Letters In Absence, Part 1

M’ti couldn’t have been anything other than grateful that he didn’t have to admit to anyone just how many times he had tried to sit down and write the letter that Alexa had convinced him he should, especially since he’d burned all the evidence. What? He didn’t even know how to start! Again and again, the opening line struck him as wrong, be it coming across to him as too blaize or too clinical or simply far too obvious of his real feelings. The greenrider had already decided that he would keep any love confessions to himself for now, if for no other reason than it would have been horrendously impersonal of a thing to reveal in a letter, not to mention the cowardly way out. No, if he was ever going to do it, it was going to be face to face and he was not there yet. Sure, he might have been at least willing to try taking the plunge back at the clocktower before everything, but he was relatively at square one again when it came to levels of confidence. In fact, it was taking everything he had to sit at his workbench— hunched over hide, hands in his hair, and smudges of ink on his face— to come to any sort of progress on that damned letter! “For Faranth’s sake Mathis…just…write…SOMETHING!” Yep, he was talking to himself now, always a good sign. Groaning, glaring, beyond frustrated with himself; M’ti puts the tip of his pen to parchment and just writes whatever come to mind until something bangs loose his writer’s block. Fuck. Fuck. Fuckity. Fuck-fuck. Okay, that wasn’t in the least bit productive. The greenrider stares down at the curse words he’d just written because It just wasn’t the sort of language he’d ever used before all this mess and now it came to him far too easily. That was food for thought. With a fresh page in front of him, the pen comes down and just like that, progress. The end result dries and is sent via Acacia, his most recognizable and reliable firelizard, and then all that’s left is to wait.

Congratulations on Impressing! Your new lifemate is beautiful and I am so happy for you. I was there at the hatching, like you asked, but I couldn’t stay. I also want you to know that I received and read all of your letters, I always do. I hope that this very belated reply finds you well and that you’re settling into your new life as a weyrling.

// Speaking from personal experience, it might be tempting sometimes to wish you could just see the finish line and sometimes you’ll want to reach for it so badly, but do yourself a favor and try not to rush it. Weyrlinghood might be chaotic and emotionally exhausting (at the best of times), but by the same token it’ll be over before you know it so enjoy every moment for what it is: The good and the bad. It’s going to be frustrating, it’s going to be a lot of fun, and then it’s done.

On that note, I know I probably don’t have the right to ask you this after how I acted, but
whenever you’re ready and only if you want to…I’d like to see you again. There’s something that I need to tell you that needs to be said in person. There’s a lot of things, so please, just think about it.


Unbeknownst to many, as it is unpredictable at best, Kihatsuth has an uncanny knack of summoning firelizards (or they seem lured to her for whatever reasons). So it is very likely that, during one of her latest stunts with this 'ability', that M'ti's firelizard arrives among the throng. It takes all that Ru'ien has in him to stave the worse of the green's braggart ways when one comes bearing WRITTEN WORD; the fewer who know about this, the better. Truth be told, it doesn't immediately register WHO the letter is from. Only that it is safely tucked away, while he tends to Kiha's needs. Much later, when they are settled in the barracks and she has begun to doze off, does Ru'ien even dare opening the letter. The surprise and all the mixed emotions with it are enough to draw Kihatsuth out of her restive state, but luckily not into a state of panic or anger. "… I thought he hated me." he murmurs under his breath, while skimming over the written text and finishing with a sidelong look at his lifemate. Kihatsuth is adopting the most feigned look of innocence, though HE can see that witch-fox smile and smirk. Who, her!? Why, she doesn't remember saying such a thing! (She totally did, in a roundabout way, after twisting Cherith's words something awful — but she remembers little, if any of this!) Ru'ien voices a long suffering sigh and, bemusedly, grabs a nearby piece of hide and a writing tool. There is SO MUCH he wants to write but he finds himself hesitating. In the end?

The first letter back is nothing more than a drawing, an infamous doodle of his limited capabilities — really, it's nothing more than a crude rendition of the two of them hugging and looking HAPPY while doing it. There may be hearts involved, too! And below, written hastily?

(Kiha insisted this is what I send.)

If M'ti is patient enough, another letter will be sent later that night, delivered by his own firelizard. The writing is in familiar script, though without the hurried slant to it. It reads:

Sorry, I had to wait until she was deep asleep to write an actual letter in case that visual one missed the mark.

Figured you couldn't stay long and I wasn't really in any shape to come out to visit after the Hatching. I'm glad you made it though! Wasn't sure if you had got my letter in time. Aoba is still young and learning… anyways, thanks for the insight. I'll be sure to keep it all in mind!

And what's there to think about? Of course I want to visit! When we can manage it. Don't worry about it. It'll be great to catch up!


P.S. Hope you're well, by the way!

In an effort to not drive himself crazy, M’ti makes busy, catching up on all the work for his craft he’d neglected while agonizing over the written word. It’s partially effective— in that it helps to pass the time— but he couldn’t help but be distracted by the question of whether or not he would hear back. Settling in that evening back at his weyr, having only picked at his food really, the appearance of very recognizable bronze firelizard sent his heart racing. Whatever the content, it was still a response— or at least that’s what the greenrider tells himself as he accepts the parchment and watches Aoba vanish. Okay, so, maybe he takes a cleansing breath before he partakes of the letter’s content but who’d ever know? Unrolling the hide, brows lift and hazel eyes quickly become misty even as they are dragged over that crude drawing again and again. With relief comes a flood of emotion so intense that M’ti couldn’t even process it, not that he was going to spend much time analyzing anything other than every single aspect of that doodle until it was burned into his memory. The subtext at the very bottom of the page brings a sudden and quick burst of laughter from the greenrider, all too soon grinning like a fool and clutching the letter to his chest. He didn’t know what that overwhelmingly tight sensation in his chest meant, but if didn’t feel bad at all, so he was going to go with it. Figuring that this was all that there was and more than pleased with what the message suggested, M’ti adds the newest addition to the rest of Keruthien’s letters. That’s right, he’d kept every single on, including the recollected one he’d once thrown (or tried to) back in the man’s face.They had their own special place, each tucked between the pages of a blank journal, for safekeeping. Smoothing his hand over the leather bound cover, it’s soon returned to its hiding place, lest Alexa come for a visit and stumble across it. What he isn’t expecting was that a second correspondence was incoming and so M’ti goes about his usual routine, admittedly a whole lot more lighthearted then he’d been in what seems like a very long time. Months, really. when it does arrive, M’ti blinks a few times over. “More?” he asks of Aoba, but of course there is no answer, only the expectation that the letter be taken so he could leave. Done and done, the parchment is unrolled like the first, eyes scanning the familiar script and smile rapidly forming anew. Not long after, a reply is on the way…


No need to apologize! Your first response definitely didn’t miss any marks, it came across loud and clear, so don’t stress out too much about that. Though, just to clarify, I was just as glad to receive your second letter.

Yeah, I didn’t think you would be. I remember quite clearly what it was like after Impressing Cherith. Everything is a blur and although hatchings happen so quickly, you’re still exhausted inside and out. A new connection and all the emotions that come along with it, and on top of that a demanding hatching who’s hungry and itchy and then out cold. Not that you can rest even then, your mind buzzing.

Aoba was plenty prompt and as soon as the dragons started humming Cherith and I made for Xanadu. We weren’t the first to arrive but I got a good spot to watch from. I have to admit, It was a bit weird being back in those hatching grounds again, but yes and I’m also glad. I would have seriously regretted missing it.
If you ever have any questions, concerns, need to vent or talk about…whatever…I’m here. I might not be able to come up with a quick reply, but you’ll get one.

You have no idea how happy it makes me to hear that you still want to see me. I was so worried. I wasn’t exactly very nice to you last time, but I will explain the first chance I get.


P. S. Doing much better now, thank you!

Will it worry M'ti, when the next reply isn't immediate but several days later? Ru'ien didn't purposely delay it. Weyrlinghood is taking a toll on him, though good luck getting him to ADMIT IT … but for a man not accustomed to acknowledging all emotions and being bonded to a green who IS emotion in the flesh, well. It exhausts him and with training intensifying each week, most times he can rest is spent catching up on other affairs — namely sleep and personal hygiene and needs. Eventually though, he will finally get a precious window of time where he feels human and coherent enough to focus not only on writing but the shields necessary to keep Kihatsuth out of his business.


Been awhile, sorry about that! Your advice was great and I'll take you up on that offer if I'm ever feeling overwhelmed. It's been better though, lately, even if much of my time is devoted to her and our training.

Well, don't worry about it! That's all water under the bridge now… I'm a pretty forgiving guy and I figured something was up — but then, you've always been a little emotional when it comes to me. (I'm teasing you, by the way) We'll catch up soon, okay? I'm sure we'll both have a lot to say! I know I will.

Good! I'm happy to know you're doing better.


There might very well be a modicum of concern for the time that passes between letters, yes, but it’s mostly dispelled as M’ti reminds himself that Ru’ien was a weyrling. It wasn’t all that long ago that he was one himself and he could remember quite well what it was like, and from the sounds of it Kihatsuth was a bit of a handful. Ah, that brought back memories. Not that Cherith didn’t continue to dominate much of his time, be it with her daily care or keeping her from her from carrying out any of her proposed experimentation on a living breathing person. There was craft projects to complete and Alexa to help keep him centered. Still, he couldn’t help but think about Ru’ien, the strangest things bringing his face to the forefront, forcing him to stop and reprioritise. With all that anticipation shoved to the back of his mind, M’ti does his utmost to be patient, a fact that is finally rewarded as Aoba appears with a reply at last. Gentle with it’s acceptance, the bronze is barely between before the greenrider is plopped down into a chair, already having unrolled the hide and was reading greedily. Brows lift towards the end and even alone his cheeks take on a rosier hue, eventually shoving himself to his feet and moving to his workbench to begin penning a response.


It’s only been a few days, you don’t need to apologize for that. Between a young dragon and lessons, I expect you’d be busy, just remember to take care of yourself too. It can be hard to remember to eat or bathe, nevermind finding the energy once you do. Also, don’t feel limited to writing about the really difficult things. I’d love to hear all about how it’s going over there for you in general, and don’t forget the fun and exciting moments too if you find the time to jot them down.

I’m glad that things are getting better for you. The first three or four months can be pretty rough, but it might help to know that you really won’t feel exhausted inside and out forever. As time passes you’ll start to feel more and more like yourself and things will start making sense again. I promise. Just take it a day at a time.

I couldn’t help but worry, but if you’re sure, I’ll try and set it aside.

I look forward to hearing back from you and the day that we’ll meet again face to face. I’ll admit it’s becoming more and more difficult for me to stay still, so the next couple of months aren’t going to be easy for me either. Soon, seems so very far away.


P.S. Also, it’s not fair to tease me when I can’t properly defend myself! (doodle of a pouty face)

It's another stretch of time before a letter arrives. Aoba wings in from Between, alighting with comfortable familiarity in his customary spot within M'ti's weyr — likely right ON the greenrider, unless he's chased off by more territorial ones bonded to him. Regardless, he'll remain for as long as the letter is affixed to him, vanishing only once he's relieved of his task. This letter is more of a note, somewhat hastily written but containing all the usual elements that make the sender unique.


It's totally fair to tease you, when you tease ME, by writing things like "next couple of months won't be easy for me" and looking forwards to seeing me again. You've no idea the amount of things I want to say to that! So much teasing potential and I can't crack a single joke! If I do, I'll get carried away and then Kihatsuth will pick up on it — and she'd creatively display it to the Weyr at large in her "artwork" for all to see! Which would be terrible.

Or would it? Might be worth it.

I mean, you'd probably never be able to step foot in Xanadu again. Everyone would know everything! Y'know what I'm talking about, yeah?

Just kidding~

I won't risk it.

There's nothing more to report on, really. We're advancing well in our training, I think I'm getting a hang of Kihatsuth's uh… quirks. When she isn't in her moods and threatening to rip spines or murder in the name of chaos, we get along with everyone too.

I'll share more next time.


Believe it or not, but somewhere in that stretch of time, M’ti becomes almost too busy with his craftwork and duties thereof to spend it thinking about when the next response that might be incoming. Oh, it was there somewhere in the back of his mind nagging at him, but before it could become too prominent a thought something else would come up and it would be pushed back again. M’ti is sitting at his workbench going over the final design stats of his latest project when Aoba arrives and settles in on his shoulder. His own crew of bottomless stomachs sit on their custom perch, barely even twitching with the foreign bronze’s arrival, the inclination of defending their ‘territory’ furthest from their minds. Not when sleeping comfortably was on the line. However, the greenrider does tense and startle fractionally, turning his head and blinking once at his little visitor, “Aoba!” he murmurs, giving the pretty creature some affection and treats before alleviating him of his burden, “You’re getting so big, handsome boy…” With that, Aoba was away and M’ti was taking a break to read, all too soon blushing terribly red. Not long after at all, Acacia arrives with a response, making herself at home in the dead center of Ru’ien’s pillow until alleviated of her burden.


Oh! I can imagine JUST fine! I still have all your original letters from when we first met and my face feels like it’s on FIRE just thinking about what you might possibly say now that we know one another much better, thank you ever so much! Mission accomplished and you didn’t even need to say anything in particular.

Yes, I know exactly what you’re talking about! Please don’t get carried away! All of Xanadu doesn’t need to know that stuff!! I have to go there sometimes for crafting reasons and I really don’t want to have to explain or see the look on strangers’ faces that tells me I don’t have to explain…uuuugghhh…you’re killing me!

Faranth, I can picture your expression right now as you read this, a grin so wide that it looks like your whole head is going to split in two. Well, stop it, lest my hair spontaneously catch on fire! You have no idea what that smile does to me at the best of times, least of all when I know the reason for it.

You are a terrible, awful, horrible man…and I miss you.

I’m glad that things are going well for you and that Kihatsuth’s ‘quirks’ aren’t holding you back from progressing in Weyrlinghood. I have to admit that I laughed right out loud when I read that part about ripping spines and murder. I’m just glad I’m alone in my weyr right now and not say, the living caverns, because it surely would have gotten me a weird look or ten for sure.

I probably understand better than most what it’s like trying to deter their lifemate from contemplations of homicide. Cherith’s are…very creative. You’ll know exactly what I mean when we’re able to sit down and exchange horror stories. The visuals alone..but I’ll leave it at that for now.

I wish you the best of luck in the days ahead and I will be watchful for Aoba’s return.


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