Who

G'tan, Zinakoth

What

G'tan wakes up thinking during the first night on the island with Erissa. Zinakoth helps him figure out an important point about his relationship with the bluerider.

Mild sexual themes

When

Backdated; sometime at the end of Igen's summer.

Where

White Sands Beach; somewhere off the coast of Ista

OOC Date

 

Gtan12.jpg zinakoth_default.jpg


White Sands Beach

From high above, the island is a unique shape - a small, thin crescent sitting deep in the embrace of a thicker, larger one, green within a limning of white sand surrounded by sapphire waves. The smaller crescent is the focus, zoomed in on - two curving arms of dark stone and sparse trees with white, sandy shores, embracing a small cove of turquoise water. At the inner cusp, the pale beach stretches deep, flanked by more dark stone and boulders before the jungle itself creates the verdant backdrop. One towering sea stack creates a focal point, mossy and pocked with the erosion of water and time - a lone stone sentinel keeping watch over the western shoreline.


G’tan wakes up just once during that first night on the island beach - somewhere in the depths of early morning, if he has to guess. Zinakoth hints at it too, minder of the passage of time that he is…but only via impression, not speaking to his rider just now. Drowsy though the bronzerider may be, his entire being is in a state that his lifemate hasn’t encountered before, and Zinakoth is content to simply be somewhere in the depths of G’tan’s mind, sharing these unexplored emotions and thoughts without questioning their nature for now.

Eyelids slowly part, a sleep-hooded gaze gradually clearing to sharpen upon the slow blink of myriad stars subtly piercing the fathomless black of the sky above. Dim firelight flickers at the lower cusp of G’tan’s vision. The surf sounds its effortless rhythm of ebb and flow against the pale sand somewhere well past the spread of their camp, the endless pulse of the ocean beating constant counterpoint to the steady draw and exhalation of his breathing…and that of the woman asleep in his arms. Any notion of possibly moving evaporates as his ears home in on the sound of her breathing, his other senses following suit.

Erissa is still mostly draped atop him, her head upon his chest and each release of breath feathering warmly across his skin. Long legs remain caught up with his, her arms settled at his side and across his torso. His eyes lowered, he can see the gentle rise and fall of her back beneath the fur covering them as they both breathe, the motion more pronounced whenever they happen to line up. The whisper of cool, salty breeze wafting across the strand stirs the tousled fall of her hair, making it tickle his collarbone, and he reaches up to gently brush it back. It becomes a gesture he can’t stop, his fingers sifting lazily through white-blonde locks as a sense of glad contentment so pointed that it makes his heart miss a beat settles into his very bones.

Unbidden, a memory rouses in some far corner of his mind - one he’s revisited recently, but that makes itself known once again…


It was so easy to pass the blame to them for problems in the wings - those women who’d had the audacity to be anywhere near the Sands apart from the galleries during Hatchings, who were accidents, confusing unfortunate dragonets into believing they were worthy of flying alongside the bigger, stronger, smarter male riders. Yet the Weyrleader had them in the wings anyway. No use letting good fighting dragons go to waste, at least - never mind their riders. He’d been in the living cavern, joking about such things after drills with a bunch of his friends…and then, out of the corner of his eye a flash of nearly white hair caught his eye, and he’d looked over.

The woman responsible for his distraction was beautiful, strikingly so, and G’tan found himself smirking as he admiringly watched her move through the afternoon crowd. A new face he’d have to get acquainted with, for certain. He couldn’t see her knot from this angle…

A wingmate who noticed his staring kicked his foot, laughing at him, but G’tan barely noticed. “Who’s that?” he questioned, jerking his chin at the woman. “Never seen ‘er before.” Surely he’d have noticed such a pretty face if she’d been around. He knew a lot of them.

His friend gave a snort, half amused and half disgusted. “Heard about that new bluerider that transferred in from Reaches?” G’tan nodded, and the man tipped his head toward the woman before taking a sip of his drink.

G’tan shot him a disbelieving look, then thumped back in his chair. “Shit. Really?” He watched her until she was out of sight, then rolled his eyes and scoffed. “Another one. Just what we need.” And of course, the lewd comments about just what female riders were good for came into play in short order. He’d left soon after, not being one for that sort of humor. Much as he didn’t approve of women on fighting dragons, he wasn’t one to join in when such talk started. He had a reputation as a lady’s man, but not one that hinged on ribald joking.

She was pretty, though; he couldn’t help but notice. Would he act on the observation? He wasn’t sure. She was a bluerider after all; he didn’t have much time for them in general.

Then he’d seen her in action.

He’d needed to try getting to know her after that. She’d made him pay attention - not just to what she and her blue could do, but also unconsciously to what the other women could do. What they’d been doing all along. The more he watched, the more he realized what did and didn’t matter.

One day, the Oldtimers came. One day, that stubborn, fiery bluerider he’d gotten so used to having around was gone. One day, he found himself punching his wingleader in the face for saying just what he himself used to think.

And one day soon after that, he found himself at Igen. Where she was.

Full circle.


And beyond.

The memory brings a sting of regret for the man he had been, past attitudes and actions still weighing heavy in the pit of his stomach from time to time. He’d done nothing back then to help dispel Erissa’s view of Nowtime male riders…though perhaps she’d been mired in her own issues as well, enough that anything he might have done wouldn’t have been seen.

His arms tighten gently around her - not too much; he doesn’t want to wake her. Hopefully he’s doing enough to help her now. Is he worthy of helping her? He’d been so blind then, missed so much…and when he’d come to Igen, he still couldn’t see clearly enough to keep her safe from the havoc that Star-spawned trader had wreaked on her life…

« But it has all brought you both to here and now. » Zinakoth’s wise, quiet tenor is like a warm breath of desert wind blowing counter to the turmoil of his thoughts and doubts, spinning them back against themselves and stilling them. « You cannot change what has happened, nor can she. It was not your fault. »

» Some of it was, Zin. Maybe not a lot, but…enough that it weighs on me. «

The quiet rumble of concession that reaches G’tan’s ears tells him that his bronze is close by, likely sprawled along the tree line a small distance past his head. The bronzerider doesn’t look though, content to know the lanky bronze is near now. « You must focus on what is now and what you are, or else what was will keep you from seeing forward clearly. She has let you close. You and she are together, you said, and you are strong in heart and purpose, G’tan. You want to protect her. If you love her, that strength will only help her, will it not? »

G’tan listens gratefully to his lifemate’s encouragement and counsel; Zinakoth has a knack for such things, and the different perspective is welcome. Yes, Erissa has let him close, at long last - and that speaks volumes. But his dragon’s last words…more to the point, that word…makes the bronzerider go still, blinking up at the stars again. » If I… Shells… «

Zinakoth is puzzled by his rider’s trailing off; the emotion he picks up from G’tan is correct, and the dragon knows it. But G’tan’s hesitation to acknowledge it confuses the bronze, prompting him to question. « Is it…not the right word? » What else could it be?

G’tan is quiet for a long time. His dragon has managed to be both quicker and wiser in recognizing the name of the feeling than he has, and it throws him for a bit of a loop. He’s known Erissa long enough that it fits, for certain, but…he’d never intended to fall in love with anyone, ever. Too limiting. And yet…

Yet he finds himself wanting to be limited now. To her. The realization enfolds his heart with an impossible warmth, making his breath catch for a moment with a poignant mixture of fear and awe and joy that part of him wants to push away…and that a stronger, braver part of him reaches out and grabs hold of for dear life.

» It’s okay, Zin, « he reassures his bronze, his eyes falling shut again. » Yeah. It’s the right word. «

Dipping his chin, G’tan presses his lips to the top of Erissa’s head, lingering there as he just breathes her in and soaks up the pleasurable weight of her sleeping form stretched along him with a sensual awareness he can’t deny. He grazes a wondering caress across her shoulders and settles his arms around her once again. Protecting. Adoring.

Loving.

But when should he let her know this is how he feels? Maybe he’ll get lucky and she’ll say it first, if she feels the same way. Not that he should hold out for that to happen. Hoping for it won’t get him anywhere. For now, he’ll just try to be discerning about the best time to let it slip.

Faranth, he hopes she does feel the same - or will at some point.

Secure in what’s finally been defined, G’tan lets out a long, slow breath and settles his head back against his pillow bundle once more. Sleep reclaims him easily, keeping him deep in the throes of pleasant dreams until dawn warms the pallid sands around them with the glow of a new day.

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