==== February 19th, 2014
==== Kyara, Liareth
==== Liareth doesn't understand why Kyara needs a painting of her. Trying to explain it brings up a final point of fear for the greenrider.

Who Kyara, Liareth
What Liareth doesn't understand why Kyara needs a painting of her. Trying to explain it brings up a final point of fear for the greenrider.
When Evening. It is the 24th day of the first month of the first Turn of the 12th Pass.
Where Liareth's Ledge, Igen Weyr

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Liareth's Ledge
A wide, flat ledge, edges gouged from centuries of taloned feet gripping it to land, faces west near the apex of the caldera that is Igen Weyr. Sand fills a dragon-sized spot worn into the surface near the southern edge. The back half is sheltered by weathered, rusty-hued stone - expansive enough to provide a haven during inclement weather. Around the outside edges of the cave, a few smaller shelves of rock jut out - deep enough to allow firelizards to lounge, should they wish to. Beyond a stone platform lies the entrance to Kyara's weyr, cut off from the ledge by a heavy, sapphire-hued hanging edged with a simple blocked spiral pattern in gold thread. Two sand-filled cylindrical striking bags hang in the back left corner of the sheltered space. Just to the left of the entrance is a shelf holding pots of oil and salve, beneath which is a row of hooks for fighting straps.

Indecisive. That’s the most accurate word to describe Kyara’s entire posture and expression right now. Her day over, she stands in the midst of her weyr in slippers, loose linen pants, and a cozy woolen sweater dyed deep violet, a large, framed portrait held before her in both hands. She’d cried upon receiving it from Erikkhan; Liareth is rendered on the canvas in breathtaking detail, the colors of sunset bold behind her. The greenrider couldn’t have asked for a more perfect painting…but finding the perfect place to hang it is proving to be more difficult. She holds it up, facing the northern wall, peers around the side of it, and turns completely around, debating a space above the hearth. No, not there; the heat might damage it…

« I don’t understand, » Liareth finally tells her lifemate. The green has been observing this entire time, every now and again offering her opinion on a prospective spot. There’s been a bit of perplexity to her mindscape, however, manifesting in the low law of steam upon the baths and the almost hesitant flickering of wall sconces. « Why do you need a picture of me? I’m here. Always here. Why a me that doesn’t move and breathe when you have me forever? »

Kyara has sensed the subtle agitation of her lifemate, but figured the pretty green would voice it when she felt ready. A question comes as no surprise…but what the question is does make Kyara pause. » Well, « she explains, » people like to have pictures to keep the memory of people or things or places they can’t see all the time. I know you’re always here, love, but I can’t see you from in here, you know. « It feels like a silly answer, but it’s the best she can come up with right now. Something about it nags at her, but she ignores it in favor of concentrating on her newest potential spot.

« Your memory is better than mine, » Liareth counters with a snort. « You never forget what I look like. » A fountain splashes in the pause, softly babbling as the green speculates. « Does it work for people the same way it does for me, when you show me where to go before we jump ::between::? »

Kyara laughs a bit at that, as much for the idea of humans going ::between:: under their own power as much as for how much the concept makes metaphoric sense. » No, not the same. But it can make old memories clear again. Helps old things become new in our minds. «

There’s another moment of silence and softly spilling fountains as Liareth considers this. « Then the picture of me still serves no purpose. » Her tone is completely logical, no agitation or scorn present as she reasons it out. « I am not a memory; I am here, with you. You need no reminding of me. »

Frowning, Kyara lowers the painting, eyes sliding toward the hanging across the entrance of her weyr. The nagging grows a little more insistent, but she shoves it aside. » Do you not like it, Lia? « the greenrider questions, uncertain what might be bringing up such a reaction from her dragon, if it’s true.

« It is very nice, » the lithe green returns with a rumble, and she shifts on the ledge, coming under the overhang as she senses a rising distress in her rider. « I simply do not see the need for it. »

Hearing the movement of her dragon outside, Kyara carefully sets the portrait against the wall separating her composing nook from the rest of her weyr and wanders back toward the fireplace. » It also reminds me of Erikkhan, « she reasons. Along with all her other friends and loved ones - the talent and vibrancy of them all summed up in the strokes of one able painter. She has no choice but to attune herself to the nagging that continues to rise now, recognizing that there’s something important to it. She needs to be able to articulate this to Liareth somehow, in a way the green can comprehend to her satisfaction.

« He is not a memory, either. »

» Shardit, Lia… « Rubbing her forehead with some vehemence, Kyara pushes past the hanging to meet her lifemate. Liareth is practically right there, crouched near the entrance with her tail undulating slowly, and Kyara stops chest to nose in the dim light of evening, biting her lip. » We also do these things in case something should happen to make someone a memory, like… like… « She swallows past a lump in her throat, her eyes suddenly burning fiercely. » We’re to fight Thread again, Lia. «

« Yes. »

The onset of the deepest reason for the portrait seeps steadily into Kyara’s mind like cold fire, hardening the lump in her throat and setting it to burning. It’s a despairing reason, an extreme reason…but no less valid. » If something happens, Lia… Thread could take you from me and leave me here. I’d want to go ::between::, but what if you weren’t to let me? « The image of Vergora flashes through her mind, sending a chill down her neck. » What if someone else didn’t let me, and I had to stay, torn in half, a shell of myself, knowing there was something gone from me but not understanding what? Not remembering… It would be my way to remember. « Unable to keep sound from escaping her lips any longer, she presses her hands against Liareth’s nose, speaking in a broken voice. “I’d rather live dead remembering you through that picture than die empty, never having been able to.”

Firelight blazes amidst a surge of humid heat, and the night sky above comes alive with sunset-painted clouds clashing with the light of risen moons as daylight wars with dusk, stars subtly winking in the blue beyond. « I will not let that happen. » Liareth shifts with a protective growl, enveloping Kyara with as much of herself as she can manage without smothering her lifemate. « We are together. Always. »

Kyara clings fiercely to Liareth, burying a wet face in her dragon’s side. The inward spiral of her fear of loss has come to completion, it seems - her home, her friends, her family, the man she’s fallen for…now her lifemate. Liareth’s promise makes her want to argue more, makes the portrait seem so insignificant and so much more important all at once, but she keeps quiet. The only thing that matters right now is the strength and heart she’s pulling from her graceful green. “Always,” she echoes hoarsely, the thoughts roiling in her head melding to a blur. Helpless to sort any of it out, and simultaneously grateful that she can’t, Kyara simply goes quiet, relying on Liareth to help level her out.

« I will not ask about the picture again, » Liareth finally says, steam swirling clear of still waters in a bit of contrition. « I still do not understand, but it is important to you. That, I do understand. It is enough. »

»Thank you, love. «

During the next long silence, there is still plenty that’s communicated without words. Kyara is afraid, but that is a constant. That she isn’t paralyzed by it - still moving, acting, fighting - is what matters. Liareth bolsters her lifemate’s courage with her own resolve and collectedness, at the same time continuing to soothe it all with the gorgeous tranquility of that one, quiet and intimate bath house that is for Kyara alone. Such a simple catalyst to uncover something so deep, that painting…but it has been very needed, the greenrider realizes. The full extent of her fear has been laid bare, and now she can work to accept it and counter it more easily.

There will always be fear. But as long as she lives, there will always be Liareth - and that is the brightest light of all in the darkness.

When you give me love
I have no fear of heights
No fear of the deep blue sea
Although it could drown me
I know it could drown me
No fear of the fall
No fear if it’s with you that I fall
‘cause nothing could break us
No nothing could break us, now

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