Who

D'ex, A'ndi, Taliveth, Zynth

What

Sometimes sleep does not come when it is needed. Sometimes there are those available who are willing to help.

Mild Cussing, References to Past Violence

When

It is evening of the sixteenth day of the eleventh month of the twelfth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Zynth's Weyr, Southern

OOC Date 04 Jan 2018 07:00

 

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"It's kind of bullshit, that whole 'time heals all wounds' thing"



Zynth's Weyr

The weyr is large and spacious, smooth walls high and curve around in a great oval, much like being on the inside of some huge egg. The a hollowed dip of a bowl sits in almost the exact center of the weyr, the sand at the bottom is racked smooth and evenly across the expanse that is more than enough space for a little Blue. Above this dip is flat floor that runs to the walls in all directions, a single stone staircase is cut up the curved stone walls to a ledge above that holds a table and set of chairs. In the ovular circle around the bowl, the floor is sectioned off and segregated to purpose, though there are no visible barriers to be seen. One section has a bed pushed up against the wall, the next has a small alcove that homes a little kitchen, and the next a round skybroom tree table and chairs. Trunks are stacked in one sections, and one section is left open and empty apart from the shelves of supplies. A rack of riding leathers hang next to the door, oiling supplies on the self above them. The whole place gives a sense of purpose, order, and cleanliness. The big weyr is not cluttered, but every item clearly has a place, every section of living thought out and arranged almost as if the egg-shape acts as a clock through daily tasks and places, all orbiting around the dragon's sandy bowl of a bed.


The weyr is large and dark, however it is far from lifeless. Silloetted shapes can just be seen, the large form of dragons in the sand that holds the center of the weyr, and the smaller forms of lizards drapped on various surface around the place. On the bed there are two forms as well, all is quiet. The chill is kept out by blankets, and though dark and overcast outside, this weyr is homey. Safe. Or. It should be. Blankets should keep out the chill. All should be asleep. But not all is. Sitting perched at the very edge of the bed is a man, back to the rest of the room, legs over the bed, hunched over and head in his hands. He is shaking. Sitting up in the sand is a dragon, wings held tightly to his narrow build, whirling eyes barely visible in the dark, but locked on the back of his rider. He is shaking. Dragon and man are talking. Though, less in words, and more in emotion. This wasn't supposed to keep happening. This wasn't fair. He was happy. He was well. Safe. Here. With someone important. But still, the terrors of night still came. In a moment, the still of the room is broken, D'ex is standing up and dropping down into the sands, stalking across and followed closely by the blue out toward the ledge with every intention of leaving.

It is nice and homey, isn't it? And curled up as they are in such cozy comfort, normally Taliveth and his rider are heavy sleepers. The brown's much larger body doesn't quite fit all the way into Zynth's sandy bed, but Tali fell asleep just fine with his beloved blue brother close by. And even A'ndi, normally preferring his own space to sleep, didn't mind sharing and drifted off easily. When the slender blue vacates his spot, Taliveth stirs slightly, weight shifting and coming to find nothing where there should be something. Blinking (one lid before the other. They're never timed quite right) his sleepy, googly eyes at the weyr's entrance, the brown's head rises and watches the pair. Maybe they have a night time business meeting? It's to both of them that he asks, « Where ya goin? You should be in bed! »

D'ex freezes, but doesn't reply, instead, Zynth's mind rises up, almost blocking his rider's from the other dragon. His words are softer than usual, gentle, and wide, wide, awake, « Going out for a bit. Sleep is alluding us and mine would like to clear his head. He is … » The blue's mind rises again, wrapping around his rider's so as not to let D'ex hear all of the words, « He is not well right now. I was not paying attention, but I am now and am going to take him out for a fly. He would like to not think for a bit. » The blue shifts slightly, looking back at the brown and blinking slightly. Wings loosen at his sides as D'ex exits to the ledge to wait, « We will be back before dawn, brother-mine. »

« He has to go out to not think? But it's so easy! I do it all the time! » Tali proudly exclaims. But still, his star-spattered voice drops to a whisper. « I'm sorry he's feeling bad. » Usually Taliveth is out like a rock, so this shifting of voice and emotion and the awakening of his galaxyscape pulls his rider out of his own deep slumber. A'ndi rolls over while he's still half out of it, fully expecting to glom onto the increasingly familiar form of a certain befreckled bluerider, but finds nothing. Much as it was for his dragon, this change in sleeping arrangement is jarring enough to wake him all the way. With sleep rubbed from eyes and a hand run through messy hair, the brownrider ventures past the conversing dragons, directly to his target. He's doing that cute boyfriend thing of wearing one of D'ex's shirts to bed, TOTALLY only because his own shirt ended up with a stain that must be fixed. The comfy pants are his own, complete with ripped knees; they do not need fixing because the ventilation is great! A'ndi steps out a little ways onto the ledge, hesitating a moment before sleepily greeting, "Hey."

« He does a lot of things to not think sometimes. He will feel better with the dawn. It- » Zynth cuts off as A'ndi makes his way around him and to the ledge. Instantly, the blue falls into an almost predatory-stance, crouching as a cat might while eyeing some interesting dot. Still, there is no hostility, no move to stop the man. D'ex is standing on the legde with his back to the weyr, arms are folded and his whole form is tense. He is dressed casually and comfortablly as well. A shirt is on now, though perhaps he had not had one earlier this evening. Still, he is far underdressed to be out, something that might usually bother him. There is a slight jerk at the voice, but D'ex doesn't turn around, "I'll be back later." The words are tight. Tense and articulated carefully. Almost like talking to a knot, or undesirable drudge. "Go back to bed."

A'ndi freezes up a little, looking uneasily between the tense blue and his rider. This is where his inexperience with 'things' and people in general is a problem— what to do in this situation? He's well used to D'ex's bouts of being a jerkface, that's kind of part of the package, but this was something very different. "Uh… going somewhere in particular? Or just-" He waves a hand vaguely. "-flying around? It's kind of late for it, isn't it?" Taliveth is pretty wide awake by this point. He doesn't speak just yet, but rather croons softly at his brother.

Zynth could be a statue. No blinking. Just that frozen, half-hostile, eyes not locked on A'ndi, but on D'ex. D'ex himself doesn't move either, "Yeah. Flying around. Over water. For a bit. I'll be back." He steps to the side, "Com'on Zynth." But the blue doesn't move. Finally, D'ex glances back toward them, his face is pale, hair at a state of disarray that might suggest that hands have run though the locks many, many times recantly. "Zynth." He looses focus for a moment, talking to the motionless blue, his slack expression growing tighter, he doesn't like what he is hearing. He refocuses, eyes drifting to A'ndi, "Go sleep." It is far closer to an order now, though not quite.

A'ndi squints briefly at D'ex in a rather 'you can't tell me what to do you're not my manager' sort of way before shrugging it all away with a nonchalant, "Nah, I'm awake now. Your bed is fuckin' cold without another body in it, anyway." He takes a few more steps out onto the ledge, carefully keeping a safe amount of distance between them as he walks around and finally flops down to sit upon the stone. "You can go do your thing if you want. I'll just hang out here til you get back."

D'ex is silent, looking at A'ndi, then looking away, eyes returning to the blue. The blue remains still, looking back. "Zynth. Please." But still, the dragon doesn't move. D'ex cusses as suddenly the dragon melts, turning back into the weyr with a smooth, water-like grace. The blue is back in the sandy bowl and settling down, « Apologies brother. We intended to leave so as not to wake you two, however, as you are now awake, I see no point in going. » D'ex cusses agian, remaining on the ledge. Finally, when it is clear that Zynth is not leaving, D'ex looks between the dragon and the brownrider. "Go inside! It's fucking cold." And with that, he himself, sweeps in, but rather than returning to the bed, D'ex stalks over to Zynth and plops down uncerimoniously into the sand between the blue's forelegs, his back to the dragon's chest, his own kneels pulled up.

"This? This isn't cold. I lived in the snow, remember?" Sure, he was complaining about the cold bed, but that's a whole different kind of cold. A'ndi doesn't immediately follow D'ex inside. Instead, he'll spend a good fifteen minutes or so on the ledge, eyes on the overcast sky and letting the chill air wake him up a bit more. And perhaps also to give D'ex a bit of breathing room before venturing further with… whatever ths is. « Oh, good! I was already missing you both! » Taliveth warbles oh so softly, nuzzling his smushy snout against Zynth's neck. Finally A'ndi meanders inside, playing as casual as he can as he comes over to join the bluerider in the sand. He'll scoot up against his own dragon, sinking back against the familiar oxidized hide. "So. … Rough night?"

D'ex's eyes are closed when A'ndi returns. Zynth's wings arched forward slightly to form a sort of bubble around the pair. The man and dragon are talking, though Zynth, at least, is paying attention to the world around them. « Yes. We will be staying. Thank you brother. » Though, when A'ndi returns, D'ex does not move, he doesn't speak right away, but finally, eyes open and slide over to the brownpair, "Didn't start that way. But… . can we not talk about this? It's fine. Just… .can't sleep." The blue's mind reaches out to A'ndi, gentle and soft, « Mine has Nightmares sometimes. His mind is not kind to his sleep. »

A'ndi's eyes flicker up to the blue's face at the gentle touch of that frosted mind, and he nods in acknowledgement. His gaze falls back upon the weary looking redhead, and a hand raises slowly. There is a lot of thinking going on; those hamster wheels are turning fast in A'ndi's mind. Cautiously, hesitantly, that hand comes to rest lightly on D'ex's arm. "Not sleeping isn't really fine. But we don't have to talk about it if you don't want to." After another moment of consideration, the brownrider adds a gentle squeeze to the arm. "Though I don't mind listening if you change your mind." Now his head tilts back against his dragon's broad chest, listening to the deep and even breathing of the brown.

D'ex flinches at the touch, but doesn't pull away. "Sleep isn't nessicary every night. Go to bed." The words remain sharp, but there is no real passion behind it. He leans back into Zynth again, and again is quiet. However, D'ex is not great at along quiets. "You know, that thing when you kinda feel powerless? Like, um, like you have no control over your world or your own well being? You know that feeling?" He pauses, shakes his head and stands quickly. "Never mind. It doesn't matter." And the blue rider starts to pace. One. Two. Three. And turn. One. Two. Three.

A'ndi blinks, watching the bluerider stand. And the pacing. Back and forth. His hands settle into his lap and he considers the question. "… I think so. Once. The rest of the time, I think I've just grown to accept that shit happens." He rests a hand down upon one of Taliveth's muscular forelimbs, scritching at a patch of hide with that crater-like pattern. "Are you feeling like that now?" The question comes out, as have most words and actions tonight, with a certain amount of caution. He's dealt with siblings with scary dreams, but this feels like a whole other category of nightmare.

"No, I'm not." The words come quickly, his head shaking, "But I was. It…happens sometimes. Dreams are less dream-like and more of reinactments of stuff." He continues to pace. One. Two. Three. Turn. One. Two. "Zynth helps. He Sort of, I don't know. Does stuff that helps." One. Two. Three. Turn. "I don't know. It's stupid and annoying and fucking inconvieniet and-" He shutters off, not finishing the thought. Two. Three. Turn. One. "It's like swimming. And It's Swimming, then there are waves, that crash against you again and again and after awhile you get lucky and wake up gasping for air and trying to convince yourself you're not drowning."

"It does sound inconvenient. I can see why it'd be hard to sleep through that shit." A'ndi keeps watching the back and forth until he has to shut his eyes and give his head a shake. Then he scoots over a bit, making a nice space there next to him in his little Taliveth-nest. "Here. Come sit." A gentle patpat on the sand. It's not an order, exactly, but rather a… firm suggestion? "What stuff are you dreaming about? Is it more like memories, or…?"

"Stuff." The word comes quickly again, and the pacing, for a heartbeat, speeds up. One. Two. Three. Turn. One. D'ex pauses at the invitation, he turns slightly to look at the offered nest. He hesiates, eyes shifting to Zynth a moment, then back to A'ndi. Finally, D'ex breaks away from his pacing and slinks into the offered place, sitting down and pulling up his knees. "Memories. Sorta. Sorta like memories, but shoved together, with little accounting for time. Dream-like warping of events. All together. Jumping around."

There's a few minutes wait after the bluerider joins the nest, but then slowly, so very very slowly, A'ndi carefully moves to wrap and arm around D'ex's shoulders. "You could try describing them. Even if they don't make sense." A shrug of a shoulder and he adds, "I mean, I'm no mindhealer or anything. But sometimes it helps to get crap out of your system, you know? Get it out of your own head." Gradually a sort of purring starts up from Taliveth, a soft thrumming, as he gazes down upon the riders. He's a momma hen~

D'ex will not say anything at first. He will not pull away either, or even acknowlage the arm. "It's usually dark at first." He could remember the dream. It was at the edge of his thoughts still, heavy and still so fresh he could almost taste the tang of blood in his mouth. He could feel his chest tighten just thinking about it, could feel his breath wanting to speed up, that rising anxity over the nothing that was not real. He was safe damn it! He knew that! So why? Why did he feel like he couldn't breath? Like he wanted to be in a ball? In the dark? Away from noise and touch and any stimulation. Why? He was fine! "I'm fine." Saying it out loud didn't sound anymore convincing than in his head. "It's always dark at first."

A'ndi looks hard at D'ex now, examining the features of someone who is clearly not all right. "You're not fine. So what? Fuck fine. It's just us here, you don't have to put on any front." Taliveth takes a moment to check in with his brother. No words, just the soft beep boop of satellites poking around, staying connected. "So what happens next? After it's dark."

Frost swirls around in response. Zynth's whole focus is on D'ex and dampering whatever emotional response he is trying to have. As it is, the man flinches from A'ndi's tone, though it is hardly different from his own. "It's dark! Okay? It's dark and they always show up for some danm reason and I'm waiting! Okay? It's a hell of a lot of waiting! Waiting to see who comes down the hall with the keys, who comes and if it's someone who's reasonable or someone who's bored, or someone who's having a rough day at home, and if they get down to business or not! I hate the waiting! And then there is a lot of blood and a lot of pain and back to the cell to wait again!" D'ex is on his feet in a moment, the nice nest is vacated and he is back up again, back to pace, his hands fidgetting with eachother, his form slightly more hunched over, like some trapped, wounded animal, "That's all! Okay? It's a lot of fucking waiting and a lot of fucking pain and more waiting for the next round! That's all!"

"Okay." The response is kept simple. A'ndi inches his way up gradually to stand, for the moment staying pressed back against Taliveth. "So it's… it's stuff from when you were in the brig." Is what he's deciphering from the given information. Now he steps away from Tali, who rumbles softly in some concern. A'ndi steps closer, little by little, reaching out towards the troubled bluerider. "But you're not there right now. You won't be ever again."

"I know that! I know that! I shouldn't have these dreams. It's over. It's done. It's past and I'm beyond all that! But fuck A'ndi! They keep coming! It's stupid!" His tone is higher than usual, words fast, but not quite stumbling over eachother. He turns, skittering back slightly from A'ndi, "That's all that place is. It's just waiting and pain and fear. That's all. The mines would have been better then being there for months. Months. Fucking Harper wouldn't rush it. He got me off didn't he? I got to go home, didn't I? But it was months A'ndi. Months of waiting. And pain. And Fear."

A'ndi stays quiet, letting D'ex get it all out. He doesn't advance when the bluerider moves away, but keeps his hand held out. "It's kind of bullshit, that whole 'time heals all wounds' thing. Shit stays with you even after it's over. For years." Not exactly a bright and sunny outlook, but. There's nothing sunny about this situation. "D'ex. Come here." Fingers stretch, beckoning.

As there is no advance, D'ex's retreat slows and stops. He could still feel that tightness in his chest, could still hear the irrational high in his own voice, and that sufficating, wonderful blanket of Zynth's mind around his, but still, he shakes his head, "I'd like it to quit it now. I'm done with that. I'm done. I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm okay. This is my home. This is my dragon. This is my life and they are gone and all that is gone." He is shaking again, however, at the beckoning, he doesn't move right away. He sways in place, as if wanting to approach A'ndi, but feet iced to the ground. Finally, he takes a few steps toward the Brownrider, hands clasping and unclasping again.

A'ndi waits patiently for the shaking rider to approach. "That's right," he confirms, trying to keep his tone quiet and reassuring. "The minute Zynth picked you, that life ended and it won't happen again." When D'ex does get close enough, the brownrider carefully attempts to pull him into an embrace. "None of us will let it happen. Seriously, you think I'd let those fuckers anywhere near you again?" This is his bread n' butter, his ultimate purpose— to tend to his ducklings, and tend he shall. Taliveth croons his agreement.

D’ex will allow the embrace, though it is not returned. Zynth is up slowly, shifting up off of the sands and walking forward enough to let his head snake around to the pair and puff on them lightly, his mind wraps around the two without words, just a chilly touch smelling of pine and cold. His nose presses lightly into A’nd’s back a moment, then is gone, shifting around to touch his own rider. Zynth is not a touch-y dragon on the best of days, but now it is needed and now he can be. As the silence stretches, D’ex continues to shake, finally arms rising to hug A’ndi back, tightly, as though he is an anchor to this world.

Despite the seriousness of the situation, to Taliveth this is the Best Thing Ever, especially when he sees his blue brother nose at A’ndi. He inches forward little by little (which honestly looks kind of ridiculous with such a large dragon) until he can properly hover over the pair. He continues his crooning, little quiet ones, as his fiery aurora spreads through Zynth’s cold sky. A’ndi’s own hold on the bluerider tightens, determined to hold him up and steady through those crashing mental waves. The faintest smile tugs just a little at the corner of his mouth— it’s certainly special and important and wonderful to be needed by a dragon, and A’ndi has one of the neediest. Taliveth, forever a sensitive child smushed into a Thread-killing machine. But it’s been a long time since a human being needed him for much more than completing assigned duties, so this sudden rush of that feeling of being depended on for something more brings with it a sensation almost like relief. “Do you remember when he hatched?” A’ndi finally breaks the silence, though his voice stays low, speaking softly into red hair. “And how he took Nik fuckin’ down to get to you?” There is just the slightest hint of amusement there. We can all look back on it now and laugh. No one died! :D

No one died. D’ex may never be sure if Zynth needs him. But he needs Zynth. That can never be questioned. The blue is half-curled around the pair now, low to the ground so he can touch his bond, and so as to let that room be available for his bigger brother. D’ex doesn’t like to think he needs anyone, but he’s good at lying. Good at lying to most people, at any rate, and best at lying to himself. Perhaps it is fitting that he is worst at lying to Zynth. “Yeah.” There is the slightest of winces at the second mind touches him, his fingers curl into the back of A’ndi’s shirt, his eyes squeezed shut, “Yeah. He did.” D’ex’s voice is softer, his form still shaking, but less now, his voice softer, less strained, “No one wanted me to impress. Watchdragon searched me. I’m not the sort of person that the weyr wants impressing.” Granted, he’d met many other people like himself. Searched and slipped through the cracks into a bond that the weyr could never question. Ko’an. Va’os. D’ex. All people from the wrong side of the law, but now on the backs of dragons. Not quite weyr-goals, but hey, Va’os was doing a nice job of running the weyr now, and Ko’an had caught a gold or two, right?

It’s kind of funny how those connections work out. Ko’an’s dragon fathered Zynth and Va’os’ Tsiroth. One could also consider Vani to have been from the shadier side of life, and Dora was from the Wandering Disgrace… it was certainly a clutch with its fair share of misfits, ragamuffins, and general trouble makers(*cough*twins*cough*). And totally on cue, as if he could read this, A’ndi replies, “It takes all kinds. We’re part of an army fighting a never-ending battle. And they-“ He steps back just a little, just enough to tip his head towards their large winged companions. “-are the ones who decide who the right soldiers are. You were the right one for Zynth. And you’ve proved your doubters wrong, haven’t you?” A’ndi slides an arm from around the bluerider and now reaches up to cup the side of D’ex’s face. “Even me, and I really doubted. A lot. I was pretty convinced you weren’t going to make it out of weyrlinghood.”

The blue one of ‘they’ shifts slightly, even starting a rare hum to harmonize with Taliveth’s crooning. Zynth is a generally quiet dragon, but here he was, being here, for him, and he wasn’t going anywhere yet. Seems like A’ndi isn’t either, something that seems to surprise D’ex on a regular basis. D’ex wasn’t sure he did prove anyone wrong, but it was a nice thought. He latches onto this, pulling the ‘I Was Right’ out of this and holding onto it. A’ndi did doubt didn’t he? Who was it that was so adimate that D’ex leave A’hali’s home? Vani. A’ndi. Francis. Luciana. Everyone? And he did leave. In cuffs. Who was right then? It didn’t matter, but it shakes D’ex’s hold on the ‘I’m Right’. So, as A’ndi’s warm hand finds his face, D’ex looks up slightly. “Yeah. You did. I …” His head tips slightly into the warmth, the silly comfort of it for this silly thing, “I didn’t think so either.” Silly comfort. A hug. Silly fear. A Dream. But he was here. With A’ndi. And Zynth. And he was okay. Maybe he wasn’t ‘Right’. But he was alright.

“A lot of people don’t change at all. No matter how much they need to. I thought you were that kind of person.” The other hand will come up, his hold on the former pirate’s face firm but gentle. “I kept seeing Drex, pirate of the Wandering Disgrace, attempted murderer.” His gaze settles to meet D’ex’s, locking eyes. “But that’s not you anymore. You are blue Zynth’s D’ex, wingrider of Southern’s Lynx Wing. No more ships, no more brigs.” Now, very gently, A’ndi tries to ease D’ex to the floor. To make a proper nest, of course. This is another Best Thing Ever to Tali who curls himself as much around the other three as he can. His uneven eyes fix for a moment on his thrumming brother, just pouring out adoration and appreciation for Zynth joining in. « See, I told you, we’re gonna take care of you both! »

« Yes. I think you are. You are right Taliveth. » The humming will remain quiet, but the blue will pull in his body to make himself more compact and thus, more room for Taliveth. D’ex will allow himself be pulled down, will fold into himself like a doll and lean back against the bright hide of his lifemate. “Why …why do people say that? ‘Attempted’ murder? Murderer works just fine and is just as accurate.” The words are at attempt at a different topic.But also not. “I’m … .D’ex. I’m fine. I’m alright. I’m … . also a murderer. And. And. Not… doing . . that doesn’t… .make it less true.” After all, before Zavyr, it would have been many murders under Drex’s belt. And the slip of a creature that Zav is, it would have just been another had help not shown up. D’ex looks up at A’ndi again, “Can we talk about something else now?” Perhaps A’ndi would have a better way of changing the topic? D’ex didn’t want to talk about the line between who he is and who he was. After all, that line felt rather thin right now with the dredges of the dream still clinging to his skin like dust.

A’ndi stays close, sitting beside D’ex and running fingers through that red hair he has apparently grown so fond of. “Well.” His head tilts back, peering upwards at the ceiling from between the shelter of their dragons. “I’m not normally a fan of shirking responsibilities, but I’ve been doing a lot of abnormal things lately anyway, so… let’s call in sick tomorrow.” Even Taliveth is shocked by this, letting out a « GAAAAASP! » audible to all in the room. Which earns an amused eyeroll from his rider. “We ate some bad fish and now we’re puking and having the runs, the whole deal. What do you think? I can make pancakes and everything.” Pancakes - the universal cure for all that ails you.

D’ex is silent a moment. What? Was this A’ndi suggesting they break a rule. Was this A’ndi suggesting they skip work? A’ndi? D’ex turns to blink at him a few times. Then he nods, “Okay.” As long as they really weren’t puking and what-not. This was his weyr, after all. Clean. Perfect. And not needing the addition of puke. “Will need to keep the flying rats in.” Because firelizards accidently ratting them out would be bad. Though, Lady was basically nocturnal, so not much worry there. That A’ndi was suggesting it was surprising, but D’ex was not going to argue.

“Of course. Everyone’s staying in. Like fuck am I gonna get caught playing hookie.” His eyelids slide closed for a few moments, then open once more, side-eyeing the bluerider. “You’re a bad influence. Anyway. C’mere.” A’ndi beckons for D’ex to once more partake of the brownrider’s usually rare and elusive snuggles. “Lay down for a little while. Rest, even if you can’t sleep.” As much as a bit of naughty rule breaking and the promise of pancakes excites Taliveth, there is at least one concern on the warship brown’s mind, « I hope Nadeeth won’t be upset… » But for the moment, his rider is answering to a different call of duty, following a new leader, taking care of rather surprising and unexpected responsibilities of the heart. Sorry, K’vv!

« She won’t ever be hurt by something she will never know. » Zynth might be a bad influence too. Just a little. The offer of snuggles will be accepted and D’ex will curl into A’ndi, leaning into him. Sleep will likely not come, but he can ‘rest’. Though, if they weren’t going to work tomorrow, then perhaps he could crash in the middle of the day tomorrow and catch up with the light of day chasing away all of the things that kept sleep from him now. Though, the warmth of A’ndi might do that too. “I’m a great influence. Just ask my sister’s kid. I’ve got to be the favorite uncle at this point.” Dude, he’d better be the favorite uncle. “I’m a fucking amazing influence, A’ndi. You are just hopeless at card.” Different topic, but perhaps someday A’ndi will be good at cards? “And you are pathetic at cleaning.” Perhaps someday A’ndi would be good at cleaning?

« Hmmmm yeah you know I GUESS YOU’RE RIGHT! You’re so smart Zynth~ » Taliveth warbles admiringly at his brother as his big ol head comes down to rest on the floor. A’ndi drapes his arms around the redhead, taking a moment to bask in this unfamiliar feeling of closeness. “I am hopeless at cards,” he readily agrees. “But my cleaning is perfectly adequate by normal, not-D’ex standards.” Now for another experiment! Using D’ex as a pillow. And he must be comfortable because A’ndi’s eyes start to close again, his voice growing softer. “I’m a lot more useful outdoors, honestly. I can find trails… track shit, forage… catch n’ skin you a rabbit…” Because that’s a really romantic present.

“I can find trails.” He’s in Lynx, that’s like, part of the job he is skipping tomorrow, right? He probably could skin a rabbit, but skinning things is such messy business. He only skins things when he absolutely has to. Like when nice-assed traders ask waaaayyyyy too much for one measly basket of citrus. But, D’ex will curl into the A’ndi niceness and listen to the man’s breathing. Zynth’s wings loosen and one lowers, curving over the pair, not like a blanket, but like a bubble or dome, to trap in heat and stop airflow, and give the already-dark area a slightly blue overtone. “But if you want to skin me a rabbit, I can cook it.” Even if sleep is not finding D’ex right now, perhaps he should shut up some and let A’ndi sleep. A’ndi might need it, given the amount of pancakes likely required of him come dawn.

And pancakes there will be. STACKS of pancakes for riders and dragons and ‘lizards alike. Enough pancakes and butter and syrup to, at least for a little while, wash away sorrows with sticky sweetness.

P. S. In the next few days, D’ex will indeed come home to find a gift of nicely butchered rabbit and a well cleaned pelt awaiting him. Kind of like when the cat that likes you leaves you a gift of dead rodent to say they care. But at least it’ll be in the kitchen and not on D’ex’s pillow. :D

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