Who

Rielle, Va'os

What

Rielle has some heavy questions for Va'os and discovers that some twists are more easily navigated than she thought.

Some kissing

When

It is evening of the 19th day of the 2nd month of the 14th Turn of the 12th Pass.

Where

Garden Terrace, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 05 Jun 2018 06:00

 

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“I want to ask you something. It’s going to seem out of the blue."


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Garden Terrace

Tucked-away and bejeweled, here is a hidden treasure of Southern, beckoning and beguiling those who may trod the entrance of weyrbridge: steps cut upwards, switching back and outer-railed, to terminate in a sheltered ledge of stone. Here, greenery blooms in fragrant profusion, scenting the air and quieting the minds of those who stroll amongst the cultivated rows of cultivars. Flowers, and tiny fruit-bearing trees limn the walkways. Tables and benches scatter organic throughout the rambling concourse, providing easy rest for those who challenged the stairs… or the craft shops beyond the scrolled wooden door at the innermost part of the terraced ledge.


Even being used to Southern’s heat doesn’t make it any easier to fall asleep, no matter how tired one is. Rielle, though she’d intended to turn in a bit earlier tonight, finds herself wandering the garden terrace, seeking some relief from the humidity in the breeze that’s wending through the fragrant foliage. There’s a drink in her hand, definitely cold and definitely alcoholic in hopes that a little haziness might help her sleep later. Right now, however, it’s a pretty good time for a little quiet contemplation in the dark.

And coming to ruin that quiet contemplation in the dark is one familiar face! It takes him awhile, but eventually Va’os will catch up on Rielle. The days of late have been busy ones, though no longer so unexpected. Still, Weyrleader or not, he’s been making an attempt at being better about fitting in time for himself; even if it’s just a few candlemarks here and there. Tonight sees him free at last and when he eventually puzzles out where she is (don’t ask how), it’s only a matter of time until he’s sneaking up on her. “Awfully out of the way place for a drink?” he’ll toss out, when he’s all but a stride behind her and grinning like the fool he is.

Rielle isn’t often snuck up on, but conditions are perfect for just such a thing at the moment. Va’os gives her a start, and she narrowly avoids spilling her drink, rounding on him with a huff and swatting his arm. “That’s the idea,” she replies, shoving her hair back over her shoulder and then putting a cap on any momentary ruffling by leaning in to place a kiss on his cheek, sipping at her drink thereafter. “Escaping the Sands? I really hope those eggs crack soon…” As does most everyone else at this point.

Va’os laughs when Rielle starts and then rounds on him, lifting his arm up to deflect the worst of her swatting. “Nice catch!” Meaning her drink, of course and he can’t help but continue to snicker even after she kisses his cheek. Sensing he’s not about to be slapped for his next move, he’ll smoothly slip his arm around her. “You bet I am. Had some time to spare, so…” He gestures flippantly with his free hand. “Here I am! Unless you want to be alone?” Teasing tone and all, his grin soon morphs to a grimace. “You and me both! They’re taking their sweet time, this bunch. So,” Topic change time! “What’s brought you here? Aside from the beauty and serene quiet…”

Fitting herself easily against Va’os’ side when his arm goes around her, Rielle relaxes, taking another sip. “Maybe I want to be alone with you,” she counters with a grin of her own, and ends up giving a little shake of her head over the eggs before he asks a question of his own. “I was trying to get to sleep and couldn’t,” she answers with a soft, rueful snort. “But I didn’t feel like taking anything for it and was thirsty, so a drink seemed like a good solution. So did coming out here to cool off some more and let my mind think itself out a bit…” She sighs again, quiet for a few beats before peering up at him. “I want to ask you something. It’s going to seem out of the blue. And I don’t want you to think it’s pressuring for something; I’m honestly just curious.

“Then why didn’t you just tell me?” Va’os counters with his usual roguish grin, followed by a quick wink of his eye. “Could’ve skipped this whole walk through the garden and already been back at one of our weyrs…” He trails off, letting the rest be implied as far as Rielle would assume. Judging by the withheld humor on his part, Va’os’ mind is going to predictable places! That is, until her words prompt a swift return to reality. “Rough night, huh?” he echoes back, at least being polite enough to let that silence go unbroken until she’s ready to talk. “… well, can’t lie and say you don’t have me simultaneously worried but curious as all get out!” Ever the one to find the amusement in a situation! He hugs her briefly to his side, before tilting his head and smiling reassuringly. “What’s on your mind, then?”

Quite predictable, and Rielle laughs with a soft sort of wickedness as she effortlessly fills in the blanks. “Maybe I like to make you work to find me,” she counters, though settles quickly back in to the more serious turn of the conversation. “Aye. The heat always makes it harder.” She grins easily up at Va’os for his hug, slipping her own arm around him in turn and setting her drink down on the edge of a nearby planter. “Va’os,” she starts, sobering a bit as she meets his gaze, “do you think you’d ever be interested in…a baby?” Just the one to start with; “kids” was almost the question and might have seemed like a bit much. So goes her reasoning, anyway!

Va’os scoffs and gives a mildly leering sideways glance her way, “I’m kind of digging the way that sounds!” he murmurs just before their conversation steers back to being serious. Her question is quite the bombshell, if softened a bit by quiet suspicions of his own. His expression will show some shock and surprise in the way that his brows lift and he stares down at her, but that soon relaxes as he exhales in a hesitant sigh. “Well,” he begins, brows furrowing. “Guess you could say I never planned for it? Figured it’d happen… y’know, eventually.” Gesturing between them, he also sweeps his hand outward to vaguely indicate the Weyr and beyond; even more vaguely implying that they’re both riders and Flights are a thing. “Didn’t think I’d get much say in it anyways. I’m not the one who has to go through it all, y’know? Don’t have to consider losing my rank or being benched and grounded for half a Turn…”

“Aye. I certainly never planned for Zariel,” Rielle notes with a smirk, teal gaze answering his stare expectantly. She isn’t really surprised by his answer, understanding what’s conveyed in his vague gesture well enough. “What if you did have a say in it, though?” she asks, and slips from her niche at his side to face him inside, her arms remaining around him. “Maybe it’d be better to ask if you’d be interested in us having a baby.” She lets that sink in a moment before adding, a hand coming to rest against his cheek, “I won’t love you any less if you say no. Like I said, I’m curious.” And possibly motivated by another thought, but it isn’t time for that one yet.

Va’os is pretty good at masking his real feelings under his sarcasm and humour, but something Rielle says trips him up momentarily. She’ll glimpse a little hiccup where his eyes betray a troubled look before he’s back to smirking crookedly and looking bemused, rather than wholly serious. “That’d still just be me saying ‘alright, sure!’ and kind of… not having to deal with the worst of it! You women get the rough end of the deal, if you ask me.” Which can be taken as something sweet or insulting! Potentially both. As for them having a baby? He shakes his head, looking down at her as he keeps his hold on her as a loose embrace. “It’s not that I’d say no, Rielle. Just that… like much in my life, I don’t plan for it? It wasn’t on my list of priorities.” If he even has one beyond a simple: ‘don’t get yourself killed’. “Figured if it happens, it happens! We’d cross that bridge when it comes.”

Slender shoulders hitch in a shrug, another wry bit of a chuckle arising at Va’os’ first. “That may be, but being a father becomes a bit more once the roughest part for us is over,” Rielle notes, though a little voice in the back of her head reminds her that fostering could still happen, and that changes the dynamic a bit. When he answers her last, she nods along, though smirks a bit. “There might be the little matter of planning to stop drinking the teas if it we wanted a sure thing. Though Z’bor and I were taking them and Zariel still happened.” So maybe just leaving it up to happening when it happens might be the best course to keep! “I do understand what you’re saying, though. I suppose it’s just on my mind because…well.” She draws a deep breath, sighing it out slowly. “I have a strong suspicion Z’bor would like another.” The implication being with her, considering they already have a connection via their daughter.

As though he’s read her mind, Va’os’ next words pick up on that brief thread of thought. “Kind of? I mean, fostering kind of takes a big chunk of that worry away. Can’t say I’ll be Weyrleader forever, but even as a Wingrider… Guess it comes back to priorities, eh?” Little bit of joking there aside, he will exhale heavily and thoughtfully. The last bit does surprise him and while he had begun to lean forwards to rest his head to hers, he’ll suddenly straighten and peer down at her. “Isn’t Z’bor weyrmated?” he asks, only to don a rather quizzical expression. “How’d that work, anyhow?” Now it’s his turn to be curious again.

Rielle gives a little tilt of her head in concession, smirking at Va’os’ mention of priorities. Nothing like having a child to make a person examine those a little more closely! To his first question about Z’bor, she nods. “Aye, but he and H’ris… They’re like you were talking about before, being committed to one person but having other lovers sometimes. They both do. Before I was with you, I was one of Z’bor’s now and again; it just seemed natural, all things considered; having a child with someone binds you in a way that’s hard to put words to. When you and I got together, I stopped. I know he’s hoped I might come back around in that way sometimes, but…I’m with you, and I wouldn’t do that unless it didn’t bother you.”

As for his second question… “You mean how did raising Zariel work? We’d switch. He had a nursery set up in his weyr; H’ris had a son from a flight, too. I nursed her, had her with me most nights while that was happening. Now we trade off where she stays, though she’s been with Z’bor more lately. When neither of us are free, she’s with the nannies in the caverns. Both our lives revolve around the Weyr, but we both love her and help to raise her.”

That strange troubled expression flickers across his features again as Rielle explains the more complex nature of Z’bor and H’ris’ relationship; and just how she plays within it. Which isn’t the source, but more of an eerie near-parallel to his past that he’s not yet shared with her (or anyone). Va’os is quick to shake it off, hiding behind his usual crooked grin. “And you made me think you’d no experience handling open relationships!” he says in a teasingly accusatory tone. He’d meant more on the relationship, but her elaboration on how they balanced raising Zariel is met with respectful silence on his part. In the end, Va’os looks pensive and uncertain. “It sounds like you all sorted it out and made it work for you.” But? He glances away for a moment, struggling as always to find the right words for his thoughts. “Not sure if that’s something I’d want. I know that having a kid will come into the picture some day but I always figured I’d either not know about them or they’d be fostered. Of course,” he amends with a slight scoff. “I’ll be involved when I can, but I doubt that’d be often. The duties I have to the Weyr, to my Wing, my care of Tsiroth… I’ve devoted so much of my time to that.” He pauses a moment, to comment on his own self-reflection. “… that sounds so odd, given I’m holderbred.” Marriage and making babies was the expected goal, once!

Rielle outright blushes at Va’os’ first, flustered. “I didn’t… It wasn’t… It wasn’t a relationship, just…” For fun? Scratching an itch? Was it something more and she just wasn’t recognizing it? Now she just looks bewildered, though works quickly to rein it in with a deep breath and narrows her eyes slyly at the bronzerider for the teasing she knows is behind it.

She listens to him carefully after that, nodding along and smiling at his last. “Aye, but they Weyr’s had its hooks in you for a while now. It sounds odd to your breeding…but it’s not odd to your circumstances.” Current circumstances anyway. “So,” she says, sliding her hands up to either side of his neck and idly letting her thumbs stroke there are she tries to sum up what she’s heard so far. “So, that’s a ‘no’ if Z’bor wants another with me. ‘Yes’ to us having one eventually, though it’ll happen when it happens and duty takes precedence, of course. Do I have it right?”

Va’os can’t help it and he starts laughing heartily for Rielle’s flustered state. “Maybe not for you, but on Z’bor and H’ris’ side of things?” he points out and just to get under her skin again. He’s not bothered by her past, no matter the circumstances and he grins at her when his laughter subsides. Unspoken, he will try to convey that she shouldn’t be embarrassed or ashamed! If he actually spoke of his past, she’d know that what arrangement she had isn’t so odd… Not in his eyes, at least. When her hands move up to his neck, he steps forwards just enough to draw her close to him. He smiles warmly as she sums up their conversation, but he shakes his head a bit before correcting her. “Change that first ‘no’ to a yes. Only just understand my misgivings about how you and Z’bor choose to raise the child. I can’t… promise you I’ll be involved much.” His tone dips almost apologetic there, for his bluntness in admitting his lack of interest and his selfishness in keeping to his mindset.

Rielle makes up her mind that she’s going to get back at Va’os for his teasing, probably when they retire from the garden probably not too long from now. It wouldn’t be anything new, of course! Gently-angled brows arch high at his correction, and she smiles, something that only grows as he keeps speaking. “It’s alright, Va’os. I understand; I promise,” she assures him, her hand going to his cheek again to emphasize the point. “Whenever one happens for us, though…leave room for that to change, possibly. I’m not saying it’s a sure thing, but having Zariel brought things out in me I never thought were possible. Having your own might do the same to you. But there’s only one way to find out.” And that will happen when it happens, as they’ve established! “And with Z’bor…if what we were doing before started again, would that bother you?” she wants to know. “It’s not…the same as with you; it’s not the same sort of thing at all.” There a fleeting look almost like panic that crosses her features for the slide into unexpected territory the question presents. “But there’s always been a draw. Because of sharing a child, because of…something else I don’t know how to put into words; I’m not sure, really.” She shrugs, blushing lightly again. “Z’bor and H’ris, you…I’m feeling open to seeing what it’s all about now, I suppose. If it’s…safe.”

Tilting his head, Va’os will try to brush his lips against the inside of her palm in a brief kiss before he faces her again. His brows furrow and, keeping pace with the sudden serious and rather complicated conversation, asks his own difficult question for her. “What if I don’t change? What if, while I’ll undoubtedly feel some connection and love toward my own child, I still can’t commit to what you’d want or expect of me?” His voice is gentle, to take some of the sting out of the blunt honesty. The rest? She may not expect it, but Va’os starts to laugh again. “Rielle… this is exactly what I was trying to warn you about, about me and my preferences. You don’t have to be worried on jealousy on my part! I know how you feel and I trust you. All I ask is that you keep up with this…” He hugs her to him, as emphasis to hint at their current ‘heart to heart’. “We talk. We share. Nothing hidden, no secrets.” Except his past. “And we’ll be fine. If something really bothers me, you’ll know.” Which is his way of confirming that it is, in fact, ‘safe’.

“Then it means you’ll still be who you are now, and I’ll still love you,” Rielle answers simply…and then winds up blinking up at Va’os as his laughter wells up again. Then he explains, a things she thought she’d comprehended before suddenly make even more sense. The surety of mutual trust and understanding seems to click squarely into place in her chest, and she nods at all of his last, slowly at first and then emphatically. “Yes. To all of that. I promise,” she tells him, a grin blossoming on her lips before she puts them to enthusiastic use against his. A tension she hadn’t even realized she been carrying seems to melt away in moments, and the sigh that leaves her once their kiss ends is one of pure release. “I think I’m done wandering up here. Feel like going home?” she asks breezily. “Whichever direction that means.”

Va’os chuckles and smiles, appearing reassured despite the little shred of doubt taking root in the back of his mind. He’s certain in his own views; what gives him pause is just how flexible she is. He won’t let it worry him yet, though! For one, she’s distracting him very well with that kiss, which he returns just as energetically. Her suggestion is met with another laugh and a mischievous grin. “Yours is closer,” he muses (and let’s face it… probably cleaner), while gently moving to turn them back down the path in the correct direction of ‘home’ for the night. Now that they’ve discussed the nitty gritty that was weighing so heavily on her, Va’os will keep the next conversations light and full of plenty of teasing, suggestive material and likely a few sly jokes about a few folk or the latest of gossip. His focus will turn solely to her, however, when they do reach the privacy of her weyr and there he’ll stay, in her company, until he’s otherwise called away.

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