The light is dim, but present. He might have been more aware if it were it not for his own room's tendency to continual illumination. He is habituated to small amounts of light at all times, and so an adjustment to the amount of light has not been among those necessary. His eyes adjust to it now, though they find the details of the ceiling obscured. He is awake. There is a pacing sound of footsteps, but… that is not the reason for his wakefulness. The reason why he is awake is because… he breathes in, sharper than while sleeping. The sheet still covers him, but other than that… Jethaniel ordinarily finds it comfortable to sleep unattired. Were he still asleep, he might continue to be comfortable, but he is not. His head turns, seeking the source of those footsteps - not that he doesn't already know, but his gaze finds Darsce and… no. He turns his head away, looking toward the wall.

Darsce has yet to realize what it is that has stirred her from sleep. The movement from the bed stops her restless pacing. She isn't alone. Why did she think she was? Confusion is where her brain should be, but she knows who he is. And she… She moves to the bed, crawls up from the foot to her spot, still warm where she'd lain beside him. Now she's between him and that wall he's staring at. Not sure why this is so important. What was it? There was a discussion, something about walls? Pleh. She can't think. But she wants… something. He's awake, so she can say, "I'm…I…there's…" She doesn't know how - can't put it into words. She draws her legs up, braces her elbows on them and drops her head to rake fingers that tremble slightly though her long blonde hair.

There's a motion of the bed when Darsce climbs atop it, her weight creating a sunken spot that adjusts the rest of the mattress into subtle slopes. Jethaniel is aware of that motion, and he closes his eyes, only to open them again and see… Darsce. He is not in his room, but hers. He is where he should be - or was that should not be? (Darsce should be alone.) Jethaniel finds that he cannot remember the precise goal state, but he is, most assuredly, with Darsce. Jethaniel reaches out his hand toward her, then stops. He is… experiencing a reaction, primarily of his body, that is not entirely correlated to the mental state that he would ordinarily associate with it. In some regards, this bears similarities to certain experiences of male adolescence; there are times when there appear to exist a conflicting set of intentionalities, not entirely under conscious control. He does not turn his head away a second time, instead watching Darsce, but he lowers his hand without having touched her. "I love you." The words are important ones, his voice a low tone somewhere between urgency and concern.

He is here. This… does not distress her. Rather, there is a distinct settling of something within. The restless dissipates. At his urgent avowal, she drops her hands, leaving her hair mussed without bothering to smooth or pat it into place, doesn't seem to know or care that it is tumbled and lifts her head to stare at him. "I love you too." It's phrased as a question, not questioning hers - or his for that matter. Questioning the urgent concern she's catching. Sounding confused, "I was looking for you." The pacing. Which wasn't effective or logical as he was…here…all the time. But she's found him now. And thus, she moves, pushing herself forward to creep the rest of the way to him, remaining on hands and knees to peer into his face in the dim light. Chaos, a tumult in her mind. Not logic. She swallows hard, her body trembles. "It is hot in here," is her incoherent mumble. Which doesn't fully explain the almost-irritable snap of teeth at the air, but it might?

Jethaniel hears that questioning tone, but he has difficulty articulating an answer. It was important - is important - and that is why… why…. He swallows. "I am here." She found him. He was always present, since before she left the bed, but… now she's found him. He watches her, grey eyes wide and open to the dim light as she comes closer. The sides of his mouth draw to the sides, concern that flattens the lips, and he breathes in through his nose only to find another sense confirming that he is with Darsce. His hand reaches up again, and this time, Jethaniel does not manage to stop it before fingers brush along her cheek, nudging back that tumbled hair with motions that might be more effectual were it not for the way his touch wishes to focus on her skin and so forgets to tuck the tumbled locks away. He nods regarding the temperature - or at least the perception thereof. An unbiased measuring device might indicate that the temperature is one that - at another time - would be termed reasonable. Jethaniel is, at this moment, more concerned with tracing the lines of Darsce's face and meeting the searching gaze of her eyes than conducting proper measurements. His lips part slightly at that snap of teeth, and he inhales, holding his breath for a long moment. He is here. She is here. It is hot in here.

A strong impression that she should flee him and just as intense that she should pursue. A sense of motion, away - towards. Such a dichotomy of impulse-feeling that she sways. His hand on her cheek steadies the movement and she leans into it, allowing her eyes to slide closed for a moment before they open again to seek his. There's no mistaking the message in them. Doesn't every teenaged male wish to see such directed his way? It is longing, attraction, request and demand combined. Her breath quickens, "I… you…" Incoherent turmoil robs her of the words she wants to speak. She inches closer, her knees touch his ribcage as settles back to sit on her knees, reaches for him. There's still no definition in her mind what this is, only that she wants to be…closer.

Darsce should flee. Jethaniel should move his hand away. He should not have touched her in the first place; he certainly should not continue. She leans into the touch, and he loses his hold on that breath, letting it out with a shakey quaver. He does not, however, remove his fingers, despite the awareness that he should. He does not want to stop. He also does not want to not. Jethaniel is not blind to the look in Darsce's eyes. He is assuredly not unresponsive to it; his body (No - he; to attribute it to something other than himself is a lie. It is Jethaniel who) wishes to respond with eagerness and a chase and… he swallows. His lips part, but the words disappear into a soft moan as she nudges in against him. The touch of skin to skin - even when it's simply knees and ribs, fingers and cheek - is everything he wants and not nearly enough of it. He wants more; to take and hold and press. To answer that demand with his own longing, but - "…no." It's soft. He's lost his voice, somewhere along that moan, and he's lost in Darsce's eyes, and the desire there is… he remembers that sway. (It made him want to pursue.) He remembers the uncertainty her body portrayed, and the influence of his hand on it. (He should not have touched her.) She reaches for him, and still he does not remove his hand from her cheek, but instead his other hand reaches for hers. The brace has been exchanged for a lighter one, his injury gradually healing, but he's heedless of his wrist as he captures that hand (Good. He should not -) and draws it up to (No! He should not -) press his lips to the back.

It's the moan that causes her stomach to contract, the moan than draws Darsce down to him. It is where she wants to be, but there are forces above in the sky that move away. And yet those same forces tempt a… following. Away is not what she wants to do and so… she doesn't. Her hand is kissed and she, already pitching forward, shudders. She wants… everything of him. There is not the merest thought of tape. Not this time. Because he is here. There are opposites in the air tonight, in her so to the "no" (did she imagine that? Or was it one of those confusing thoughts?) as she lowers her face to his she groans, "Yes" against his mouth.

Those forces tempt. They bring a desire for… something incoherent. An instinctive, untargeted urge - but in Jethaniel, that desire is focused. It is not entirely coherent; his thoughts slip dreamlike into possibilities even as he tries to hold them to the knowledge that… he… should not. That Darsce - oh, Darsce! He wants her. The focus of his desires. Her hand is soft beneath his lips. He wants - so much - but this is - how can he ask her? He cannot even form the question, how can she possibly assent to what he wants? She hides, because otherwise - Jethaniel gasps as Darsce falls against him, breathless even before her lips press to his. Yes, she says, and he wants - oh, how he wants - to believe her, but how can he? He should - should - should stop, but instead his fingers trail back from her cheek, slipping beneath her ear and on to tangle in her hair as his head lifts, just enough to press his lips back to hers. This, at least, she has permitted him; this is not the desire he must resist, but one thing… leads to another. The look. The touch. The kiss. The… urge.

Darsce has permitted him more than the touch of her lips. And while she was searching, it was for him and no other. So held in the grip of that which prompts her to both hide and seek by the game in the skies above, her former thought to hide was all hers last time. Prior to this night she hadn't asked without the aid of dragon-induced passion. His answer then? Yes. Of his own choice. And since then - their choice, every time. Tonight? Without the insistency pressing her from the skies, she would have let him sleep, her desire, while present could be denied. Not so this time. He kisses her back and she melts into it, another shudder wracking her and her arms curl around him. She lifts her mouth just far enough to say, "I want you, Jethaniel." There is no thought of don't or shouldn't in her mind at all.

Oh, yes, Darsce has permitted him more - freely and happily - but some permissions, Jethaniel will not take in perpetuity. He can kiss her without asking. For more than that… he has her permission to ask. It… has… always been her choice (and his). The current circumstances are, far too plausibly, a form of duress. They are frightening for that; for the influence they may (do) exert on decision-making. Choices so made are… are… Jethaniel moans again as he feels the shudder of Darsce's body - the way she moves, the way her arms wrap around him. The warmth - the heat of her. She is hotter than the room. She is the perfect temperature. Her choice - made while dragons fly in the sky - is expressed. Desire. For him. From Darsce. Jethaniel trembles, a quiver that draws his stomach in and curves his body up toward hers, a motion of his hips and lips that urges him to say - "Yes." Duress or not, he wants her. If she regrets this, he will - somehow - find - some way - later. After. Now, in this moment, he kisses Darsce again, lips eager with that desire woken by dragons but because of her. The fingers of his injured hand trail along her shoulder, then slide down her back as he draws her against him instead of seeking to redirect her touch.

But will he ever ask her? He hasn't yet. Darsce, heh, doesn't need dragons flying to want him. Tonight though, she wants him. The sheet is between them, this barrier must go. She unwinds an arm to tug at it, unwilling to ease far enough from Jethaniel's body to remove it. He presses in and her coherent thought scatters like so many drops poured from glass to floor. Back around him curls her arm, her fingers curl against the skin of his back as she arches hers to meet him. There is nothing leisurely or lazy about her tonight.

Perhaps Darsce could conduct an experiment to see how long it takes Jethaniel to make that request - though a proper test would likely require her to refrain from initiating such things, and as such, seems unlikely to pass her review. Jethaniel's hesitance to ask is one thing; his hesitance tonight is another. In neither case is it due to a lack of desire. The sheet slips slightly as she pulls, but it's insufficient to expose him fully - unsurprisingly so, given the weight of her body holding it it in place. Jethaniel's fingers stroke down her back and slip beneath the shift, gathering it up with his touch. He wants to feel her. All of her. There's fabric here, and Jethaniel finds that he wants (a fading part of his mind tells him it's good; that it keeps a distance between Darsce and himself, keeps him from doing what he wants) the fabric gone, all of it; he wants to touch Darsce everywhere, and this fabric is in the way. So Jethaniel draws her shift up along her back, pushing with one hand and untangling his other from her hair to trail down to her neck and pull from that direction. His kiss is deep as a proxy for further touch as he catches his good foot against the sheet, pulling at it with awkward motions that make his hips roll from side to side. If she wants him, she can have him; all of him, directed toward her with a focus that's inefficient in its eagerness.

If it occurs to Darsce (it hasn't yet) that he doesn't ask, she might! Because… it's important! Tonight? She has no idea there is hesitancy. But that is thanks to the incoherency brought to her courtesy of Seryth and those bronzes and browns. Jethaniel is here. That's all she knows. She is safe to let the floodtide take her out to sea and so with his arms around her, she does. His hand is a balm to the heated skin of her back as is stir of cooler air he allows in with the movement of her shift. She assists the little tug with a withrawal of arms and a ripple of her body to shed it, ducks under the material to return her lips to his, murmuring illegibly as they twist together to rid the sheet from them. Oh she wants all of him, his intensity, his focus, efficiency not required!

The shift is let to fall carelessly to one side. The sheet, as it's tugged and shoved, slides out to the other. Left between are Jethaniel and Darsce, and while he moans as he presses his mouth to hers, the coherency of words - or even of phonemes that could reasonably be presumed to be words - is not something that he manages. His lips remain parted - to varying degree - as the kiss deepens in fits and starts according to Darsce's murmurs. They guide the parameters of the kiss, though they are unlikely to be instructions, as such - or, if they are, they are not ones Jethaniel is capable of comprehending. Her lips against his, he comprehends. The heat of her body, oh, he comprehends that, his hands moving splay-fingered across her back, caressing down to either side of her spine and tracing to her hips. His own - once bared from the sheet - are claimed by another moment of hesitance, held still despite his comprehensions of touch and passion, despite the erect fact that also desires comprehension. Jethaniel, in his incoherency, is vaguely, distantly aware of that lack and attempts to compensate for it - even if he forgets that he has already come to his conclusions and fails to reconcile his hesitance with his roaming hands and eager tongue.

Darsce's mutterings are not so much instructions as endearments. Those fade off as she gives her whole-hearted participation and concentration to kissing her Jethaniel. Her lips part, her teeth meet his, her tongue flirts with his. His moans are answered by her groans, but her body speaks for her now: her need for him is an exquisite agony. She - forgive her, this is beyond her control tonight - does not sense, is not aware of any hesitancy on his part. If she were, it would be met with poignant pleading. This. She is consumed with. Love? Would this be defined as such? Maybe only in part but because of love and only because of it, sought with single-minded focus. Her shift is gone, the sheets removed, she reconnects skin to skin and shivers with voluptuous pleasure, hips shifting, wriggling herself into him to get closer still. Her hands slide up his back into his hair, her breaths taken much too quickly for her own good; she's dizzy, but there's nowhere to fall but into him.

If Darsce were - could be - aware of Jethaniel's hesitation, he would not have it. He wants her. He wants to give himself fully to her, to lose himself in the moment of her touch. He tries to hold himself back, because - he knows he wants her. Beyond dragons, beyond that urge, there is his own, and he wants her. He does not know, not with the certainty he wishes, that she does. He has a theory. He has supporting evidence, analogues to this situation in how they have come together in the past and indicators of desire in how she reaches for him, how she kisses him with twisting tongues and urgent lips - but theories can be invalid, and it is difficult for Jethaniel to think. The thought he holds onto is the important one, the one he was trying to decide though growing passion - but he has lost the faculty to make the decision, without forgetting that it is a choice to be made. He cannot think, does not want to say no, is not certain he should say yes. He says neither - not with words - but he gasps at the touch and shudders at the closeness, and his hands graze across Darsce's hips before tracing a diagonal back to grasp and hold as his body arches to meet her fall.

All Darsce knows is Jethaniel. Him. There is only him. There is no her anymore. Conscious thought is lost, she is lost - in him and the need to be his. His arms, his body, his mouth all firm upon hers, she presses urgently back against them and even then it doesn't seem to be enough, for she seeks to be closer yet. She couldn't say no if she wanted to but the thought isn't even remotely on the nebulous horizon of her subconscious. Her arms, hands in his hair hold him to her, her legs twine around his - all tighten as her body twists with his, and there is nothing gentle about the way she moves against him.

Darsce is lost, but Jethaniel seeks her. His tongue presses to her mouth, unneeded for the vocalizations that rise from his throat - moans and greedy noises of desire. There are no words. Jethaniel does not have words; they have disappeared with his thoughts. He has - heat, touch, desire. He has his arms, wrapped around Darsce. He has his body, shuddering to meet her. He has her body, writhing against his. He does not have a word for her, because she is everything; she is the only thing. He is focused on her; he wants her, and his motions are intent on having her - everything - all of her. There is - now - no hesitance. That too has disappeared, thrust away by ungentle touch eagerly reciprocated.

Far above the rainy skies under the stars the ascending flight reaches its apex, dragons scatter and drift to earth, spent. There isn't enough strength in her body to do what Darsce wants to do or as long as she wishes to do it. There's a point where her whole body arches to its limit, her muscles gripped in unyielding immobility as she clings to him, fingers curl in a claw-like grip to his shoulders and she cries out. Her need for oxygen now surpasses her need for him, but she is only able to draw air in too-short, shallow, ragged breaths that do not suffice; she hasn't the strength to draw deeper ones. She was hot before; the strenuous movement has left her sweat-soaked, exhausted. She needs to collapse to bonelessness, yet her muscles will not release her to do so; she remains curled tight to him instead, just trying to breathe.

Jethaniel still wants, and his desire keeps him in motion for moments after Darsce has stilled. He does not know how long; he has lost all sense of time not measured in gasps and cyclic motions of his body, and he has also lost the numbers he would need to count those, the memory to convey them to another. It does not matter. His hips, his hands, his want for her continue; he is heedless of her exhaustion and panting attempts at breath, the way that heat melts and burns. Longer. More. Everything. Like the grip of her hands, the sensations flirt with pain in their intensity - and yet he does not want to stop, because he. Wants. Her. His body's eagerness has turned to weariness and oversensitivity, but he continues, arms gripping at her as if he fears her clinging to be insufficient, until his whole body shudders as he makes a gasping series of groans, giving her - having her - more - and then shivering as he contracts against her heat, his body drawing up into a slight curve as the fading urge leaves him near-insensate and aching fatigue grows to predominate what little awareness he has.

It is both wonderful and terrifying, the rush to heights and the plummet to the depths, blinding bright, hot white seen on the insides of her eyelids, almost too much to bear so that she opens her eyes, seeking something to stop the vertigo, lock onto Jethaniel's face in those last few minutes anchoring her to him as surely as her arms and legs do. Movement finally ebbs and still she seeks air, her heart thundering against his, drumming in her ears leave her still dizzy, dazed, wide eyed, stunned. Muscles in arms and legs twitch, complain and finally quiver in protest as with agonizing slowness they relent to allow her to loosen her hold on him. She still needs air; able to draw slightly deeper breaths now but still hasn't enough to speak. A tiny croak is all she manages.

His lips, parted to let the air rush past, offering no barrier to the moans. His gaze, intent, focused, eyes meeting hers because there is nothing else for him to see. Even when Jethaniel's eyes press shut, he feels her. He knows - in a way more certain than the words he does not have - that she is with him. She is warm - hot - against him. His heart races with hers, his breath is a pant barely slower than hers, his body crushed by hers. His arms are around her, and so he remains - eyes closed, because he does not dare more sensation than he has as he drifts; he still cannot calculate time or count his hurried heart - until her limbs ease their grip on him. The firm sensation of her touch lessens, and so Jethaniel opens his eyes. They fall - of course - on Darsce, and the opening continues until they are wide, staring. His arms are around her. "You -" he begins. A word. He's remembered one of his words. The most important word - not her name, but at least, the pronoun which indicates another. Jethaniel's focus remains on her, even if that word is half-gasped, caught between pants that tear away the rest of the sentence into unformed syllables again. Perhaps it wasn't a word at all, but simply a vocalization on a vowel. Jethaniel tries again. "I -" Either theory could still hold.

There is, in the swimming of senses one place of stability, one point where Darsce can reemerge to a place bearable where every nerve doesn't sing so loud she must listen only to them. Her eyes, pupils large, shadowed from exertion and emotion to a near violet hue, cling to grey ones, her breaths mingle with his as slowly her skin becomes aware of other things besides him: the crumpled sheets upon which they lie, the dampness of perspiration upon heated skin touched by cooler air that allows the flush thereof to fade, the fatigue of muscles unused to the exertions just past, her throat, dry from harsh breaths taken during. He is there too, the pressure of his body against hers, his arms around her, every breath he takes known and felt as his chest and stomach rise and fall against hers, but also from the tickle of bangs stirred by each exhale he makes, her hair, silver-blonde strands sticking to cheeks and neck. These are peripheral things, however. His voice; she listens to the gasped words, unable to answer save with her eyes, still wide and stunned, though she does try, moistening her lips, which then move in a soundless word; his name by the looks of it.

Jethaniel does not know what to say. He does not know what he can say. The two words he has spoken are clearly important ones, though he is uncertain of the appropriate connecting terms. She is. He is. They are… he does not know. There is also a universe around them; he is becoming aware of that fact once again. Outside, there is a storm, but in here, the grey is his eyes, not the clouds. Jethaniel becomes aware of the existence of that universe, but he deems it insufficiently important to draw his gaze away from Darsce. She is… he can feel the roughness of her breathing and the way her muscles tremble. He sees her lips move and hears no voice. She should have water, to soothe her throat and replace what she has lost in the sweat that drenches them. He should get it for her, offer her what he can after… he…. At the very least, he should let her go so she can care for herself after… he… but he doesn't. The thought crosses his mind. The concern shows in his eyes, but his arms curl further around her instead of releasing. His throat does not make the offer to aid her. Instead, he lets out a soft groan. It does not have words, but it is nevertheless a statement of desire satiated and satisfaction found, made as his arms tighten around Darsce. His.

Darsce's lips move, again soundlessly. Jethaniel. It is enough. It is everything. She makes no move to withdraw, to go anywhere. She likely couldn't stand, let alone walk, if she tried. She's been left as weak as a kitten, moreover, she doesn't want to leave him. Not right now. Encircled within his arms, her body slowly relaxes to that limpness that tells of how totally her strength has ebbed. She isn't gripping him so tightly anymore, but her arms still hold him and her eyes remain affixed to his, the dazed light slowly fading to something more…aware and tender, and a faint smile for him curves her mouth. Replete, content, she drifts, perhaps to sleep, if that is the state, she knows not. All she knows is she is his, he is hers. They were, they are, they will be. And he is here with her. All is well.

Jethaniel is not aware of the moment when he fell asleep. His focus was elsewhere; he had Darsce. He still does, his arms positioned around her - though the exhaustion that had him tumbling into sleep also left them loosely draped, present but not having significant effects beyond that. Sleep has provided him with some measure of recovery, but his whole body still aches with fatigue, the lactic acid built up in the muscles from vigorous exertion not yet fully dispersed and broken down. It has not been a full night's sleep, but Jethaniel begins to stir. Perhaps he has become acclimated to the hour at which Darsce rises for her headwoman duties, in the time he has been sleeping here, or perhaps it's something else that rouses him. Given the remnants of his exhaustion, he is slow to reach consciousness. His senses and memories bring themselves to his awareness only gradually. Touch informs him of Darsce's presence. His eyes half-open and confirm (however blurrily) that fact, and his lips curve in a soft smile.

Dark lashes flicker against ivory skin, the emergence from heavy somnolence to lighter sleep, from sleep to wakefulness is a slow thing; Darsce's limbs are leaden, her body stone-weighted as she seeks to surface from it. Too exhausted to disentangle her legs from his, she's slept unmoving, her arms where they'd been as she drifted off - around him. His stirring brings her further awake, though she is far from alert. She doesn't move a muscle as iceblue eyes, reluctant to open, manage a peep at him through her lashes and her mouth flickers an answering, lazy smile to his. It's habit that has her flexing in the beginning of a stretch, a movement aborted with a wince. Sore. Everywhere. It's enough to bring her eyes open, confusion predominate, but she doesn't dare try stretching again.

Jethaniel's wakefulness continues to make slow advancements. The rate increases as he proceeds, though not greatly so; the curve, were it to be graphed, might fit a geometric progression. His observation of Darsce's smile increases his own, and he trails his fingers up along her back. This brings two facts to his attention. The first is that his muscles ache with fatigue, which results in the motion being a stiff and somewhat jerky one. The second is that her back is bare, his touch uninterrupted. Her shift is not merely disarrayed but entirely absent - which observation leads to a reassessment that has him both realizing just how completely she is wrapped around him and opening his eyes the rest of the way. His gaze seeks hers, hoping for answers but instead finding a perplexity to match his own. He opens his mouth, and finds - as he draws in breath to speak - that his throat is dry. He also finds there is a damp spot beneath him, though the sweat elsewhere has mostly been dried by evaporation into the air. Jethaniel closes his mouth again, and swallows.

Darsce is becoming aware of the same things Jethaniel is. The bed is a mess, they're naked and - an experimental twitch of her shoulder and leg confirms that she's sore all over. Sleepy makes her vague, but usually not this vague so she casts about in her mind for last night. Pieces and bits emerge from the haze, enough to give her an idea but the predominate one is tumult of thought, desire and almost…violent…activity. She quirks a half-sheepish, half-puzzled look down their entwined bodies then back at him. Her vocal chords won't cooperate, but she tries. It's more of a dry croak, "Jeth-" That's all she can manage. Whatever they had to drink must've packed a wallop?

Jethaniel's fingers pause against Darsce's shoulder, resting there as he attempts to recall the details of the prior night. It has been a very long time since he drank to that extent, but as memories return to him, he becomes increasingly certain that was not, in fact, what happened. There was desire, and a decision and… he… Jethaniel swallows again, and the touch of his hand lightens as it gains a certain degree of hesitance. He keeps his eyes on Darsce as she looks down over their tangled bodies, the closeness of skin to skin that implies things his tangled memories confirm. When she looks up again, his gaze meets hers, grey eyes wide with a concern that only increases as he hears the state of her voice. "Darsce," he confirms, and while his voice is raspy, it's better than hers. He cannot help but extrapolate that disparity into other domains; he is sore, and - "Are you okay?"

After her aborted attempt to speak, Darsce repeatedly swallows. It may be an attempt to moisten her throat, however… As the moments tick by, more glimpses emerge from the shrouds of memory. She doesn’t remember making a decision, but obviously she… did? Not that she seems distressed by that, necessarily but… the impression of gripping something she wouldn’t lose draws a spasm of curled fingers where they lie against his back - not into him, just half-formed fists - her eyes flick from Jethaniel’s to his shoulders and she winces. His question draws iceblue back to grey, dazed comprehension dawning in hers. Is she alright? I… think so? My muscles ache though.” She whispers the answer because she’s not going to test her voice again just yet. In other places… she’s going to need numbweed but she doesn’t say it. There was a flight? Because there can be no other explanation for her distorted memories, for…this. No wonder her parents vacated her and her sisters from Ierne when the very occasional gold rose there! In her eyes, along with this comprehension, flits fear and concern for him. No regret, no revulsion, but fear. That’s predominant and easily read. Again she whispers, “Did I hurt you?” She can’t smile again until she knows!

Jethaniel does not remember making the decision either. He remembers thinking about it. He remembers the arguments against what he did, and he remembers doing it. He remembers wide eyes and the continuation of motion when the volition was entirely his. There are spots of shadow on his shoulders, places where the skin is darkened, but that, he does not remember until Darsce looks down at them; the sensations blur into the rest of his ache. His eyes wait for hers, anxious, and her reply - uncertain as it is - brings relief. He exhales, and his hand touches down to her back again, curling around her. If he had hurt her - but she would tell him. Even if she did not say, he would feel her draw away, and she does not. He nods to the ache in her muscles, easily comprehended. His own are the same, and the easing of his concern reminds him of that as the tension attempts to subside and discovers new aspects of soreness. For her hypothesis concerning the flight, he nods. "I believe so." What else could it have been? The arousal, the sweeping impulses, the heedless desire that he failed to resist. Jethaniel swallows, and tilts his head slightly, down and toward Darsce as his eyes seek hers with a reiteration of concern - only to blink at her question. "I wanted you. Everything." So how could she have hurt him? He aches now, but then? Impossible.

How could Darsce have hurt him? She wasn't exactly gentle. She doesn't remember thinking. At all. But she does remember, "I wanted you," she whispers, eyes haunted as they meet his, even after he does not seem to have been hurt. Why? She tips her forehead to rest against his. "I'm glad you were here," she breathes with obvious relief. "Because otherwise I would not have used the tape this time." And she would have wandered feverishly looking for him in her skimpy shift and might have been found…by someone else. Her half-clenched fists uncurl, and despite the protest of muscles, her arms slip more fully around him, tighten enough to hold him. "They scare me," she admits of flights with a shudder. "The power. I wasn't me, yet I was. I don't know how they stand it."

Experiencing pain and being hurt are not necessarily the same thing. Darsce was not gentle with him, but Jethaniel is not hurt by her… and though the question of whether he wishes numbweed is one he will have to consider, he will likely decide against it. For the moment, he is not even considering it. His grey eyes are soft for Darsce's, becoming softer as they blur with nearness, and that she was glad he was here makes those eyes widen slightly, his arms tightening around her as she continues. It's a motion both protective and possessive - and, as she shudders, perhaps also comforting. "I am frightened as well." The admission is a quiet one, and Jethaniel's brow furrows against hers, thoughtful. Why, precisely, did she need the tape last time? She never did tell him exactly what she was avoiding. "I… did not know if you would want it." Jethaniel swallows, his gaze - so close to hers - flicking down briefly and then to meet once more, blurred and earnest. "If you… wanted that, under those circumstances." Him, his body, his love and lust. Her response during the flight itself was one thing - such is the nature of those circumstances - but she might have regretted it. He did not know, and he could not effectively ask, because Darsce was - as she says - not herself. As such, Jethaniel attempted to… not. Attempted, and failed, and did… but the flight is over, and her arms still curve around him.

Darsce meant it more in the literal sense of the word because she didn't know if she’d caused him physical pain or not. The other would be by far worse, however. To hurt him. She couldn't bear that. She is comforted by all three of those meanings behind the motion of his arms. And ah yes, the tape! She never did explain, did she? The quiet comment, the flicked down-up look prompts her to explain, "I did. Well, I-" She thought she did. Did she really? She considers last night: the intensity, the flood of desire that swept her away, the possession of him and by him. It shook her and not necessarily in a bad way as she recalls more bits and pieces, none of it seen in crystal clarity, but in flashes and glimpses that, even now have the power to arouse. "Yes, I did," she says firmly then tips her head back to see his eyes more clearly and convey her sincerity. "And I do. But I wanted our decision to be…together like that…made without the influence of dragons. First." She ducks her head, still rather embarrassed about the tape. "I didn't trust myself not to come find you before… regardless of my resolve."

Jethaniel waits for Darsce to consider. As he does, his mind drifts, connecting the pieces of last night and seeking to fill in what details he may. Memory is not - under any circumstances - perfect, and it is far less than optimal when one is attempting to remember times such as the previous night. There are memories of sensations, emotions, fragments of vision uncertain in time but recalled nonetheless. His thoughts move, but his body is still save for his breathing, slow and deep. He is, at the moment, calm, and if the depth of his breathing is, occasionally, deliberate in order to maintain the slowness, that is something he is sufficiently used to doing in proximity to Darsce such that he is not conscious of it. Her conclusion, after that due consideration, makes him smile, a curve of his lips that combines relief and pleasure. It grows as she extends her expression of desire into the present tense, a pleasure of being wanted that fades with the 'but' - though the tender look in his eyes lingers as he listens to her explanation concerning the circumstances under which that decision was to be made… at least initially. Past performance is not an indicator of future activity, but it may provide a shorthand for certain calculations. He nods, then tilts his head to the side slightly as she continues her explanation. He blinks. "Ah." Jethaniel leans up to touch his lips to Darsce's lowered forehead. "Thank you." For taking precautions, and thereby (he does recall those broken nails) letting the two of them decide without the influence of dragons.

Darsce can, at last, smile and she does so in response to his, but hers widens fondly at his 'ah'. That word on his lips, with the inflection only the way Jethaniel can use, is always going to tickle a smile from her, a smile which sweetens at his thank you. Her moment of meek over, she tips her head back once more and offers her lips. It's both a good morning and a benediction upon last night, a seal and a promise; there will be other things for them to worry about - flights won't necessarily have to be one of them. There is then, the day to deal with. The flight hung-over grouches who didn't get the sleep they preferred, the smugly-pleased, the busy infirmary, the swamped bathing caverns, the overwhelmed laundry room with all the sweaty linens they're surely going to get, a new Weyrleader… "I love you," she murmurs while gathering the strength of will to get moving and leave the comfort of his arms. "But we should probably go see what they broke last night." She tries not to smirk saying that.

Jethaniel kisses those offered lips, his touch a gentle one - especially when considered in contrast to last night - but nevertheless warm and lingering. When dragons are not in the sky, he still desires Darsce; he is simply capable of more restraint concerning how he expresses that desire. Now, with his arms around her, he does so with tenderness, letting his lips enjoy hers before drawing away. There will be other flights, for so long as they remain at the Weyr - and Jethaniel has no intention of leaving Xanadu - but he and Darsce were, are, and will be together. (Including like that.) He smiles as his lips leave hers. "And I love you." His hand trails across her shoulder, touch receding to fingertips as they trace along the back of her neck, then pause. "We should." Darsce is correct. Jethaniel will not be joining those soaking in the bathing caverns, though his muscles could certainly use it. He will, instead, be assessing repairs and seeing to it that those who believed they had appointments today with the Weyrwoman - or Weyrleader - are informed otherwise. He has been somewhat lax in writing restdays on Thea's calendar; while he is arranging the one today, he will see to it they are added for the next few sevens. Jethaniel's day will be a busy one, but he is not being very efficient about removing his arms from Darsce and starting it. He will do so in another moment, but first he leans in to touch his lips to hers another time.

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