Amani, M'noq


(Precedes When The Story Ends.) During a break in the rain, Amani and M'noq vent to one another a bit while their lifemates hunt in the background.

Slightly backdated


It is afternoon of the tenth day of the seventh month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Feeding Pastures, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 25 Mar 2018 06:00


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"There are drier places to watch dragons hunt…"


Feeding Pastures

Up the side of the mountain, stone fences mark the lines of the different parts of the feeding pastures. Bovines, woolies, ovines, caprines, herdbeasts; they are all collected here, dotting the hillside in lazy repose to stand stark against the brilliance of the green pastures. Rich, rich grass grows here, fed by the humidity and tropical climate. The sounds here are a blend of bleating, baying, and the thundering of many steps as the different herds move about. Occasionally, the whiff of something foul is carried downwind from the collection of animals that serves as the weyr's food supply.

Sometimes, mood matches weather. Amani isn't deliberately trying to carry around a stormcloud, but the rain-heavy day is making it easy. Fortunately, a break in the rain - for however long it lasts - allows the young goldrider to get outside with her lifemate, who has decided she's hungry. With a dark green oilskin draped over her leathers, the hood drawn up against the little teases of drizzling she feels now and then, she ambles along the edges of the fence while Zymuraith deliberates overhead. It isn't that she truly seems angry, just…preoccupied and pensive, perhaps.

M'noq comes along walking from the opposite direction, keeping an eye on Ravaith, who is keeping an eye on the snacks… er, animals below. Perhaps the brown keeps an eye on the gold, as well. "Hey, what brings you out here?" He's wrapped in an oilskin cloak as well, dark and worn from plenty of use, but still functional. "Is she hunting or just lurking?"

Zymuraith is aware that she has many eyes kept on her - more and more, as of late. But she shows no signs of minding, really. She's taking in all the owners of those eyes in turn, whether they realize it or not. She greets Ravaith with the pleasant crackling of her mysterious white bonfire, though there isn't much more than that at the moment as she focuses on her prey. Amani looks over at the approaching M'noq, then back up to her lifemate with a smirk. "Oh, she's hunting," she replies, just as the gold pins her wings to dive down for her kill. "What about Ravaith? I can't tell if he's just watching or actually hungry." She's trying to keep things light, though it doesn't quite reach her eyes.

M'noq watches as Zymuraith dives down to seize her prize, as does Ravaith from atop a high, rocky hill. "Rav said he was hungry earlier, but somehow I think he's just looking to tear something apart. The meal is just a bonus." He looks back at the young woman for a moment, trying to read her expression. "Everything all right with you? There are drier places to watch dragons hunt, as well as ones closer to the Weyr." Of course, M'noq was out here as well, so he might be seeing it from his own perspective.

"I know there are," Amani says of drier places, "but I wanted to get further away from the Weyr." The pastures are still plenty close, to her mind. "I'm just…" Sighing slowly, she takes another start at voicing her thoughts. "I feel like I'm going through another adjustment period again. It's one thing after another, so little time for anything I have in mind to do, learning how to get people to see me as more than just this…girl with a gold dragon, without coming off as hard-headed or entitled or worse. Not that I can truly stop that perception, I guess." And possibly better than being seen as soft or stupid. "I haven't had the time for the people I care about that I want, and that's what feels the worst," she adds more quietly, gazing out at her now-feeding lifemate. "So…Ravaith isn't actually interested in eating, just destroying something? Is he in a bad mood?"

M'noq listens quietly while Amani talks, and he's silent for a moment afterwards. "Sorry to hear. If it's any measure of my ability to understand, let me tell you I might have gone through a fraction of that when I was given the wingleader's knot a few years back. There will always be those who will want to drag you down, just because you're up a head above them." He glances over to her briefly. "Talking to friends helps, which you're doing now. Does your, ah, weyrmate provide much of a listening ear?" He isn't at all sure if Amani has a weyrmate, but he's fairly sure he has heard rumors that she has a lover. Then a glance to Ravaith, and he shrugs. "General frustration he picks up from me. Don't worry, I'm not going to start tearing smaller animals to pieces." He gives her a sidelong glance and half a smile.

Amani looks over at M'noq as he speaks, a small smile tilting her lips. A faint crease forms between her brows, however, when the matter of a weyrmate is brought up. "I don't have a weyrmate," she says quietly, "but…the man I'm with…he does listen, willingly. When we get a chance to see one another, which hasn't seemed like much lately. And I can't always tell him everything; he's not of the Weyr, and there are some confidences I'm asked to keep. And there are some issues particular to dragonfolk that…I know he'll listen to but can't fully understand, so…" She has to find another rider. "I don't know. I feel like this way of life, my way, is hugely unfair to him. He's so patient, and I appreciate that about him, but…" Trailing off, she looks a bit sheepish. "Sorry. I'm unloading a bit, I know." And yet he just mentioned talking to friends as being helpful! "What's frustrating you?" And Ravaith, by extension.

"Sso… the man you're with," M'noq says, taking up the term. "I suppose that does make it more difficult, if you can't actually share with him the things that are worrying you." He's silent for a moment, perhaps considering how much he should say, himself. "Anyway, I'm available to listen. I'm sure Mayte would too, she seems quite kind. I"m sure there are others." He doesn't really follow her relationships enough to list them all out. He looks away as she asks a personal question of him. He tries to speak, hesitates. Then tries again. "K'vvan finally left my weyr, for good this time, I think. I miss him, but I've missed him while he was there these past few months, too."

Amani gives M'noq a small smile of appreciation; she does trust him more than most, after all. "I can share a lot of things with him, just…not everything. And I do talk to Mayte about a good deal." There are some things only another goldrider will get, after all. And some sorts of bickering only they can do. Then the brownrider answers her, and she gives a little shake of her head, klah-dark eyes shadowing subtly. "I'm sorry, M'noq," she murmurs, lifting a hand to his shoulder and giving a gentle squeeze. There's the offer of a hug evident in her posture and the gesture, cautiously given though it may be. Gone is the awkwardness of their last encounter, at least. "I'm here for you, too. For…well. Whatever you feel comfortable coming to me with."

There's a flicker of pain and sadness in M'noq's eyes as he looks at Amani when she touches his shoulder. He hesitates, then accepts the offered hug, any sort of physical touch being one of the things he has missed the most. When he lets go, he takes a step back, the act of putting on his emotional armor again seeming almost physical. "It'll be fine. I just need time, right? That's what everyone says. I have Ravaith. He helps." And at that, the brown launches himself off his rocky perch, swoops down, snagging an unsuspecting wooly victim. He circles back to find a spot to eviscerate it, painting the ground red.

It may be brief, but Amani does catch that flicker, her brows steepling subtly as she feels a twinge in her chest for M'noq. So she's grateful that he accepts her hug, feeling an urge to squeeze a little tighter than she initially intended, as though she might be able to help hold him together. His words, while perhaps true in principal, garner a nearly imperceptible shake of her head. "Yeah…but nothing says how long. And it doesn't mean it won't hurt in the meantime." She glances upward again to watch Ravaith make a bloody mess of his hunt and sighs. "Thank Faranth for them," she says of their lifemates. "People will come and go, and maybe some will come and stay…but they're a constant. Always the other halves of us."

M'noq looks over to Ravaith, even though his connection to the brown means that he doesn't actually need to watch to know exactly what he is doing. "True enough. Every day, I'm grateful to have him." And they may be spending extra time bonding these days, too. He looks back to the young goldrider. "And so, are you ready to talk about what's bothering you specifically? Now that you know all my problems."

"Do I?" Amani looks surprised to know she's been told "all" of M'noq's problems, but the smirk that tilts into place teases him for a moment. After that, she sighs heavily, folding her arms as she leans against the stone fence. "Well, how things are with Ibrahim is really the biggest one, but…the other is that I'm planning on going back to visit Kurkar again very soon. And taking W'lin with me." Her expression doesn't wax angry, but it is troubled. "To prove a point. I know I can't change his perspective about women doing 'dangerous things' and all; only he can do that. But I want to show him that things aren't so simple all the time. And aside from that…I'm trying to decide whether or not I should try to visit my family while I'm there. I have something to give back Maevra…even if I know I can't take her away from there now." Something M'noq himself helped her realize a few Turns ago.

M'noq smiles faintly at the teasing, and this time it appears to be genuine. He'll pass over the biggest one for now. "You're sure taking W'lin is a good idea?" M'noq has heard stories. "Good luck trying to get him to change his perspective. Not to tell you what to do, but I'd probably prioritize family over dealing with an asshole. Just my thoughts." He thinks a moment, remembering the girl Maevra. "How old is the girl now?" Old enough to make decisions on her own, he wonders.

"She's got to be seven now," Amani says of her cousin before circling back around to W'lin. "Him being an asshole wasn't my first impression of him, but maybe I wasn't seeing straight at the time. Still, I don't know if he's so much that as just…an idiot. A little too untouched by the rough edges of the world aside from Threadfighting. If I can at least plant a seed, that'll be something at least. And as for my family…I still haven't decided about that. I don't really know how to approach them or what they'll do, though I'm pretty sure my aunt and uncle won't take it well." Yet it feels like something she has to do, for Maevra's sake if nothing else.

"One man's asshole is another's idiot?" M'noq suggests, a little flippant, so he moves on. "If you need moral support, don't take the jerk. Take a friend. Or your boyfriend, even. I'd go with you to support you, if he won't." It's an offer made to make her feel better, not because he thinks Ibrahim won't go.

Amani can't help but scoff and chuckle a bit at M'noq's first. "Something like that," she says, and then gives a little shake of her head to his next. "I'm taking W'lin there for a different reason. Visiting my family may or may not happen, but probably the latter. I feel like…it's something I need to do by myself. When I come back from it, though, I…may need all the support I can get." Time was she wouldn't have thought so and would've just borne everything on her own until it passed or just got pushed far enough aside for her not to think about it too much anymore. But with people closer to her now, she's finding it easier to let things show and ask for help. Small steps.

M'noq nods at that, accepting her reasoning. "Well if there's anything I can do, even if it's just to lend a listening ear, let me know, all right? Reach out to Ravaith, or come by the ship weyr if you like." He gazes out at Ravaith, who is meticulously cleaning his talons now. "You know we can always give you a quiet afternoon out of the Weyr, too. Ravaith and I know all the best beaches." And maybe M'noq knows he could use some quiet company too.

"I will," Amani promises. "I…haven't seen what one of those shipweyrs are like just yet." The idea of a quiet afternoon earns a dubious chuckle, but her smile is genuine. "The next time I'm allowed one of those, I'll let you know. Faranth knows I'll be all over it." Zymuraith makes a bound out of the feeding grounds to glide their way, and the young goldrider watches her approach. "So will she. She likes meeting new places." Yes, meeting. When Zymuraith goes somewhere new, everything gets perused, after all.

That actually brings a warm smile to M'noq's lips. "Is that so? Well you should definitely come by for tea, or klah if you'd rather, some time when you're trying to avoid everyone else." Ravaith continues to watch the gold from a distance. "Well we'd be happy to introduce you. Just let us know, we'll clear our schedule." Th'res won't mind the extra work, right?

Amani considers the prospect quietly for a moment and nods, then chuckles a little. "Wanting to avoid everyone for a bit and actually being able to accomplish it are two very different games. But considering how much it's been raining, if I can manage it…I'll take you up on that." Then she's nodding to his last as Zymuraith lands, whuffling gently at the brownrider in greeting before turning her head to peer at her bonded. "Guess we'd better get back now that she's taken the edge off. No rest for the wicked and all that." She gives him a rueful little smile before crossing toward her lifemate and taking hold of the straps to climb up. "Clear skies, M'noq. Thank you for the talk." And then they're off once more. Back to the grind.

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