Who

N'cal, Erissa

What

N'cal takes a turn watching over Erissa as she recovers.

When

Directly after log: Answers At Last

Where

Danorath's Den, Igen Weyr

OOC Date

 

Ncal8.jpg erissa14.jpg

bedroom.jpg

Danorath's Den

This average-sized, smooth rock-hewn weyr is saved from monotony by the whims of it's occupants. A varied collection of second-hand furniture and decor make the space livable, even homey in a vagabond sort of way. No particular theme nor color dominates but instead a mis-matched collection of serviceable items that caught the eye or interest of rider or dragon gives the space a chaotic sort of charm.

A single CHAIR, two-seat LOUNGE, and low TABLE form an inviting niche to sit a spell, while a double-wide BED without a frame, a WARDROBE, and small CHEST delineate the bedroom. She even managed to find a RUG or two to soften the stoney floor.


Characters


Log

There's a brief span between the sound of another dragon arriving and Sikorth leaving outside Erissa's weyr, and presently long, muffled strides thump softly toward the entrance and past it. N'cal looks like he's slept only just enough to function; the slight darkness under his eyes betrays it beyond the easy sharpness of his typical casual garb. As the tall bluerider's gaze lands on her, fingers shove through the drizzle-dampened fringe of his hair, pushing it back in a settling sort of gesture as he comes further inside.

"Erissa," he all but breathes, venturing a small smile as he gestures her way. "This is a much better sight." He looks as though he wants to say more but isn't sure how, an appraising gaze instead taking quick stock of the entirety of the other bluerider. "You had us quite worried." Which she's probably heard already, but it bears saying again - particularly the 'us' part.


Motivation to eat the oatmeal decreases sharply as Erissa awaits her new visitor. Knowing what a horrendous situation she has just put N'cal through makes her want to dive under the covers and hope he doesn't see her.

Damn, too late. He's talking to her. And being positive, as usual. The man is absolutely unsinkable!

Chin tucked, pale lashes hover over a downward gaze as if something about the oatmeal is the most fascinating thing in the world. Stirring it absently, she isn't really seeing it at all. Her vision is filled instead with what her imagination supplies for N'cal's expression. Pity? Disgust? Anger? She can't bear to look for confirmation.

Swallowing hard she wets her lips, catching the lower one briefly in her teeth before finally forcing words past her constricted throat. "Yah, sorry about that. "

Wow, is that ever an understatement!


Truth be told, N'cal was hard pressed to keep that positivity and stay afloat the night before, bringing Erissa here and working with G'tan to force her to at least drink something. Never having been in such a position before with someone he cares about, he was up with his thoughts for quite some time. He has, however, been through worse - to his mind, at least.

That she won't look at him brings a shallow crease to his brow, however, and he crosses over to crouch beside the bed, his gaze trying to catch her downcast eyes from below. His expression is much simpler than she is imagining, if she happens to catch it - a smile borne of relief, without pity or disgust or anger or any other ugly thing she can come up with. She's alive, she's awake, she's eating (sort of); things can and will get better.

"I think it's safe to say you're forgiven, under the circumstance," he notes, the barest hint of a chuckle underlying his tone. "Though do tell me you're going to try finishing that," a gesture given to the oatmeal, "rather than just pushing it about. I don't think I need to repeat what Cha'el has undoubtedly already told you."


Forgiven? The word makes her head jerk up. She didn't expect to ever hear it, let alone so soon. Ah, but of course - he didn't know the full story. Yet. Once he did his mind would surely change. Dark blue hues brighten with the sudden sting of tears. Blinking she turns her head aside to keep him from seeing them.

Food. Yes. Concentrate on the food. Even if it doesn't interest her in the least.

Snort. A short huff of air meets his mention of Cha'el. Yes, the brownrider had made his point. The sludge in her bowl is pushed around a bit more before a tiny bit is scooped and ever so slowly eaten. See? She's being good now.


There’s just enough of that abrupt dampening to Erissa’s eyes for N’cal to glimpse before she turns away that the crease in his brow deepens slightly, and he shifts again, folding his arms on the edge of the bed. He waits for her to look his way again, or at least turn back to her food - which, thankfully, she does.

There’s a small sigh released as she actually gets some of the stuff into her mouth, and he nods a little, reaching out to rest a hand on her shoulder for a moment before rising again. “I take it you told Cha’el a good deal?” he asks, his tone straining as he stretches his arms overheard, trying to rid his frame of further weariness. That accomplished, he perches lightly on the edge of her bed near the foot, awaiting her reply.


Aware of every move N’cal makes, Erissa keeps him in peripheral vision, a myriad of emotions creating a soup of guilt that keeps her gaze averted. What little is left of her pride hisses and spits like an angry caged kitten, chafing at not being free to hold her head high and exude her typically abundant confidence.

Pushing the bland paste down her throat with a hard swallow she can’t help a small cringe at his question. Her chest tightens, making breathing difficult. She barely made it through the first time; the thought of repeating it to N’cal makes her physically sick. Dropping her chin on the pretense of interest in her bowl she can only nod in response.


“Erissa.” N’cal stretches out a long arm, a finger coming up under her chin in a bid to bring her eyes up to his. “I’m not going to ask.” Because he’s quite aware that having to repeat whatever she told Cha’el might be nearly impossible at this point. It’s him being his typical self, of course - able to do much with little, to make deductions based on logic and instinct. He may not know more than what the last night has taught him, but someone else does, and that is enough for him, being part of the situation as he is. He will learn what he needs to when he needs to.

The steady, intent train of blue-green eyes upon her is also nothing new, the wheels turning in his mind quite evident within. “For now, you just focus on getting back to yourself,” he says quietly, his hand dropping away. When it comes down to it, seeing her recovered is his primary concern…though coming up with a plan to snare that trader is running a very close second, and might not be entirely separate from that main concern.


As Erissa looks up, relief is obvious even through the distortion of her condition. With a light sigh she acknowledges his keenly deduced offer and even stirs her oatmeal when he drops his hand as if putting his advice into action already. His last words strike a sour chord, however, as self-doubt eats away at the shreds of her confidence.

Hand pausing, she glances back at him out of the corner of her eye, saying in a tone thick with loss and confusion, “What if I don’t want to be myself?”


N’cal considers Erissa’s question with a slight tilt of his head, studying the other bluerider carefully for a long moment. “If not yourself, then who?” he asks presently. “Doubtless this entire situation…changes things a bit, yes? Where you go from here, who you become…” He pauses, glancing down at his own knee with a frown as he reminds himself this may not be the best time to go to certain depths.

“What I mean, Erissa,” he says, looking up again, “is focus on finding your fire again. The part of you that will best this. Proving your strength,” he notes, a small smirk resurfacing. “That has always been something defining about you, as I’ve seen things.”


Pale lashes drop under that scrutiny, seeking distraction as the oatmeal is studiously scooped to one side of the bowl and then pushed back again. She doesn’t say anything at first, too confused to put her scattered thoughts into coherent order. But then his summation gives her pause and she stills, but doesn’t look up again. Her strength? The old Erissa would have crowed over such a compliment, but the shattered version has too many doubts.

“Yah, I’m so strong I let him do this to me,” she grumbles bitterly.


“Even the strongest of us aren’t immune to trickery,” N’cal counters almost as bitterly. “This I know well.” Having been the enactor of such things himself. “He will get his due, and you,” he says, leaning forward a bit to make his point, “will be the one to show that, in the end, he can’t dominate you. You’ll have the upper hand yet, Erissa.” Then he shakes his head subtly, leaning back again. “But for now, eat. Let it work to heal you for now. Then you’ll be able to see how more easily.”

Standing again, N’cal paces a little near the foot of the bed, thinking again. His eyes go downcast as words are traded with Iolarth briefly, and there a short, quiet sound of acknowledgement from the tall man in response to something unheard. “G’tan will be back soon, I think,” he notes. “Zinakoth notes that he wasn’t told when you awakened. His rider wasn’t pleased.” Of course, N’cal neglected to have Iolarth mention it to Zinakoth, too; it was obvious G’tan needed a break. “You knew him back at Ista?” he ventures, purposefully trying a slight tangent.


The spoon is thrust into the innocent oatmeal a bit harder than necessary as Erissa mumbles, “It’ll never be enough to make up for everything.” With a sigh she attempts to lift a small scoop but only nibbles at what’s on the spoon. Suddenly she starts and lowers it, gaze going directly to N’cal’s as mention of healing raises her suspicions. “He didn’t put something in the oatmeal, did he?”


“Who, G’tan? Or Cha’el?” Since it was the brownrider who ordered it, after all. Chuckling faintly, N’cal shakes his head. “No, no. I don’t think either of them have what was in the water last night, or anything similar.” He stops, giving Erissa a pointed look. “And I am the one who put something in the water, so if you must be irked at someone for it, let it be me, not them.” His slow steps resume. “Though I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t.” Not that it will faze him much, if she does.


Though her skin remains flushed from running a fever the rosy hue deepens further at the reminder of that fellis-laced water and the means to which the two riders had to resort to get her to drink it. Turning her head slightly to the side she aims a glower askance in N’cal’s direction. No, she won’t soon forget that. But she can hardly stay mad at him either, so her eyes soon drop again to the oatmeal. Lifting another spoonful she eyes it dubiously a moment before eating it, despite the other rider’s reassurances.

Jumping back to the other topic mentioned she forces down a bite while contemplating the bronzerider in question. That he was soon coming back pleases her, but at the same time there was much that troubled her as well. It shows in the wistfully reminiscent tone of her voice that contrasts the shadowed lines of worry and stress that darken pretty features.

“I knew G’tan at Ista, yes. He and I were often in competition for the same flights.”


That glower is noted, as is the fact that it doesn’t last. Slowing his steps again as Erissa picks up his question, N’cal nods, smiling slightly. “Competition. Somehow that doesn’t surprise me,” he notes a bit wryly. That fades from his tone rather quickly, giving way to a pleased sort of factuality. “He seems to care about you a good deal. Danorath called him by name, in fact.” Which was surprising.

The bluerider sits again, his pacing seeming to have fulfilled its purpose. Forearms drape over his knees as he idly gazes out toward the ledge. The soft patter of large raindrops meets his ears, and he sighs a bit. So much for drizzling. Though the rainfall means G’tan’s return in the next short while is more likely; Whirlwind may not drill at all in this weather.


“He did?” Erissa is surprised that Danorath called for G’tan, a glance shot in the dragon’s direction. Unsurprisingly, however, the burly blue is silent on the matter. Sorting through her feelings for the bronzerider is going to take a lot more brain power than she currently has available so she doesn’t push but instead drops her gaze to the bowl again. With a sigh she pushes it away.

“I don’t know what to think anymore,” she admits with a touch of disgust. The glower is back, her temper even more short-fused than usual with emotions and physical exhaustion having been run through the ringer during Cha’el’s visit.

Crossing her arms she rubs her upper arms, the tingling forerunner of things to come drawing closer in a slow burning sizzle beneath her skin. Jaw clenching, she’s hit with a sudden wave of gratitude and makes a quick decision to act on it before it’s gone.

“N’cal…. thank you.”


There’s a nod in response to Erissa’s initial surprised question, and then N’cal is moving over, taking the bowl from where she’s pushed it away and examining the contents with a cursory glance before setting it aside nearby. Even some eaten is a good thing - far better that what could have been expected the night before.

“Of what?” he returns to her question, quickly suppressing the philosophizing he automatically wants to jump into. “No, never mind. Save it for later. Whatever you may or may not think,” he says, his haze attempting to pierce straight through that glower, “what’s for certain is that we won’t be abandoning you, Erissa.”

He watches her carefully as she rubs at her arms, brows rising subtly when she voices her thanks. It’s one of his usual broad, warm smiles that greets her words this time, a hand moving to her shoulder again. “You are quite welcome, my dear,” he says quietly, “and will be for whatever is to come.” Falling silent for a moment, he presently gives her shoulder a squeeze before dropping his hand again. “Zinakoth is coming. I’ve some things to attend to with the wing, but have Danorath bespeak Iolarth, if you need anything. I will be here.” Even if it means arguing with Zeyta to make sure he is.


Red-rimmed blues are downcast again as her frustrated admission is at first questioned. Even though she brought it up the thought of delving into all that emotional muck right now makes her insides tighten into a rotted black knot. Thankfully N’cal lets the matter drop and what he says next causes a sharp pain in her chest, the sudden pressure making her gasp and bite down hard on her bottom lip. She doesn’t deserve such words. Nor such devotion. How she garnered either from the likes of N’cal makes the dense pit in which she finds herself seem not quite so dark. Her eyes sting, threatening to spill, her throat too tight to allow words.

Closing her eyes as his hand squeezes her shoulder she uses the comfort of that touch to pull herself from the edge of an emotional break, determined not to fall apart and become a weeping mess. Unfortunately when the worst of the withdrawals hit she doesn’t have any choice, but for the moment, at least, she does.

Zinakoth. G’tan. A lightness immediately washes through Erissa, a rise in expectation. It’s twined at the same time with a sadness for the loss of N’cal’s company but his reassurance helps, even if guilt and fear of being a burden will keep her from pulling him away from his duties.

Danorath, on the other hand, has no such restraint.

Pulling her legs into a crossed position beneath the blanket she folds her hands in her lap and gives N’cal a nod, managing to raise shadowed blue hues to his as she does even if she can’t raise a smile as well.


The soft splatter of drops on the ledge without is suddenly interrupted by a heavy, looming presence, a few wingbeats that are nearly more felt than heard announcing Zinakoth’s arrival. N’cal rises, placing a light kiss atop Erissa’s head before he straightens. “I’ll be back around later,” he tells her, and turns away to stride for the ledge. Without, two male voices trade quiet words, and dragon wings rustle, furl, and fill as places are traded between bronze and blue. Then N’cal is gone - another changing of the guard, so to speak, as G’tan comes along to take his place once more.


(continued…)

Add a New Comment