Who Needs Censorship?

Xanadu Weyr - Caverns
A massive cavern in its own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as have walls hung with numerous tapestries that provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt. The stone is carefully leveled but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.
The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area is the one near the Kitchens, where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. It's plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr, instead feeding people in shifts as they come off duty. On occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are borrowed from all the other areas.
There's also a big fireplace set into the western wall, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.
Exits lead off in all directions, the largest an archway to the northeast that leads outside. Near it there's an alcove with hooks for coats and shelves for muddy boots. A tunnel to the east goes to the infirmary, and a set of stairs just a little south of that lead up to the offices and administration area. To the south, a long and sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs. The kitchen is off to the southwest, while the residents' quarters are reached by tunnels going west, deeper into the cliff.

Three. Three letters from Xanadu and each more graphic than the last, not only detailing past events but a certain someone's vivid imagination for future ones as well. Adding insult to injury was the crude depiction of stick figures engaged in a slew of gravity defying sexual acts doodled beneath a signature M’ti glared at in near disbelief. As he sat at the workbench of his weyr, his face so hot it actually felt like it was on fire, anger he hadn't known he was capable of rose up within him. The paper bearing the third letter’s downright pornographic contents crinkled between his shaking hands, their knuckles blanched white. This was harassment! There was no doubt about it. However, M’ti was apprehensive to say the least about bringing this to anyone with the power to put an offical end to it. Just the thought alone made him sick with embarrassment. It was one flight shard it! It was bad enough he’d been ushered into adulthood by a perfect stranger, it had become obvious at this point that said stranger wasn't going to leave him alone after the fact like he was supposed to! Keruthien had been so casual and nonchalant when he’d left him that morning,so what was this?! A moment later the perhaps not so accurate realization hits M’ti like a ton of bricks, the smithy was playing with him! Clenching his teeth and shoving himself to his feet, he adds the other two letters to his fist and prepared to leave. He wasn’t anyone’s play thing! Cherith was certainly raring to go, ready and waiting for M’ti once he emerged from the stone entrance and climbed up her side, roughly tossing at her the imagery for Xanadu. It might only be minutes before they landed in the meadow there, boots striking ground as he marches towards the living cavern still tightly holding those letters with murder on his mind (to his lifemate’s delight), with unwavering purpose no matter how long it takes to find the object of his self-justified ire. The moment he spots him, the greenrider advances swiftly, “Keeerrruuuuttthhhiiieeeennnn….” he hisses from between clenched teeth, thrusting the trio of letters into the man’s face, crunching them, “What is wrong with you?! Do you get off on this sort of thing?” But he doesn’t wait for a response, tossing the letters at him, flushed and shaking with the sheer magnitude of his rage, “Cut. It. Out.” Or else? Who knows because any actual threats as to what would happen if he didn’t discontinue never comes. Oh, he wanted to hit him, wanted to punch him right in his smug face, but he spies the candidate knot on the smithy’s shoulder then suddenly remembers where he is. Four letter expletive beginning with ‘F’. An exasperated and frustrated sound claws its way out of M’ti and with that he promptly turns on his heels to seek the deeper levels of Xanadu’s inner caverns to cool down and maybe take out his turbulent feelings on the smooth stone walls or something.

Was it harassment? Technically, yes. Did that ever cross Keruthien's mind? Briefly, but he's not one to focus on the consequences and rather follow the whim of inspiration — and it pressed, he could not find the reason behind his actions. Only that he desired to do so and thus did it! Does he harbor regret? No and continues not to, even when M'ti comes all the way to Xanadu to hunt him down. He'll blink, perplexed at first to hear his name and then, upon recognition, a grin beings to bloom. He's about to greet him warmly, boisterously, but is cut off instead by the letters being crunched and thrown at him. M'ti's outburst only has him trying to fit in a word edgewise, giving a confused, if mildly nervous laughter between breaths. "Woah, hey… just a second here…" he tries and fails to communicate, along with his hands held up, palm outward, in surrender. Are there people watching this go down? Definitely. Ruthien doesn't even pay that thought a single shred of attention, merely blinking as the greenrider turns on his heels and watches that storming, retreating form. "… huh. Excuse me, a moment?" It's said to no one in particular, as letters are snatched up and he abandons whatever he was doing (not to worry, it was a late break) and takes off in the general direction M'ti went. His escape won't last long; once Ruthien is on the trail, it won't take much for the former-Smithcrafter to close the distance! There's the sound of approaching footsteps that pick up a confident stride to catch up… and promptly overtake the young man. It doesn't end there, though! Without hesitation, he reaches out to snare M'ti's wrist firmly in his hand and AWAY THEY GO! Where? Not far. Just a deep recessed alcove around the bend, to which Keruthien drags them both, whether his prey… err M'ti… protests or not. There's barely enough light here, from the source further out in the side hall, but it's enough. Not a second goes by once they're safely aside that Ruthien lets go of his wrist, only to then step well into the greenrider's personal space — it's aggressive but magnetic, alluring but certainly posturing. Gauging the scenario, perhaps? Either way, HE is highly amused, wolf-like grin in place this time as he gazes downwards from a haughty stance. "Missed you too." he purrs, teasingly sweet and gruff, only to feign a pouting tone. "… you didn't like my letters?"

Whatever Keruthien might have thought of his letters and their content is furthest from Matty’s mind, rather focused on how they had made himself feel. Exposed, humiliated, toyed with. The greenrider had never in his life thought that there were people out there like the smith, using the weakness of others to get their jollies. What other reason could there possibly be for such increasingly obscene notations? They hadn’t talked much, before or after, and all M’ti could picture as he read every profane word was that smug smirk as even now Ruthien’s laughter rung in his ears. Surely they were of an age where teasing and making fun were beyond them! Apparently not. So to Xanadu he goes, throwing that incredibly inappropriate and awful stuff right back in his face, no matter who was there or looked at him like he was insane. No matter the look the smith wore or how badly he wanted to interrupt with his lame excuses or how much he laughed at his bright red face, M’ti was going to stand up for himself. He wasn’t that awkward puny boy anymore that bullies saw as little more than walking target! He was an adult by Pernese standards and a full fledged dragonrider! Once he’d done what he felt he had to, off he goes, aggravated by the tears that threaten for a reason that was beyond his comprehension. Against his will everything that happened between them, everything that was said, everything written, runs through his head like a movie reel set to fast forward and his feet follow that pace. He no longer knew where he was and he didn’t care, his mind was spinning and it was getting harder to breathe. Then, footsteps, his wrist grabbed with a sharp gasp and someone was pulling him along. Who was this? Where were they going? M’ti finds himself trying to pull away, resisting and yet he ends up being dragged off anyway and into someplace with barely enough light to see. Yet, there’s plenty to identify his captor, to smell him with a flare of his nostrils as he steps in close, and to see that sharky and oddly predatory grin. Instead of paling, the greenrider is red faced, brows slamming down into a furrow as he chases off the feelings he wasn’t even conscious of yet, ducking behind a sheer wall of anger. How dare he look at him like that! However, to his chagrin his body was already responding in ways that made him feel all the more humiliated. M’ti inhales sharply and clenches his teeth, his hands forming into fists, attempting once again to twist and yank his wrist free, “Miss you?” he practically snarls, but it’s about as intimidating as a cornered kitten, “I don’t even know you! Where do you get off sending me that… that…that filth?!” Despite all that anger, the greenrider was blushing fiercely as he's asked if he liked the letters,“O-of course not! I want you to stop!” Yeah, sure. Okay.

Oh, Ruthien isn't intimidated in the slightest bit! That snarling and aggression coming from M'ti? Is read in a completely different way. It intrigues him, lures him all the closer as his bright blue gaze fixates on him intently. "You know me well enough," he teases again, low and sultry and unforgiving. Another step and the distance between them dwindles to the barest of slivers but he doesn't quite touch. Half the thrill for him is to feel that tension build between them; even if his desire is one sided. There's a fine line being toed here, between mutual consent and something more akin to assault and as reckless and chaos-bound as Keruthien is… there are lines he does not cross. Yes, he is shamelessly playing with him but he does so to get the answers he needs in a way that is, for him, more rewarding than a blunt and direct path. "I've definitely not forgotten you — or the way you spoke my name." A blink. "That filth?" Aww, does he sound a little hurt? He does, actually, or at the least, disappointed. "It was partially a joke! Mostly the truth. I can't come and visit you and you weren't answering and I was getting lonely…" It's not an answer, not even REMOTELY close but leave it to him to skirt around the actual meaning behind his sudden infatuation! Speaking of, he's drawn himself closer and if M'ti has moved away, he will only unconsciously follow; there's only so far to go before there's nothing but a rock wall and a way to be trapped between it and his body. That was the goal all along, after all! He'll place a hand against said wall, blocking off further escape as he leans in and down to be more at face level with the young greenrider. Despite the risk of being punched, he brings his face mere inches from M'ti and tilted oh-so suggestively as he grins that awful smug grin of his. "It's been hard, y'know? Surrounded by so many others, day in and day out. New rules, new routines — I can forget, for awhile, but not when it's quiet." If he hasn't been forcefully shoved back or told to quit it, his free hand will cup the side of his face, the pad of his thumb tracing ever-so lightly over his bottom lip. He looms closer, his next words ghosted hotly over M'ti's lips as he denies them both the obvious, letting that impending kiss linger unfulfilled between them. Both because he is getting a massive thrill over the denial play but also for him to lay down a small ounce of genuine truth. "… if you really want this to stop," he whispers gruffly. "Just say it and it'll all end here, but if you ask me? I don't want it to — and I don't think you want it to, either."

Even as ticked off and embarrassed as M’ti is, he was about as intimidating as a wet paper sack, being somewhat less muscular than the smithy and shorter to boot. However, he was still a far cry from those delicate flower greenriders who kept their hair long and preened like women in front of mirrors every day. Slight in stature as he might be in comparison to Ruthien, M’ti was no less male than he was. His voice as masculine, his mannerisms, and right now the testosterone in his body was screaming at him to punch this guy. At the same time, the greenrider was young, inexperienced, and carried the baggage from several stupid attempts in his more tender turns to form relationships both friendly and romantic. All but one failing quite horrendously. M’ti stares at Keruthien in disgruntled disbelief, even as he feels his face grow impossibly hot, “W-what…I d-do…I do not!” Ugh, that voice, his proximity, and with it comes an unwelcomed reminder of biology that makes M’ti terribly uncomfortable. As Ruthien steps forward, M’ti retreats, and again and again until his back comes up flush against smooth cold stone, hazel eyes widening faintly. Then, a blush unlike any other overtakes the greenrider’s face for not being forgotten, for the way the smith’s name had been spoken, but M’t hones in on the word filth, “Y-ye…yes…filth! I don’t know how you were raised but where I come from that sort of…” Again, Mother Nature gives him a sharp reminder he doth protest too much (that bitch) but M’ti was determined to power through it, “I don’t like being made fun of and I don’t like being teased, so please stop.” Faranth, why had it hurt so much hearing that it was a joke, that Ruthien had tried to use him to pass the time, and once more moisture wells up and it distorts his view— a thing that almost comes as a relief before the greenrider blinks it away. Then, a growl, low and dangerous sounding— but considering the source hardly threatening. It dies as Keruthien leans in close and grins that smug grin that was no less infuriating than it had been before now, M'ti doing his utmost to hold onto his convictions and not waver. But then comes that hand to the side of his face, the hovering of lips over his, that gruff tone of voice bringing about another shiver as the greenrider’s body tenses beneath that lip tracing thumb, “I-I’m not a toy you can play with when you’re bored, I’m…I’m a person…” he manages to breathe out, but notably he wasn’t shoving Keruthien away or putting it in no uncertain terms to go screw himself, which was telling all in of itself.

“Is frowned upon?” Keruthien will finish that sentence with a mocking slant, not to insult M’ti but more because he’s heard it before and doesn’t grasp the concept. What he can’t understand, he spins humorously, because it’s easier! He chuckles throatily, blue eyes narrowing in delight as the greenrider continues to behave like caught prey. He’s about to go in for the kill despite the growl from the young man, but something he says finally sinks in. Maybe the word ‘stop’, though he at least takes a moment to parse it back into context. His brows furrow lightly, his head drawing back a fraction only to tilt quizzically. “… you don’t like being teased? How… What? Don’t you joke around and tease with your friends or anyone you like?” THAT seems to go right above Keruthien’s head, because in his mind, he has not been cruel to M’ti and has only been showing what he has always considered affection. No one has ever rebuffed him based on his playfulness, though he’s likely been warned before. But tears? Ruthien doesn’t know how to cope with that and so does what he does naturally: he huffs a small breath of shaky laughter, along with a low exhale. “Of course you’re a person,” he muses, still a touch bewildered but not completely turned off. No, if anything, he’s even more drawn in and intrigued by him! “Who said I was bored? M’ti, listen…” use of his name comes easily, slipping off his tongue like they were longtime friends and not just a random fateful crossing. His fingers slide under his chin, tilting it up and for the first time there’s a small flicker of soberness to his expression — he’s being serious. Whether for honesty sake or to merely gain what he wants, well… that’s difficult to say. “… if I was ‘bored’ and itching for a quick fix, I’d have more than enough selection right now to scratch it.” Not to gloat and he isn’t bragging, it’s merely A FACT. “Funny thing is, is I haven’t? I was trying to hint, playfully, as I do, that I wanted to see you again. Is that so wrong?” The last bit is spoken in lowering tones, deeper still to a husky growl as he no longer desires to hold back. “I can’t help what or who I find attractive and desiring and right now…mhm,” Unable to resist, he closes the distance between them and captures him in a slow burning kiss, brief but not less passionate. His arm lowers from the wall, above his shoulder, dropping instead next to his side as his body shifts, curving to press close; so close, so intimately that there’s nothing left to the imagination and he will feel just how honest Ruthien is from this exchange alone. From proximity and potential for more! He breaks the kiss in agonizing slowness, unless M’ti speeds things along for them. “Hah…” It’s half laugh, half pleased sigh. “Now that you’re here… I want you. Badly.“ It’s the truth but it could still be taken as a ruse and Keruthien has no way of reassuring M’ti otherwise, because he’s blind to the larger picture hidden beneath raw, unfiltered emotions. Others would realize the amount of trust being demanded or more aware that not everyone is as open to casual relationships as he is, among other things.

Rather than straight up verbally answer, those soulful hazel eyes shift off elsewhere and there is the faintest suggestion of a shrug as M’ti rolls one still broadening shoulder. After all, he was only seventeen, and still had plenty of growing to do. It might have been that mocking tone that’d done it, made him regress a bit to the shy lad that required considerable warm up before he opened up and so goes momentarily silent. It’s Keruthien’s throaty amusement that has the greenrider’s gaze darting back to meet those brilliant blue eyes and he shrinks back some as they narrow, a sudden cold chill paired with a confusing thrill running through him hard enough to entice a notable shiver. That feeling of anticipation mixed with impending doom lightens with the confusion which washes over Ruthien’s face, and again the greenrider looks away, “Not really,” he murmurs, sounding almost embarrassed at himself, and there is a struggle to keep his secrets rather than share the pain of his truth with someone he honestly barely knew. “I’ve only got one friend really, Alexa, she’s a goldrider from Igen.” More silence and just when the smithy candidate might think that’s all there is, “Haven’t had much luck with the other thing.” comes awkwardly and is barely audible but fortunately, they were in a vacant and quiet place, it makes hearing M’ti easy. That he was a virgin and had fumbled through everything including kissing before and after they’d initially met, seemed to be a fair enough indication he wasn’t making at least that last bit up. Emotions were stupid though and suddenly there were all these feels that the greenrider didn’t know how to handle, having been disappointed again and again and again almost each and every time he’d reached out and tried to make a connection with someone. That Ruthien laughs at him, wasn’t helping, even if it was the man’s own personal defense system. M’ti doesn’t say anything when it’s understood that he was a person, nor when he’s asked that question about being bored, he just presses himself back against the wall he was backed into and nibbles on his own lower lip almost nervously. Ruthien was bored wasn’t he? That’s why he was messing with a seemingly easy target. What other reason could he possibly have to…oh. Somewhere in all that thinking, his brain picks up on the fact that Ruthien was still talking and he once more meets his eyes with his, helped along by the finger placed under his chin that tilts his head effortlessly upwards. The sudden seriousness and M’ti is taken aback, if just to realize that this change in the smith scared him a lot more than he expected, but he listens intently all the same. “What?” he asks, sounding genuinely surprised, his head then spinning. The greenrider’s brows twitch downwards, like the very idea that anyone— let alone the smith— would be attracted to him. “I’m not…I’m not very good with…” People? Blatantly obvious overtures? Casual sexual encounters? But by Faranth’s egg that growl did things to M’ti that even thinking about sent a surge of electricity straight down his spine and straight to his loins. “I-I I d-don’t…” Having just about reached his limit, the greenrider seems about ready to start shoving Ruthien aside and reclaiming a whole half a world’s worth of distance before things progressed into dangerous territory when he’s kissed. A sharp breath is taken in through his nose and for a moment he tries to move back and away but there is no place for him to go and so there is soon a tongue inside his mouth and he’s swept away in the moment. That’s right, a few seconds after Ruthien initiates the kiss, M’ti is launching himself into it and it’s beyond hungry. Passion stirred, he’s got a rough handful of the smithy’s hair and he’s slanting his mouth over his, pressing his body to his. M’ti is breathless as that kiss breaks, hazel eyes heavily lidded, but he doesn’t let Ruthien get too far as the grasp firms in auburn tresses as does the one quickly caught on the front of the man’s tunic, and there’s a soft sound that might have been a snort, “Now that I’m here…” he repeats, his voice saturated in the hormones now raging throughout his body, and so that comes across as husky rather than even toned as he had intended, the leather of his riding jacket creaking as the smith’s hands slide down his sides. Inside a war raged within the greenrider, discomforted by the idea of a casual sexual encounter of convenience, but all the same time he found after their first encounter together that he had needs and Ruthien was so very good at satisfying them. Hazel eyes drop to those recently kissed lips and ever so slowly he leans forward into that tiny gap and presses his to them achingly soft. There is hope that the smith was good at reading nonverbal cues, because that was as close to a greenlight he was going to get.

Time, it marches on…

Oh, that picture will be forever etched in Ruthien's memory along with the other ones he has burned in! There can never be enough but for now, he is cresting that blissful onslaught of pleasure and satisfaction, his whole body thrumming with heat and shivering aftershocks. His breath, ragged and broken, is hot against M'ti's skin as he leans forward. A nuzzle to the neck, a delighted groan muffled there as he inhales deep and finishes with a few tender kisses and nips. "… haa… damn… that was worth it…" The wait? Potentially getting caught? Probably all of the above and more. Keruthien doesn't seem at all hurried to separate himself from him, going as far as to pepper a few light kisses along his shoulder, then up to his ear and jaw, finishing last with his lips, if M'ti is feeling charitable. His grip on him turns gentle, palms smoothing over his skin in a parting caress but almost, almost like one would with a special someone. Are they even lovers? Once again, they never got to the conversation part and they won't, this time. There's footsteps again from that corridor, which jolt Keruthien back to reality. A heaved sigh, part regretful, and then there's the sound of fabric being moved, the metal clink of a buckle — it's obvious that Keruthien is putting himself to rights rather quickly. Their little dalliance has wrapped up, after all! He's not as cruel as to merely stride on out of there, to leave M'ti in ruins. Oh no, he'll help put yo put him back to rights, "We should move and soon," he whispers, hushed and conspiratorial, to the greenrider. "I gotta get back to my day or they'll get suspicious. I'm sure you gotta go back to the caverns… They'll probably assume you gave me hell for my devious, terrible behavior with those letters." Keruthien grins a wicked grin and winks. "Trust me, I've learned a hard lesson. Come on… I don't hear anyone. Now's as good a time as any." There won't be any further rounds, no lingering in each others presence. Keruthien doesn't act the least bit ruffled over this being a quick session and treading far too close to a 'wham bam, thank you ma'am' scenario. Whether M'ti immediately follows or not, he will inch towards the entrance to peer out and then flash the thumbs-up to the greenrider. "We're good! Let's go!" It's followed by a hurry hurry wave of his hand, before he's booking it out of there. Eventually they'll part ways, with Keruthien lingering only to wave and blow a kiss in his irritating fashion before taking off again. As for those letters? Oh, those will continue but not always with the drawings. Maybe M'ti will have learned to reply in writing? Or he can continue to ignore them; eventually they will slow in frequency, then become sporadic. Now what could that possibly mean? Those questions and SO MANY MORE, will just have to wait for a later time.

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