Who

A'ndi & Taliveth and Vani & Caelisth

What

The morning after the flight before. A'ndi and Vani find clothes and a little comfort. CAELISTH AND TALIVETH are cool though!

post-flight themes

belated posting

When

It is before dawn of the twenty-ninth day of the fourth month of the twelfth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Parting of the Willows, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 30 Oct 2017 11:00

 

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“I kind of figured it’d happen eventually. He adores her.”


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Parting of the Willows

Here the sighing willows part, and here the earth recalls. Up from the clearing's centre there stands an obelisk of grey marble, the solid stuff of memory inscribed with silvery runes. The grass is soft and emerald here, and flowers spring up about the rising stone. Wild firelizards haunt this place, and with the drooping willows gather in recollection of laughter, a light heart, and song. This place is thick with the fond-remembered past, and sad with shattered dreams.

It is the eighty-ninth day of Autumn and 66 degrees. Throughout the night, the warm autumn rain continues to fall steadily.


The sky is just starting to lighten, and the wild firelizards that call this particular area home have just begun to stir, filling the air with soft chitters and the occasional flutter of tiny leathery wings. They’re not quite as active as they would be, as they’re busy eyeing a couple of intruders. Human intruders that earlier came rolling in through the nearby hedges, taking out several innocent leaves and branches and crushing flowers as they went. Clothes were pulled and tossed and left scattered half-hazard in the green grass, and someone had pockets full of mint that is now everywhere, including a generous sprinkling over the sleeping forms of A’ndi and Vani. The brownrider eventually begins to awaken, memories starting to flood back in; the draconic ones first, the bright supernova lights refracting off shimmering stardust, the sounds of planet song mingling with static-filled signals lost in space, orbiting space junk getting caught in gusts of airless wind. Then the more physical memories return, and the more awake he becomes, the more aware A’ndi is that he and his green rider companion are quite thoroughly snuggled up. And she’s laying on top of his left arm. And it has gone totally numb. But he’s not going to wake her up just yet. Let sleeping Vanis lie. Is that a thing? Instead he dozes on and off a bit more, and then eventually reaches carefully to pluck a stray leaf from Vani’s hair.

Not only is his arm numb… but it’s probably completely saturated… and not just from the rain, Vani may not snore, but she drools a whole heap. It probably isn’t until the winds start picking up with the lightening of the clouds overhead that Vani stats stirring, in her half-conscious state seeking the warmth she senses beside her without questioning why she is naked, or why she’s still being rained upon. Uncharacteristically, Caelisth is also snuggling into her brother, asleep and sated. All is peaceful and quiet once more in the world of Vani and Caelisth. That will probably change once Vani wakes up though. Perhaps ‘let sleeping Vani’s lie’ should be a thing. (Faranth knows that waking Vani’s lie often enough). Perhaps it is the subtle differences between A’ndi’s bare chest and A’hali’s that finally prompts her to crack open an eye. “Shaffit.” Although she’s not moving away just yet.

Taliveth made it known earlier that this was the BEST game they’ve ever played. But now he too is quiet, just rocks spinning in space and a low, white-noise buzzing like a refrigerator. As Vani stirs, A’ndi keeps quiet, letting her come to the various realizations on her own. When it sounds as though she has, that leaf pulled from her hair is held within the green rider’s sight. “This involved a lot more foliage than I was expecting.” And rain. Can’t forget the rain. At least the combination of damp grass and mint is kind of a nice smell, right?

Now Vani is moving away… If he had just stayed quiet that little longer she might have snuggled too. But no, that voice is definitely not the one she was expecting so she’s going to go right back to her usual ‘absurdly large personal bubble’ self. “Last time I was on the beach. I prefer the leaves I think.” Sand is no girls friend. She is trying though, even as she folds herself so that the interesting bits are protected (causing a few of her more prominent scars to glimmer in the predawn lightening). “Uh, morning.”

A’ndi watches her folding process with a mildly curious interest. “I already saw everything,” he comments. It’s not mean, but rather the tone suggests he’s trying to make her feel less embarrassed. He doesn’t seem concerned about his own current lack of clothing. It’s more the numb arm covered in drool that has him a little worried. Now that she’s moved, with a wince A’ndi pulls that arm toward himself, wiggling his fingers to try to get some feeling back. “Anyway. Morning,” he greets back neutrally. The brownrider falls silent, but his blue eyes have fallen on those scars. He’s kind of obviously staring like a rude piece of shit.

“Doesn’t mean you get to see it all again.” Vani retorts quietly, because he probably will once they start searching for clothes. She on the other hand keeps her eyes firmly on the soft green grass that was once their bed. There is no escaping the embarrassment, and she’s not quite awake enough to brazenly Vani her way through it. Just when Vani was almost getting the hang of the ‘after-flight’ Caelisth throws a spanner in her works, and she’s just kind of awkwardly sitting there… What to say to your naked friend who isn’t your special naked friend? “Mint right?” There she’s just going to discuss the foliage. Because that’s safe… isn’t it?

“Mint?” A’ndi asks stupidly, blinking. OH YEAH it’s all over the damn place and was totally a thing before all this flight business. “Oh! Oh, yeah. Mint. Yeah. It’s good in tea. And if you’re feeling nauseous. Taliveth likes the smell of it.” As his arm gradually begins to function again, he slowly pulls himself into a sitting position, drawing his knees up to his chest. “He keeps asking me to plant some inside his nose, and I have to keep explaining why that won’t work…” A’ndi finally notices that, between all the dampness of the rain and all the tumbling around they did, he’s kind of covered in various bits and pieces of grass and mint and leaves. And so the brushing off begins! “So. This was his first catch,” he tries to say as casually and conversationally as possible. “I kind of figured it’d happen eventually. He adores her.”

Caelisth seems to attract adoring admirers, as evidenced by those that sought her out last night. “Eventually they all catch.” And Caelisth is on some sort of mission to catch ‘em all, but Taliveth is a little bit special as the green has made no moves to ‘tap n’ gap’ like she usually does. A thunderous little scowl settles on her face for a moment before passing. “Well… Now you know.” It probably wasn't what she was going to say, but it covers a lot of ground! (You know, what IT is like, why she was kinda pissy about that arrangement A’hali tried to make etc etc) She's going to ignore the assorted leafy bits on her for now because they were having a very serious discussion about mint! “Does he eat it? Or just you know…?” She gives an exaggerated sniff.

“Now I know,” A’ndi agrees with a solemn nod. The loud sniff gets a little half-smile out of him and he replies, “Yup, just like that. I can put a handful on top of his muzzle and keep him occupied for a good half hour.” Taliveth is not hard to please. But he’s extra pleased right now, all snuggled with Caeli, and as the brown slowly awakens he begins to whisper sweet, sweet nothings from his galaxy to hers. Things like how she’s the most wonderful, beautiful pancake on Pern and he’ll never love another pancake as much as he loves her. Meanwhile, A’ndi turns his head away from Vani, watching drippy-drops fall from willow branches instead. “You can get dressed if you want. I won’t look.”

It isn't personal the suspicious glance that gets shot his way, Vani does have her fair share of trust issues. But she attempts to reign it in. “Thank you… bestie” It is a quiet reminder that SHE TOTALLY HEARD THAT A’NDI even as she heads directly for the hedge. Hopefully someone nice saved her jacket from the herb beds and she only has to worry about shirt and pants (Surprise! She knew the time was close enough not to bother with her lingerie yesterday…) Of course A’ndi may come to regret this as she is also gathering up his clothes… for some kind of post-flight prank. With her own galaxies no longer shrouded in the haze of hormonal imperative, Caelisth isn't going to rouse easily. In fact she's probably more than comfy draped over her rusted brown brother listening… and should he pause? She will rather quickly encourage him to continue. « Keep going! » . Vani can expect no help from that quarter anytime soon.

A’ndi does indeed behave himself and does not peek. Like he said, he already saw everything, so there’s no enticing mystery or anything. Anyway, it’s Vani, and he remembers that ‘best friend’ thing too. His arms fold over the tops of his knees and he rests his head, waiting. “Yeah, so… speaking of all that friend stuff…” It’s really too late for A’ndi to keep trying to deny that he has actual friends. “I was wondering. Do you want to go to Igen with me? Show me around and shit?” Because going places together is a thing friends do, right? As for the dragons, Caelisth will get her wish; Taliveth has no problem spouting non-stop praise and adoration.

At least A’hali still thinks her naked body is enticing and mysterious… and he's seen her in that state a million times! “Igen? What the fuck for?” Her voice is muffled as presumably she is dressing. “Sand. Sand. More sand. Hey look! Even more sand. Sand and assholes is about all there is to see…” Vani has fond, fond memories of the place. “You still haven't taken me to see the snowdrops!” Oh yeah remember that A’ndi? But she isn't exactly saying no as she emerges from the hedge, be-shirted and fiddling with the fastenings of her pants (she will give up eventually and mend them later). Of A’ndi’s clothes there is no sign… ALAS! And Caelisth is more than happy to flood Taliveth's starscape with the EDM beats of happiness that are coming from one of those moons of hers (https://soundcloud.com/nasa/whistler-waves2?in=nasa/sets/spookyspacesounds cos it deserves to be shared). “If you really must though… sure.” Vani shrugs, her hair fizzing in the rain, even as the drip-drops do their thing on her shirt.

“I’ve never been there, and I heard there’s some sort of bazaar? And I’m assuming spicy food?” When the sound of rustling and fastening ceases, A’ndi will cautiously peeeeeek to make sure the coast is clear. “I just thought it’d be, you know… a thing to do.” Bare, damp shoulders shrug. “You’re right, though, I do owe you a visit to the snowdrops. We didn’t really have time when we were last at Southern Barrier.” They were there on STRICTLY BUSINESS. “You didn’t happen to see my stuff over there, did you? I honestly don’t remember where they ended up… is that normal?” Provide your wisdom, oh veteran of mating flights! Taliveth’s little satellites go beep-booping along to Caelisth’s moon-song, bobbing and weaving merrily while the brown’s mindscape gives ethereal form and radiant color to the sounds. There’s a warm, content intimacy still, whenever their galaxies mix and twine, along with a touch of nostalgia, a longing for a closeness not felt since they were developing entities in an eggshell womb. Clutchmate bonds, man. Don’t underestimate them.

“Like I said, sand and assholes.” Because discussing the glorious attractions of Igen is way more important than discussing his clothes. “But… perhaps not riiiiiight now. I heard that ALL of the food is dodgy.” She may not like Igen, but she sure keeps tabs on the place. “We could have made time, for all the good our last visit did.” She doesn’t sound bitter at all about the events that had them up there in Southern Barrier the first place. And that is still more important than the question of A’ndi’s clothes. Eventually she relents a little. “I almost found a new set of boots under the boardwalk. I went in barefoot.” He can make his own decisions about normalcy after that little tidbit. “But…” For a moment the slightly defensive stuff stops. “You’re not really thinking about clothes in that moment…. Other than the fact they’re in the way.” There is a faint flush on her cheeks, she saw and remembers more than she is willing to admit. “You’re not really thinking at all.” She’s only been through this a couple of times more than A’ndi after all, she’s still trying to find her feet. Speaking of, she clears her throat and straightens her shoulders. “They’re in the hedge, I hid them.” She’ll just wander closer to that obelisk now to try and read the runes. His turn for some privacy! Caelisth really isn’t inclined to go anywhere after all. She’s SNUGGLING (because dragons can’t go in for seconds >.>)!

“Yeah. That’s a good way to put it. Not thinking at all.” A’ndi runs a hand back through damp hair, pulling out some bits of mint in the process. He frowns disapprovingly at them and wipes them off on the grass. “It’s like my head was just full of Taliveth’s thoughts. Or his feelings, I guess. He was really happy. But I guess he would be…” You know, catching the gal he’s had his eye on and all. HIS SISTER— “You hid them?” A’ndi looooooooks at Vani after that admission. Or rather, he looks at the back of her head. “And yet, I’m not surprised.” His tone is full of snark. But it’s affectionate snark. The brownrider will take the offered moment of privacy to carefully pull himself up off the grass, testing limbs to make sure all the feeling is back, and then go hedge-diving for his clothes. Rustlerustle. “I don’t think either of them are going to take us home any time soon. You want some breakfast? .. c’mon you fuckin shit-“ Tugging and pulling, twigs snapping.

If he’s still watching the back of her head, he’ll see that she’s shaking it. “Nah. I gotta get cleaned up… then I gotta get home. He worries. And I can walk.” No need to elaborate on who ‘he’ is, or the fact that the worry is mutual right? “Thank you though.” Because he’s the first one to offer to get food with her after. “Caelisth usually doesn’t stick around after…” She admits. “I’d say she’s pretty pleased with the outcome herself.” It’s way easier to talk about the dragons feelings on the matter. “I had to repay your gallantry appropriately.” She returns in the same affectionate snark. The more she speaks, the more it is clear that her own defenses are slowly creeping back up.

Of course A’ndi offered food. They’re besties! It’s been put out into the world and cannot be taken back. After a bit of a battle with the hedge, clothes are retrieved and pulled back upon his person. The shirt has to been done twice; he put it on backwards. Boots are laced up, wrinkles smoothed out. After all that time hanging out nekkid, it almost feels weird to be dressed again. But Southern probably won’t be constructing a nudist colony any time soon. A’ndi’s hands settle in his pockets as he meanders on over to join her at the obelisk. He’s been trying to play this all super casual, going by the belief that it’s only as awkward as the participants make it. But still, in the end, he has to ask, “So… you’re okay, right?”

Vani sighs. “I probably will be. This is much easier…” Her nose wrinkles she's probably just imaging that word is all kinds of inappropriate. “This is weird as fuck.” because they fucked! “Not the… flight… just because it is you.” She is struggling to put something pretty heavy into words here. There is another sigh as all her defenses come slamming down for a moment. “I love you as a friend. I'm still getting used to the fact that sometimes… I gotta do this with friends… And now I know what you look like naked. And it's weird. It's not you guys. You and Taliveth did gr… fine.” Eventually the two halves of her heart will find resolution… this is just another step towards that day.

A’ndi knows this is a rare moment. They’re similar in a way, with all their walls and defenses, and it’s a big deal when they’re pulled down, even for just a little while. He lifts a hand, hesitates, but ultimately reaches out to rest a hand on her shoulder companionably, if she’ll allow it. “Well. Now I know what you look like naked too, so I guess we’re even.” There’s even a smile for her. It’s small but genuine, which is an expression for few people in this world. “I can’t deny that it’s like you said, weird as fuck. But, I don’t know. I’m kind of glad it was you? Don’t take that the wrong way-“ A hand is raised in defense. HE DOESN’T MEAN IT LIKE~ “I just mean. I’d prefer that over waking up next to some random dumbshit. If I can’t sneak away, I’ll have to talk to them, and what if they want to get breakfast…” Much frowning, much disapproval.

There is an unconscious flinch, she wasn’t expecting contact, and with those scars… some things a body can’t forget, even if the mind is willing. BUT she allows it. “The randoms don’t stick around for food… or for conversation” She has the experience now to say that quite confidently. Of course she may be developing her own strategies to get them to move along too. “I’m glad it was… a good experience for you.” She doesn’t mean it that way either, and while she has forgiven the aftermath of her first flight, it doesn’t mean she has forgotten it entirely. “He’d be happy as well.” That he who is never far from her thoughts… and the one she’s starting to fidget for. “He also expects you to see me safely home.” Those defenses come slamming up once more, with that unsubtle reminder that it’s probably time they left this place of remembrance…and now ALL THE MINT.

“I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have any problem getting home safely on your own.” Because despite all those ovaries and tubes and whatnot, even A’ndi can acknowledge that Vani would likely be formidable if you met her in a dark alley. “But sure. That’s fine.” And so his gallantry will continue! By escorting his greenrider companion, first to the baths for some tidying up, and then safely to the door of the shipweyr. A’ndi won’t linger to visit Hal; that’s for another time. But Taliveth will spend as much time humanly— dragonly? Yes, as much time as dragonly possible all cuddled up with Caelisth. He’ll even fetch her a wherry and deliver it right to her feet. Breakfast in bed! And will generally dote upon her as much and for however long as she’ll allow before he eventually goes back to his ledge to tell Zynth alllllll about it!

“Thats what I said!” Vani agrees but otherwise says nothing more of importance during the various tasks until she gets to her door. “It wasn’t horrible.” And then she is cracking that door open to slip inside, literally running away from any responses the brownrider might make. And Caelisth is perfectly okay with breakfast in bed, and might even join her brother as he makes his visit. THE END FOR REALS

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