Who Are You Now?

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrling Barracks
A long and roughly oblong cavern. About a third of the space is open, used for classes or chores as required. The rest of the space is filled with couches of varying sizes, all with plenty of space between them. Some couches are obviously intended for the very young weyrlings while the largest ones at the back are for the older weyrlings.

There are supplies for the care of dragons tucked back against the walls. A barrel of oil sits with scrub brushes and soft clothes, and a thick hardwood table is used to prepare meat in bite-sized pieces for the young dragons. There's also a few supplies for the weyrling humans, like bedding for cots or extra pillows for those sleeping on their lifemate's couch.

Even the most energetic baby dragons have to sleep sometime. Glorioth fought the good fight and… lost. Eventually. After nodding. After insisting he wasn't tired. After— finally he fell asleep literally on his feet, thankfully close enough for the baby bronze to collapse into a wallow, oiled and fed and in for a real, long rest. It gave time for F'yr to run to get his things, to come back on legs ready to give out but before he gets to his bed, his eyes scan the couches and it's wherever Ru'ien has ended up that the tall blond goes with quick and quiet steps. He wouldn't, for the world disturb the hatchling now irrevocably entwined with his bro, but he will crouch near the smith and after a quick glance about for watchful, wakeful eyes, run a hand through the man's hair, a light caress that reconnects even if everything else is changed.

This calm after the storm is almost unnervingly surreal or maybe that’s just how Ru’ien feels. He can barely remember leaving once he got Kihatsuth settled and asleep soundly enough for escape. It’s all a haze, a blur of sounds and voices, of disembodied movement. Was he congratulated? Did he run into anyone he knew? He can’t remember clearly. His stuff was gathered, moved and haphazardly arranged; his mind too disjointed to really focus on organizing. The ache of his body is also a distant buzz, as much as the stinging in his leg from misplaced talons (it’ll be one of the many times in the coming months). Shallow, already scabbed, but the bandage remains. Ru’ien is, indeed, sprawled out on his cot, though part of him has spilled out to press up against the slumbering green — or maybe she’s crawled in somewhat, pinning him there. Hard to say! At first, there is no movement from F’yr’s approach and not even initially at the touch of fingers through his hair. Then, near the last second, his eyes drift open and a smile, tired, exhausted, but happy in essence, curves his lips. “Hey.” It’s rasped out, in hushed whispering, as he lifts an arm up to brush against his. It’s all he’ll attempt, for now, out of fear of what further movement (even sitting up) might bring. There’s a silent question too, in the way his gaze lingers. Is everything alright?

"Hey." So-recently-Stefyr twists his arm, his hand, to seek the other man's fingers, to interlace fingers for one moment, two, three, a squeeze and then withdraw. "I need sleep." Does he ever. Has Ru'ien seen the level of ridiculousness packed into that one bronze package? Fairly, no one knows the half if it yet. "F'yr," he murmurs though. "It feels strange. Not… far… from Fyr." It just has that hiccup of breath, just there, FUH-ihr, instead of FIHR, and even still it blends more than most hiccuped honorifics. "Familiar and strange." He settles on a moment later. "Who are you now?" And then he needs Keruthien's hand again, just for a minute, just for the contact and reconnection that affords, a lifeline in a changing landscape.

"Yeah." Ru'ien's answer is little more than a chuckled and wistful sigh. "I feel you." On that need for sleep and yet here they are, not quite able to drift away so easily. As their hands join and fingers interlace, he will hold firmly both times, to that lifeline. Maybe he's not coping as well as he should or perhaps he feels overwhelmed beneath his thin facade of keeping it together. "Ru'ien, now. I'm… Ru'ien," he works through the sound of it carefully, as if truly testing it for the first time and feeling out the fit of it. From the lopsided yet uneasy grin, he's half way to accepting it. "F'yr." His name is acknowledged at least, repeated again more quietly. "Aren't we just a pair?" Said with a shaky breath of a laugh, for the little nuance discovered. His gaze is still turned to him, that grin doing its best to hold and it does. Even as his eyes brighten and spill over with tears; nothing grand or no theatrics. No high emotions as he's not caught in some fit of hysterics set to put the barracks in full chaos. He's just at a limit and despite his stubbornness to keep brightly positive, other emotions need an outlet too and so it just happens, despite him ignoring the phenomenon. There may truly be no awareness of it, even as he swallows thickly and has to clear his throat (carefully, don't wake the massive babies!). "… you ok? Your ribs?"

Ru'ien may not be aware of the salt evidence of those feelings that are simply too much to keep in, but F'yr is and it prompts his crouch to become one knee rested to the ground as he dips closer, pressing his lips to his friend's forehead in what borders on a ferocious need to comfort, his own forehead tipping to press near the place he kissed, their breaths as intermingled as their hands. Then of course the pain he's causes himself registers and he wheezes an, "Ow." Idiot. In spite of the pain, he stays a moment, to be with Ru'ien, before straightening and rubbing his free hand across the bandages hidden under his shirt. "A crack, they think." Maybe cracks, really. "Would've been worse if it had broken clean. A month or two," or three or four or however many it takes since his overzealous and remorseless lifemate doesn't seem the type to slow down just for a little thing like pain (pah!), and re-injury seems as likely as healing. His fingers squeeze the Smith's, and he exhales, closing his eyes a moment. "We're in this together." They and all the other weyrlings. There's some comfort in that, right? "Still us, even if we're not the same us," comes out almost a question in voice and definitely a question in the tilt of his brows.

"M'fine!" Ru'ien protests half heartedly but doesn't draw away or shake F'yr's comfort away. He'll lean just a touch into the gesture, eyes closing briefly as he rallies what strength he has in his over exhausted state. A slow, deeper inhale, this time and the tears stop — just in time for him to hear that 'ow' and draw a vague smirk from him. "Don't kill yourself worrying over me. I'm just tired," And very overwhelmed. Hello, emotions! So many. Where to even start? His free arm will wipe across his face, as he gets a hold of himself. There's a faint wince for the news of his friend's state. "Shards, you're lucky it wasn't worse. I'm glad you're alright… bruises aside." Squeezing back, he doesn't let go quite yet. Kihatsuth slumbers on, oblivious and so they're safe, for now. "Together," he confirms and some of his usual enthusiasm and carefree attitude returns in the form of one of his classic grins. "We did it! One bronze and you're the lucky bastard and… Rhodelia," Oh, he may have been heavily preoccupied but it's sinking in now! Only ten of them made it, but so many didn't. It humbles him, a little. "Aside from the name shake up, I don't… well I DO feel different but I'm still… I mean, it's not like my memories got lost? We're the same but we're gonna face a lot of unknowns now." But? There's no despair in that reflection of his; because F'yr had it right. They're together in this!

In another time and place, Stefyr might have kissed that grin off Keruthien's face, or at least kissed that grin until it blazed bigger and brighter. But here, now, F'yr groans and not just because of the ribs, though he still rubs the epicenter of the pain that radiates with movement like, you know, breath. "I'm not sure lucky is the word," now, even though he would have before. "He's…" The blond doesn't even have the words. Not yet. Give him time. More time than they have right now. He shakes his head. "We'll talk about it later. We need sleep." But that doesn't diminish their togetherness and his hand lingers a few more beats and one more long squeeze before he slowly releases his grip. "Plenty of time to figure it out," which would be a hilarious statement if only F'yr and Ru'ien knew what we know about the time-consuming task of caring for newest-in-the-world baby dragons. But what there truly is is plenty of time for them to learn that. For now, F'yr murmurs, "Sweet dreams, Ru'ien," before slowly rising and heading for his wallow and cot down the way, complete with his one (qty.: 1) non-standard issue bronze hatchling in the throws of wild dreams of adventure and GLORIOUS HEROICS.

And Ru’ien would have happily accepted that kiss for what it was, but that time and place is not here and not now. Here and now, he is still himself but merely pushed to his limits by an overload of emotions and mind and body so thoroughly exhausted. Thus, the surge of tears when none would’ve been and the lack of his usual grin, but no actual sadness. There is, however, a spark of concern when F’yr groans. “Try to take it easy, huh? Don’t… don’t push yourself too hard okay?” Seriously. Who’s mothering who, now? “Mhm,” he agrees easily and with a long exhale, he will squeeze back one last time before allowing their hands to draw away from one another. “Sleep sounds wonderful right now.” JOKES ON THEM, it’ll be precious little! “Yeah,” Ru’ien agrees, though his eyes had begun to drift closed, he opens one again and now he does manage a little smile for his friend. “We will. Sweet dreams, F’yr.” His gaze will follow him as he heads back to his wallow, for as long as he can. Then, he’ll resettle his head against his pillow and soon drift off to sleep, with a head and heart a touch lighter.

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