Do What You Need
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Xanadu Weyr - Wanderin' Wherry Tavern
It is often whispered, in the crowds that converge here, that a certain Weyrleader was asked what he wanted in the remodeling of the pub that was not so long ago given a refreshing. He muttered back over the rim of his ever-present mug, "I don't care what you do with the place, just so long as there is plenty of ale." With that in mind, cask after cask of ale lines the walls of the tavern, the remodeler's idea of a jest. As they age, the casks bring a real rustic atmosphere to the pub, along with the deeply wooden flavor that seems to be the theme throughout.

The lighting is dim, as it should be in all good pubs, and the tables and chairs are plentiful. A long mahogany bar, intricately carved with runner beasts, stands vigilant duty at the head of the bar, lined with stools for those patrons that seek the bartender's company. Behind it are drinks for those not inclined toward ale, as well as a door leading to the small kitchen where snacks are made and a back room that probably holds yet more ale.


It's a cold winter evening, but the tavern is always warm! On winter evenings, this means the tavern tends to fill up with the sort of people who spend much of their day working outdoors. Some of them are riders, some aren't, but they're all enjoying the warm environment and (more importantly) the ale. There's a game of darts in progress at one end of the bar, and every table is filled with groups of friends. N'on is among the tavern-goers, but has not merged with any of these groups. Instead, he's claimed a spot at the bar, ale in hand, while he silently watches the dart game unfold.

Once, a small group of weyrlings would have raised many brows for just being in the tavern. But now, in the fourth month of their new life, this place is no longer forbidden territory. True, if the weyrlings have drinks, it's ones that they're carefully nursing since drunkenness is still off the table, and F'yr is taking his share of teasing for having juice in his mug, but so it goes. He endures it with good humor and smiles for his fellows, ribbing in turn over this inside joke or another. If nothing else, it's heartening to see the weyrlings growing together… mostly. None of this evident comradery stops F'yr from excusing himself, though, when he spots the familiar silent figure at the bar. His route is obviously angled, so maybe there's time to get away if N'on really wants to make the big blond chase him, but even if he has to do so, there's a quiet, "Hey," that strives for casual but may be too weighty, especially when the next words are, "I've missed seeing you," with a roll of a single shoulder in what's not quite a shrug. Honest, blunt and to the point: some things haven't changed.

When N'on looks up from his drink, it's with the slightly-glazed look of someone who's already had a bit much. On the bright side, he's not so sloshed that he's sloppy. It just takes him a second to process what's happening before he gives a half-smile and lifts his drink in acknowledgement. He has a sip while his gaze travels the tavern, before landing eventually on the group of weyrlings. He points their direction, then looks back to F'yr with a quizzically raised brow.

"We're allowed to drink this month. Some of them wanted to celebrate that we could." F'yr glances down to his drink, "I mean, not me, not really. Juice," he admits with a lift of it. "Do you mind if I stay a bit?" With N'on, he probably means. There's that puppyish uncertainty as he cants his head at the greenrider, not quite inviting himself to the place beside N'on, but lingering there in front of him. "They won't miss me. They're mostly tipsy already," he nods back toward the group he came with.

A mild uncertainty flickers across N'on's face, but it doesn't last long before he shrugs a shoulder and pushes out the neighboring stool, making room for F'yr at the bar. He gives only a momentary glance toward the gathering of weyrlings, before returning to have a sip of his ale. With only a small reluctance, he pushes it far enough away to make room for his notebook, which he pulls out and sets on the bar between himself and F'yr. A quick note is written in an untidy scrawl. "You won't be a weyrling forever." He must think the meaning is self-evident, because he sets down the pencil and goes back to his ale.

"No," F'yr agrees with the note. "I could drink now," he seems to be making a broad assumption that this is about his choice of beverage, "Only-" He lifts his free hand and brushes his thumb across his forehead as he settles on the stool, "-late in that first month I thought Glorioth was safe while I was distracted and he broke into the caverns." Surely N'on heard the story? The assist by Leirith and Xermiltoth? That Inasyth was complicit and in the caverns too? It was quite the brief hubbub. "He's already trying to sneak off on quests without me, the ones he thinks I'm too 'namby-pamby' to face." There's a briefly look slanting toward N'on at that, but he doesn't linger long with that penetrating blue gaze. He nods to the paper. "We don't have to talk, you know. I read somewhere recently that friends are the people who hear you when you're silent." That makes his lips tug up at one side, and he shrugs at N'on. "I'm not sure if I can hear you when you're silent, but I don't mind trying. Or not hearing. Just… being." He can drink his juice here, and not talk. Really he can.

N'on looks back at F'yr with a slow blink that suggests he hadn't, in fact, heard about this adventure. He /has/ been isolating himself a bit lately, when not working. Then F'yr has to go on to talk about listening to silence, and can you /see/ the effort it takes for him not to roll his eyes? …Probably. But he smiles a tiny bit and goes back to his drink. Taking F'yr up on his offer? Waiting to see how long it takes F'yr to give up and talk? Who knows! Maybe he is just really enjoying that drink.

Listen, N'on, the rest of us can probably feel that effort in our bones. F'yr, however, isn't like the rest of us. He's completely oblivious. He's also pretty dedicated in nursing that juice of his. It's something exotic, judging from the color, so not just your run of the mill juice. Sort of celebratory in its own way. He watches the people in the room, very occasionally slanting a glance toward the greenrider. Evidently his resolve is pretty good because after some time - was it thirty minutes? It might well have been if N'on didn't see fit to 'speak' into the din of the tavern that doesn't qualify as silence - F'yr rises from his stool. "I'm going to take a walk. If you want to join me." It's an open invitation, but he's not really waiting for the greenrider as he leaves his empty mug on the bar's top and heads for his group of weyrlings to reclaim his coat and make excuses before he's heading for the door.

N'on has long finished his drink by the time F'yr decides to get up and take a walk. He lingers for a few moments on his stool, slowly coming to some conclusion. Inevitably, though, he slides off the stool and silently pads along in F'yr's wake. Hey. HE WAS INVITED. The fact that he's terrible company probably doesn't help him out, but regardless. F'yr is stuck with him.

Is it really that F'yr is stuck with N'on? Maybe N'on is stuck with F'yr for all that the big blond left first. His hands tuck into the pockets of his coat, boots crunching into the light dusting of snow. It's kind of pretty out, and maybe that's why the weyrling is walking, or it could be: "I don't get to walk anymore. Not when Glori's awake. It's a luxury to get to do it now." That last is wry and there's a look slanted toward N'on. Evidently he's going to talk now that the venue has changed, at least a little. But he does ask, "How is Zhelinath?"

N'on frowns thoughtfully at that. "Unhealthy," he signs, and leaves it at that. The final question is a little more difficult to formulate a response to. "Sad," he finally ventures, though he doesn't seem entirely satisfied. He emphasizes it a second time: "Very sad.

The next question might not be the expected one, but such is life with F'yr. "What does she like? What kinds of things make her feel good?" At least so far the big blond isn't NOPE MOMENT hugging or reaching for N'on, but keeping his hands to himself and even his eyes on the path ahead and what can be seen in whatever lights dot the clearing at night.

N'on walks along staring up at the sky, where a clear night allows the stars to contribute at least a bit of light to the evening. In the end, he isn't the one who answers. Zhelinath speaks for herself, in a swirl of barely-lit embers carried on a winter breeze. « I will feel good when The Enemy is dead. »

"Mm," is F'yr's soft response after a long moment of silence. "Thinking… a lot about that?" It's tentative, gentle, but still probing. One hand slips out of his pocket and seeks N'on's, just a brush of fingers against fingers unless he evades, something and nothing all at once.

The flicker of a guilty smile and quick glance away is probably enough to confirm F'yr's guess as accurate. But for once, he doesn't really flinch away from the brush of fingers against his. Instead, without a glance to acknowledge it, he catches F'yr's hand and squeezes it.

Okay, listen, N'on, puppies, like F'yr, need very little encouragement to take one small gesture and make is a much bigger thing. In this case, it means that F'yr is using that connection of hands to draw N'on into a hug, one of those long, NOPE MOMENT hugs that weren't happening a minute ago, but are now, unless N'on really doesn't want it. Maybe it's because Glorioth is asleep that they don't suddenly hear a bugled charge or anything of that ilk. F'yr doesn't even tense up once he's hugging the greenrider, so there's a good chance that the smaller dragon is still asleep, or simply getting better about F'yr's preferences for platonic physical contact (hahahahaha). It's a long hug, N'on, long enough to start to become awkward if a stop isn't put to all this attempt at comfort. Then again, F'yr has probably been saving this up for weeks, if not months, so maybe he gets a free pass? "What can I do?" is barely a breath, "Anything?" Obviously, killing the Enemy is not in the former farmer's wheelhouse of skills despite being large and impressively muscular.

It would be a lie to suggest that there is not the /slightest/ flinch, but aside from that the hug is allowed. At least, for a while, until the question is asked and N'on has to disengage himself from the hug with an apologetic smile. The next part must come directly from him, apparently, but it takes him some time to formulate the correct signs. "Xanadu feels unsafe." Another hesitation, before he reluctantly continues, "We might leave. Haven't told V'ayn."

F'yr steps back when N'on seeks to put distance between them, his hands tucking back into pockets maybe to keep himself from other tempting contact. His lips press hard together as N'on signs, his eyes darting between hands and face. "What if I could make sure you were safe?" It's a blurt and out there before he really has time to think about it. "What if Xanadu could be safe?" Is he offering to TAKE CARE OF the Enemy? Perhaps. This is F'yr though, so probably murder is not what he has in mind, even if Glorioth might find that an acceptable solution for his rider to enact.

N'on stares at F'yr for a long stretch, with his hands still held up, as though about to sign. Finally, a tiny smile cracks his lips and he shakes his head. "You're sweet," he signs, and looks away again, tucking his hands into his pockets. Not trusting the F'yr Solution? For shame!

Uh oh. Does anyone notice how F'yr's jaw tightens ever so slightly in the wake of this. "Okay," is a dangerous, damned lie. But damn if F'yr doesn't tell it like he was born with lies on his lips. At least he's using his powers for stupidity good? The bronzerider's small smile in answer is also horribly convincing. Maybe if there's something that is a tip off is that that was giving up awfully easy. "You do what you need to do." Because F'yr's going to do what he needs to do. "But I'll visit. I might even come to sleep on your ledge. Wherever that ends up being." SO DON'T VANISH ON HIM, OKAY, N'ON? This last actually does give F'yr some pause, "You won't… not tell me where you're going, will you?" Just in case.

N'on watches F'yr, examining his expression with something that /could/ be doubt… at least, until he gives a weary smile and brushes at his hair. "First, I must tell V'ayn," he signs. And by the reluctance in the very posture of his shoulders, that's probably not going to happen /immediately/. "You will know," he adds.

"I'm here, if you need… anything. An ear." That actually makes F'yr grin at N'on in one of those signature goofy looks he's completely capable of when he's made a HILARIOUS JOKE (that is so not at all) and he's waiting to be shoved for it (in the very least). But the sentiment is true enough. "I wish I could say I thought Glorioth could help with Zhe's mood, but…" He shakes his head, nope. That's really not the case. Don't talk to Glori. Baaaad idea.

N'on rolls his eyes at F'yr, but the momentary glimmer of humor fades again at the mention of Glorioth. He gives F'yr's shoulder a pat, but then explains with a series of signs. "Glorioth called Zhelinath a coward. She will not speak to him for a long time." A pause, and he at least looks apologetic as he adds, "I agree with her."

F'yr's sigh is long and deep. Both hands come up to scrub across his face. "If I begin apologizing for him, I will never stop," he says quietly. "Would it help you for me to apologize?" Blue eyes search N'on's face earnestly. "I don't blame either of you, in the slightest, but he's… more than an acquired taste. I love him, but I doubt anyone else will long. Some… just see him for what he is faster than others." Obviously N'on and Zhelinath are leading that curve, with good reason. He looks apologetic, even if he hasn't said the words, because how could he really mean them when his terrible lifemate is also his heart's partner?

N'on pats F'yr's shoulder, but he's not exactly looking his usual sympathetic self. "He's a baby," he signs. "And yours." He shrugs helplessly with a little smile, and starts walking again. If F'yr chooses to walk along with him, he will sign again after a few paces. "Now is difficult. Sensitive."

F'yr's dependable in many ways. Following along with N'on as he walks is one of them (today). He presses his lips together, but keeps the words behind his lips this time. Whatever they were, are, are not shared. He nods his head. "Glorioth will is… not good with sensitive. Or really, most emotions that aren't… well." He clears his throat and then must sigh and shrug. "He's part of me, now, but he's not me. I'm not him. We're not that way, in one another's minds. Not the way you described with Zhelinath." He shrugs again. "I'm sorry things are difficult, N'on," and there go those fingers seeking to brush N'on's again, lightly. "I'd fix it if I could." Just F'yr. F'yr independent of Glorioth. F'yr who is still Fyr is still Stefyr, but with a new name and some different priorities.

N'on takes a deep breath, and nods. "We are not normal," he signs, in reference to himself and Zhelinath. "It's difficult, being one." He looks like he might add more, then gives up with a rueful little shrug. Instead, he squeezes F'yr's hand again, then releases him to add, "/You/ are a good friend. Don't worry about us."

"You're special," F'yr agrees, his expression solemn as he looks down at N'on. He doesn't hold on when the squeeze is given and gone. "And good friends worry. I think. I do, anyway." He probably doesn't know what other good friends do, but that's okay. "I'd better get back to the barracks. I can feel Glorioth starting to wake and he's still… uh," UH. WHAT IS HE. "He likes to have my attention." That's a fumble, but truthful. "I'll see you, sometime soon. I hope." He hopes because weyrling lives are not their own, but he can hope, he can try at any rate. Then he turns to not walk, but jog in the direction of the barracks and his waking lifemate of questionable quality.


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