A Visit To Igen

Winter - Month 1 of Turn 2717
Igen Weyr - Lake Shore
It is sometimes hard to tell where the bowl ends and the lake shore begins. Fine grains of gold, tan and orange hued sand layer much as the bowl walls in the distance beyond. The sand only gives way to thin patches of grass where the tall fence of the feeding grounds intersects the lake to the south and the smooth curve of the bowl wall rises on the opposite shore. At that intersection one can make out a small building and colorful fabrics where the Weyr's residents go to relax. The shallow lake waters shimmer invitingly, day and night, lapping at the fine grain sands. Engineered pipes are hidden beneath the bowl landscape and feed the lake as well as the grasses of the feeding grounds to keep the water levels from dropping past a certain point which is marked by a waist high obelisk.


The talk with S'las earlier in the day, followed by a long nap to recover from his hangover, has done Nassir a world of good. Unfortunately, while he's over being upset, he's still dragging his feet about going back to Half Moon Bay. He knows he has to— Well, he knows he's /going/ to, wild watchwhers couldn't keep him away. But that does little to make him comfortable with the thought. He's fretting, that much is clear from the fact that he's tossed aside his embroidery and is just staring at the lake. "You really need to just pull yourself together," he grouses under his breath. "Just go find a rider and go." Easy to say, not so easy to do when there is a little voice in the back of his head that persists in pointing out that the object of his affection might prefer he stay where he is. And so it continues, going round and round in his head until he finally flops back on the shore and scrubs his palms over his face.

Igen is hot. Not just a little hot, but really hot. And R'sner? A creature of the north. Half Moon Bay is acceptable, but this? He's pretty sure he might die, pass out, or something else equally as embarrassing. The inner caverns might be cooler, but when scouring them did not yield fruit, he begrudgingly heads back out into the sun-and-sand of the weyrbowl. Toith has taken herself to the rim to sunbathe, and is disinclined to come down and tote him to-and-fro. At least the sun is dipping behind the rim when he finally makes it to the lake, bringing a bit of relief. He is… not dressed for the climate. Despite /knowing/ he would be coming here, he is still dressed for 'work' and dragonriding, though he's at least abandoned his jacket somewhere along the way (it's with Toith), leaving a charcoal tee-shirt tucked into leathers and boots. He is not being intentionally quiet, but he's not being excessively noisy, either, and while Nassir might not be the only person on the beach, he has the good fortune of catching the greenrider's attention with that flop and face-scrub. "You are a remarkably difficult person to track down." That would be his 'hello', even if it sounds more irritated than welcoming. It's probably because of the heat, and the sand, and not the recipient.

Given that that is the absolute last voice Nassir expected to hear, he immediately starts, one arm jerking down to brace against the sand as he twists around to stare up at the greenrider. For a long moment, he is utterly still, half of him trying to determine if he has been out in the sun long enough to start hallucinating. The moment he decides he is /not/ hallucinating, he is springing to his feet and launching himself forward in an attempt to wind his arms around the Weyrlingmaster's shoulders. Yes, cool— any hope of cool— goes right out the window when he flashes a brilliant smile and exclaims. "You came to Igen!" Clearly. Clearly. It is only when he realizes that he's uttery failed in the giving of space that he clears his throat and looks mortified.

It wasn't his intention to startle or surprise him, and so Nassir's initial reaction has R'sner looking just a touch guilty for a moment there. Oops? It's gone a second later, the weyrlingmaster taking half a step back at the sudden spring from the sand. When there are /arms/ around him is when things get rocky, and while he doesn't flinch, or attempt to free himself, it is because he is not moving at all. Barely breathing, expression caught in some sort of stricken surprise, before he seems to collect his wits and his thoughts and gently attempt a bit of disengagement. Space. Space is good. Space is very good. And only once it's been re-established does he manage to take a full breath once again. His eyes are cast elsewhere, to the lake or the bowl-wall or to nothing at all, and so he does not acknowledge or seem to notice the mortified expression. He will, however, answer that question with an unnecessary, "Yes. I came to Igen." Because clearly, he did. And now there is silence and awkwardness for a moment or two before he dares to say, "You seem… better."

Nassir exhales a breath when R'sner stiffens, his eyes closing as he gives a firm nod of his chin and lets his arms drop to his sides. Space is good. Space is necessary. "I'm sorry," he states he lightly clears his throat. Drawing back another step, he folds his arms over his chest, following the line of the weyrlingmaster's gaze before affording a quietly husky laugh. "I get excited and I get touchy." There, that's better. Humor. It is the last, however, that brings dark eyes sweeping back to R'sner's face, his head tilting to the side as he studies the man's profile. "I am," he answers. "Better. I'm also glad that you came," he admits a bit more quietly.

"It's…" not 'fine', but not completely 'not fine', either. And so rather than struggling to find an adequate word, R'sner settles for, "You surprised me," as an excuse and moves right along. Quiet laughter and humor is at least something R'sner has come to expect, and it serves to restore a bit of that lost equilibrium in the weyrlingmaster. Whatever he's looking at, it's rapidly becoming obscured by shadows and so, absent an excuse, he lets his gaze drift toward Nassir as the answer comes. "Mm," for being glad he came, though it's the /reason/ for his visit that has preoccupied his thoughts. "What upset you?" is asked rather bluntly, without the courtesy of a 'if you don't mind me asking' or 'if you wouldn't mind telling me' or any other socially acceptable preface or supplement as would be polite. It is a question that has been gnawing at him, annoyingly, with all manner of answers swirling around in his head, each more creative and unlikely than the last. Which is why he is now standing on the beach, in Igen, demanding an answer directly from the source.

"Ahhhhh.." As the sound spills past Nassir's lips, it ends with a light clearing of his throat. Rather then answer right away, he scrubs one hand over his face, his gaze flicking to the darkening water. While he is not overly prone to lengthy contemplation? This is far to important to risk a flippant answer. It is only after a few long moments that he looks back at R'sner and answers as honestly as he can. "It suddenly occured to me, with all those people just watching us, that I was putting you an unpleasant situation, R'sner. I may be… a bit…" Trailing off, he raises one hand, his wrist twisting in a circular motion. "Reckless? But I am not blind. As much as I am drawn to you? I am not so selfish as to want to please myself at your expense." Falling silent a beat, he brushes his tongue over his lips, his arm falling back to his side as he turns to face the man. "I didn't want your candidates to get notions about you in their heads and I could see it happening. I mean…" Frowning, he looks away and shrugs before folding his arms over his chest. "It was unfair of me to think I could force something. And I was," he admits. "I'm not proud of it, but I admit it."

For once, R'sner's gaze remains steadfastly upon Nassir for the duration of that consideration, and then the answer that comes. He is patient enough, though there's a certain sort of focus about him. He is patient during the silence, allowing time for thoughts to be gathered and suitably arranged, and then listening intently as the words come. He doesn't interrupt, though there are subtle signs that he is processing the information and coming to conclusions or questions based upon it; the twitch of his mouth into a bit of a frown, or the lift of eyebrows in mild surprise. His gaze tracks the lift of his hand, the twisted motion of it, and then back to his face as Nassir turns toward him once again. "You were concerned for my reputation?" he attempts to clarify, as though confused by this notion. "I assure you, they come up with far more imaginative rumors all on their own." The last bit though, that gives him pause and leads him into silence once more, though uncharacteristically he's still /looking/ at him.

Nassir nods at the response, full lips parting to draw in a shallow breath. "Yes, I was. Am. And I have no doubt that they can come up with their own rumors, R'sner. It's not that. I.." Trailing off a beat, he offers a mild shrug, his nostrils flairing as he watches the man's face. "I don't want to risk losing your company, it's as simple as that. That being the case? I'm going to make the attempt to rein in my enthusiasm. At least a little." The statement, however, inspires a wry smile and mild shake of the head that brings dark curls down into his face. "I can't promise that I will succeed, but I am willing to try. If you haven't noticed, I tend to get a little carried away." Understatement. "I mean, what happens, happens. At the end of the day, I enjoy being near you." Oddly enough, he likes everything about the stoic, painfully reserved rider.

A dismissive snort accompanies his quick, "Don't worry about me." A moment later and R'sner seems to hear his own words and the unintended harshness of them, for he follows it with a clarifying, "I appreciate the… thought," he continues, hesitating briefly over his choice of words, "But my reputation will not be made or broken on the rumors of candidates. I am capable of voicing my opinion, and if I had wanted you to go, I would have said so." It's a rather lot of words for R'sner, at least in one go, and while he looks as though he could say more he stops while he's ahead. He falls quiet once again as Nassir speaks of reining back enthusiasm, and getting carried away (which might get just a bit of an upward turn to the corner of his mouth in amusement), and enjoying being near him. On this he does not comment, and while his gaze had been resolutely laid upon the Igen tailor as he speaks, it is the final comment that sends it off into the distance once more; averting his eyes out of avoidance. Or perhaps self-preservation. A brief tightening of his jaw. A swallow, and then a deeper exhale of a breath that had been held back. "I enjoy your company," is what eventually comes of all that preparation, though he can't look at him when he says it. The revelation alone is challenging enough and is followed by another bit of a sigh that might be words, though they are too low to hear.

Nassir hadn't expected to hear that, although he had assumed it to be the case. After all, R'sner could easily avoid him entirely if he chose to do so. To his credit, he restrains his reaction, keeping the delight tampered to the point that it is only clear in the shine in his eyes and the smile dancing on his lips. "Good," he murmurs. Restraint, however, is not his best thing and it's mere moments before he's sliding close enough that they are nearly shoulder to shoulder. "I would still like to meet Toith," he notes. "We didn't really get a chance to talk, what with the company and all." In the wake of the words, the smile on his lips grows, his wrist twisting to allow his nails to go lightly skittering along the Weyrlingmaster's arm. At the end of the day? R'sner is /here/ and that says more then words ever could. "Are you thirsty? Hungry? There's drinks and snacks in the bar?" The last is uttered with a nod toward the dreamy pavillion resting nearbye.

"She is… here," notes R'sner, hesitation coming only because there is suddenly very little space between them. But this is fine; this is acceptable. And perhaps anticipated. So while the Igen tailor's presence in his personal space goes uncontested, it certainly doesn't go unnoticed. How could it? Especially when nails are skimmed along his arm, leaving a trail of gooseflesh in their wake. Deep breaths, and a brief tightening of his jaw before he finds his voice again. "A drink might be nice," he concedes, though a glance is spared for Nassir when he asks, "What would you prefer? The pavillion," and drinks, and food, and light and warmth, "or meeting Toith? She's…" and there's a head bob in the direction of the green, though how helpful that is, considering the darkness of shadows and the setting of the sun? Well. He tried. "… up there somewhere. And is willing to come down."

Nassir watches the Weyrlingmaster in silence as he speaks, the fact that he has not withdrawn met with a warming of the tailor's smile. "Toith," he decides. A drink /would/ be nice, but he's pretty sure that this is more important. "I can run into the pavillion and get you a drink, something to eat, if you like?" He doesn't mind in the least. That much is clear when he actually takes a step toward the fabric shrouded bar. He hesitates, however, and turns back to look at R'sner, his expression serious. "R'sner if all I am ever to be is a Tailor, is that something that would bother you?" He had to ask, even if it gives more of a hint of what had bothered him last night. "I ask because I am happy with who I am," he notes. "Not that I would turn away from a dragon, but… I rather like myself."

Hesitation, and then acquiescence comes with R'sner's grateful, "Something strong, but just one," because while he might welcome a bit of a buzz, he doesn't want to get drunk. "No food, though," there's no way he could eat anything just now. While cobalt blue eyes had been focused toward where Toith rests, they shift to find Nassir at the seriousness of voice, taking in the equally serious expression. He is clearly puzzled at the question, and answers with a perplex, "Why would that bother me?" A heartbeat or two, and he follows it a low but honest, "No, it would not bother me if you remained a tailor," before turning back as though to watch Toith's path to the beach.

As soon as the question is asked, Nassir realizes how important it is to him. So much so that when the answer comes he exhales a breath he had not realized he'd been holding. "Good," he breaths. Nodding firmly, he turns on his heel, slipping into the tent to come back with a mug brandy. Moving to R'sner's side, he presses the cup into his hand. "It's strong, but it's good." Particularly if one doesn't over indulge as he's learned from experience. For the time being, the question as to why he thought that might be an issue goes unanswered, his attention on watching the greenrider's profile. There is no doubt that Nassir is smitten, that much is clear in the warm smile dancing on his lips and the way his gaze lingers even over the crook that speaks of a nose once broken. It's the eyes, though, that garner the majority of his attention, the fine lines and intensity of the gaze serving to completely distract Nassir from the fact that they are waiting for Toith.

R'sner will simply remain puzzled by the question… or let it go. Either way, he's resolutely watching for his dragon as Nassir turns and vanishes within the pavillion. His attention shifts at his return, and the press of a drink into his hand, a murmured, "thank you," coming as he lifts it for a hearty swallow. He has no intention of chugging it however so, after the initial rather indulgent swallow, he settles for holding it comfortably near for occasional sipping. His gaze is Toith-wards, who has landed in the time it took Nassir to acquire the beverage. She was polite enough to do so far up the beach, to keep from kicking up too much sand upon landing, and is now waddle-walking her way over in that awkward gait that dragons assume when grounded. R'sner may have awareness of that gaze, and there's a subtle tension and increased grip on that mug that says he probably does, but he remains passively watching his dragon's progress. But there's a flicker of a smile for Toith, something dry and amused, for whatever passes between them. "Alright then," he decides. "Officially now. Nassir, this is Toith," and he'll even lift his free hand toward the green, as though to present her to the tailor. "Toith, Nassir." For her part, Toith offers a delightfully dragon-scented huff of breath in greeting, earning a grimace from the weyrlingmaster. "I will translate, but only so long as it remains /appropriate/." It is a warning that is meant for the dragon, and not the tailor. "So keep it clean, Toi."

A warm laugh spills past Nassir's lips in response to R'sner's last. "It's hardly fair to have us, knowing she has questions for me that you will not ask, R'sner." Turning his attention to Toith, he offers her a broader smile, dark eyes crinkling at the corners. "It's so very nice to meet you, Toith. I'm happy to tell you whatever you want to know if you can convince the curmudgeon to speak plainly." In the wake of the words, he glances up at R'sner, his smile softening as he leans in to lightly nudge his shoulder. "There is nothing she can ask me that I would consider inappropriate. I'm very hard to embarass," he adds with another mellow laugh.

A pained expression briefly graces R'sner's face; a grimace that is quickly turned upon the dragon. "There are some questions that do not need to be asked," he decides. Though perhaps more appropriately, there are questions that R'sner does not want the answer to. "And it is not /you/ that I am worried about." Nassir may not be easy to embarrass, but Toith knows /everything/ about R'sner, so the potential is endless there. For her part, Toith offers a deep, throaty sound in response to the greeting; her own version of a welcome that needs little translation, even if Res provides it with a quick, "She's pleased to see you again, and wants to know if you are cold. She is also," he continues, with a dry sort of tone, "very likely to ask you how you feel about dirt, and scars, so you might as well tell her now." The mug is lifted; another sip taken that is perhaps longer than necessary, before his gaze is drifting to Nassir rather than Toith.

Nassir exhales another quiet laugh in response to R'sner's words, his gaze remaining on Toith. "I'm not cold, yet," he admits as he steps closer to her. "I appreciate you letting me shelter next to you," he adds. He'd realized belatedly that he'd been a little forward in touching her without permission. Still, he is who he is. Pausing a beat, he glances over his shoulder at R'sner, a flicker of worry in dark eyes. "I want to know you, R'sner. I want to know what you think, how you feel, what scares or worries you. I…" Trailing off, he lightly clears his throat, his head giving a little shake as he looks back at Toith. "Scars are sexy," he provides. "I have one, just here over my left eye." Without a hint of hesitation, he lifts his curls allowing the dragon a clear view of the pale crescent shaped scar running from his temple to the corner of his eye. "As for dirt? Dirt can be a great deal of fun, although mud is better."

If Toith did not want to be touched, rest assured that she would /not/ have been touched. She is a dragon, after all. Hard to do anything to a dragon that they don't want. But reassurance comes with R'sner's words. "She says 'anytime'," though he warns him, "Just be careful that she's /clean/ if you're going to lean against her," which might have something to do with why the green is asking about dirt. Though his attention is divided between tailor and dragon, there's a glance and a brief meeting of that look when Nassir voices his thoughts. "Right now… I think you'd best give Toith your attention, as she is liable to get jealous," which is a total cop-out, as well as a lie, and he knows it. For scars, the reveal is met with a tilt of Toith's head and the angling of one large, whirling eye as she seeks to better see it. "Toith, ah… doesn't necessarily agree that scars are sexy," determines the human half, who is also inching a bit closer to take his own peek at that scar, "but does appreciate them, all the same. She has quite a few… and is rather proud of them," he admits. "Mud… yeah," and clearly enough, the green is in agreement with this, eyes whirling faster and a throaty, cough-growl-laugh noise coming from her throat. "She's asking about your hair," he notes. "Namely, why you grew it so long. Why you keep it long. And whether it is a bother." A bit of a shift, and he lifts the mug for a sip before noting, "You're allowed to ask her questions, too."

Nassir exhales another quiet laugh at the response, his hand keeping the curls up off his brow to allow the scar to be seen. "At first," he says as he turns his attention back to Toith. "I let it grow to hide the scar. Another boy at Igen Hold found out I favored men. Not," he adds with a light clearing of his throat. "That I do not find some women appealing, as well. But, that's not the point. He had issue with my… tastes.. and expressed those issues with a shovel to my head." Falling silent a beat, his nostrils flair, his lips pressing in a thinline that makes it clear he's leaving at least a bit of the story out. "I grew my hair out to hide the scar. Eventually, I grew it longer because it annoyed the boy and his friends. Now? I keep it long because I think I look good." Pausing a beat, he glances back at R'sner, considering a moment before looking back at Toith and asking directly. "Is he humoring me, or does he understand I am serious in my pursuit." What? Someone thought he'd let it be easy on R'sner? Ha!

The story comes, and while Toith might offer a hearty snort (that R'sner translates as, "She thinks you ought to show it off — the scar.") the weyrlingmaster's expression has gone somewhat hard. He's astute enough to catch those subtle expressions that lead him to believe asking further questions would be unwelcome. And so there are no further inquiries, either from R'sner or Toith, in regards to the scar that graces Nassir's head and how he acquired it. "She thinks it could pose a hazard, but understands your reasons for growing it…" he offers with a brief glance to the green that ends with a lift of R'sner's hand and a gesture that is meant to bring his fingers into contact with a lock of aforementioned hair; to twine around his finger if such a thing is not unwelcome. "I like it," he admits, though a second later there's a glower, and a flair of his own nostrils, as Nassir poses his own question. "You can ask /me/ that," he says with some firmness, "And I would tell you that I—" and he here stops, hesitates, actually /considers/ the question before answering with, "I understand that you… seem earnest enough."

"Maybe," Nassir murmurs as he lets the curls fall back into place. "I've never thought of it in that light." Glancing between R'sner and Toith, he offers a mild nod of his head. The moment that his hair is touched, however, he goes very still but for a faint smile that traces over his lips. Unwelcome? Not even a little bit. Nor is the compliment, that much is certain when his smile grows broader. "I'm glad," he admits. It is the glower, however, and the accompanying flair of nostrils that inspires a husky laugh to spilling past his lips. "I wanted more then a grunt and a stoic stare." It is the answer, however, that has him momentarily holding his breath, another slow nod given in response. "That is fair, R'sner. I hope that I will get to see the day that you are comfortable with that." Without missing a beat, he looks back at Toith. "You have other questions? You are not opposed to my courting your lifemate?"

Toith seems to find the whole thing very amusing, even if R'sner does not. And it was at least more than a stoic stare, silence or a noncommittal grunt, even if the weyrlingmaster looks vaguely as though he's been played. "Anything else you want to know my thoughts on, ask me. Not her," he reaffirms, somewhat annoyed (but apparently, annoyed equals answers?). He does concede slightly, with a, "I will answer… what I can." And that's as good as it's going to get, really. His fingers twist their captured strands once or twice more before he lets it slide free; hand returned to his side once more. "She has no problem with it," he provides. "It is not something that concerns her but… she is curious," and he is astutely staring at his dragon when he completes the question with, "Who else you may have pursued." A harder sound, and he says, "You don't have to answer that." As it definitely toes the line of inappropriate, and /he/ knows it, even if Toith seems not to care.

Nassir's gaze sweeps up to R'sner's face at the sharper tone, his gaze turning immediately apologetic. "I appreciate that," he admits. "I will try to give you time before prying to far." When the Weyrlingmaster's hand falls from his hair, Nassir reaches for it, long fingers trailing over the man's hand. It is the more pointed question, however, that has him lowering his gaze, the tip of his tongue brushing over his lips. "/I/ have pursued no one else," he admits. "I have been pursued recently by a bronze rider from Xanadu." Glancing over at Toith, he exhales a breath, lightly clearing his throat. "It quickly became clear that he wanted nothing more from me then rough sex. After meeting your rider? I have avoided his company and have no intention of indulging his visits, again. I'm serious," he states as he turns his gaze back to R'sner. "About courting you. I know that that is… not.. necessary, but…" Rolling his shoulders, he offers a faint shrug. "It is how I feel.

Silence, from both Toith and R'sner, though the draconic half looks content enough. She's settled herself into the sand, and remains focused on the conversation (or inquisition) at hand. R'sner's silence is lengthier, and whatever he might feel about those unnecessary actions, he does not offer. A longer pull from the mug in his right hand, the last of it drained and swallowed. "She… has no more questions at the moment," at least none that R'sner is going to repeat aloud. "Though wonders what you think of her. And be honest," he encourages. "She's not a conceited creature; she won't be offended of anything you say… Just don't call her pretty," he cautions again, because the warning is a serious one. As for him? There is a slight twist of his hand; a reach of his fingers that seek to catch at the ones that have touched his hand; a brief squeeze and then a release.

Nassir immediately relaxes, a breath spilling past his lips. That expression grows at the squeeze to his hand, a quiet laugh spilling past his lips. "I like you," he states to Toith. "I look forward to the summer at Half Moon Bay and playing in the mud. I…" Pausing a beat, he looks between the two, his smile broadening. "I like that you balance each other so neatly. Mostly," he admits to Toith. "I like that you are protective enough of R'sner to want to question me." As an after thought, he adds. "It's an added bonus that you are exceptionally warm." Looking back at R'sner, his head tilts to the side, his expression softening. "I like that you are calm. I like that you take your time and think before you speak and that you measure your words so carefully. I like that you grunt and look away when you are put on the spot. I like that you are nothing like anyone I have known before. I like that there are times that I can make you smile unexpectedly." Even if it is just barely a twitch of the lips. "I…" Trailing off, he clears his throat. "Have I mention I overshare?"

It is a pleased sort of chuff that comes from Toith; faceted eyes whirling blue-green at the mention of mud. Clearly, /she/ approves of such things, even if R'sner looks less than delighted at the prospect, a small grimace and muttered, "Don't encourage her, really," because Toith already spends about ninety percent of her time filthy with much more than mud. At some point, Res bends down and settles the empty mug into the sand, freeing his hands up and, once he's standing straight again, they hang loosely at his side. He's there to meet that gaze when it comes, and though it doesn't move when Nassir stops talking about Toith starts talking about him, there is a shifting of his weight and a tensing of his muscles. He wasn't terribly /relaxed/ before he started talking, but now he resembles more of that frozen stiffness that comes whenever there is a challenge to his thinking; something to upset the careful detachment with which R'sner has cultivated for himself. Oversharing. That at least gets a lift of an eyebrow; proof positive that while he might look like he's become a living statue, he is listening. But it is a long pause between when Nassir finishes speaking and when R'sner finally moves. A brush of fingers over the scar at his temple, that turns into a touch of cheek and jaw before the pad of his thumb traces the curve of the tailor's lower lip. His gaze follows the movement, fixed briefly on his mouth. He's going to kiss him; the intention of such is telegraphed in the focus and inclination of his body; in the lean that precipitates the movement that would culminate in the completion of that gesture. But he hesitates a hairsbreadth away, warring emotion briefly tightening his jaw, before he simply throws whatever concern is in his brain right out the window and just goes for it. It is not a /chaste/ kiss, but it is quick. Hungry but fleeting; a brief claim of his mouth before R'sner is pulling away.

While the majority of Nassir's focus remains on R'sner, he does flash a smile and wink at Toith when she issues that pleased chuff. The smile, however, turns to an expression of concern when the rider goes so abruptly still. Watching him, even Nassir's breath stills to the point that is barely a whisper across his lips and he is certain that he can hear his heart hammering in his chest. It is the sensation of warm calloused fingers tracing his scar, of an equally warm palm cupping his cheek, that stirs dark lashes to sweeping down in a half-lidded gesture. He's watching intently, however, every cell in his being focused on the sensation of the Weyrlingmaster's thumb drawing over his lower lip. Still, he remains motionless, the kind of stillness one employs when they are faced with a skittish and potentially dangerous animal. There is no fear, in this instance, just the deep and abiding intention to do nothing to risk sending R'sner back into his armored shell. The press of lips inspires a sharp intake of breath, the tailor doing his level best to simply let it happen. There is no mistaking the passion rising to meet that brief contact. No mistaking the emotion shining in his eyes. When the kiss is over and R'sner is pulling away, a shallow gasp spills past Nassir's lips, his body swaying forward in a thoroughly instinctive pursuit before he forces himself to remain still. For the first time in his life, Nassir finds himself unable to speak, words at the moment being utterly beyond him.

The withdraw is not far, though far enough to allow R'sner to focus his gaze on the tailor's face. He remains close enough that the sway of Nassir's body forward brings his hands up to gently but firmly grasp his arms as though to stop him from coming any closer. There is a brief but focused search of his expression before he's shifting his weight back and putting a bit more distance between them. Arm's length, which is when he lets his own hands fall away. He doesn't apologize, but there's a subtle look of chastisement that says the thought may have occurred to him. Instead, a clearing of his throat and a look away; first to Toith and then further on to the pavillion. "We… ah," and another, rough sound in the back of his throat; a lift of his hand that rubs absently at the back of his neck, "We should go…" and a glance back to Nassir and then again to the bar area to indicate where he means for them to go /to/, "… inside." Or as 'inside' as the facility might be. It's the lights, and people, that he wants. To escape the dark and the solitude and the proximity that makes him tense and edgy and prone to spontaneity.

When R'sner steps back it is all Nassir can do not to exhale a sound of loss. Still, it's there, shining in his eyes. At the rider's hands dropping, his eyes close for a moment, his nostrils flairing as he forces himself to remain controlled. It is the words, however, that bring his lashes sweeping back up, his lips parting to protest the departure before he realizes what the Weyrlingmaster means. "Oh," the word is breathed with a palpable relief, the tip of his tongue brushing over his lips before he dips his chin in a faint nod. "Yes." At the moment, going into the bar sounds like the best possible idea, ever. It is as he draws back a step, himself, that he lightly clears his throat, the sudden bout of shyness a completely foreign sensation. "Right. Good." Blinking once, his lashes sweep back down to hide his eyes, a quick stoop serving to allow him to gather up the mug on the ground.

There is no jacket on R'sner's shoulders, which means there are no pockets for him to shove his hands into. It's a habit he dearly wishes he could indulge in, and the absence of it leaves him fidgeting for a time. The expression of loss does not escape him, either does the relief evident in that exhaled word of understanding, though he responds to neither. As acquisition comes, there's a shift of stance that portends movement, having every intention of snagging that discarded item, though Nassir beats him to it. "I can take that," and his hand is offered. Whether it's given or not, there is a quick, darting glance to Toith before he's moving off toward the pavillion. Quick, steady strides, though there's a tilt of his head to allow him to keep track of Nassir's movements; to slow down and wait for him if necessary. It's not his intention to abandon him on the beach or to appear to be running away, and he will fall into step beside him if the opportunity arises. But his eyes will remain on the destination until they are through the door and amidst the growing crowd of patrons. "Pick a table?" he offers, sparing Nassir a glance before he's surveying the crowd instead.

"I got it," Nassir assures quietly. Glancing back at Toith, the expression on his face is confused before he lightly clears his throat and moves to walk alongside R'sner. By the time they step into the bar, he's pulled himself together, sternly reminding himself that a kiss— however brief— is far more then he expected. At the direction, he glances up at the Weyrlingmaster, a smile whispering over his lips as he tucks the mug in a basin and moves to sink down into a low, heavily pillowed bench surrounding an equally low table. It's warm in the bar, the candles and curtains serving to keep the oncoming chill of night at bay.

Igen Weyr - Moonshine Gardens
A large sandstone archway provides a dramatic entrance from the soft fine sands of the lake shore. The room within defined by sandstone brick walls which vary in height, but none low enough to be seen over. Colorful awnings stretch overhead, connected by a series of poles and wires so that they float effortlessly above. They provide shelter from the sun during the day, and a warm comforting feel at night lit by electric lights. Plank flooring is stained a medium cherry hue, giving an odd effect to the open space.
A solid wall at the back leads to a smaller building where the kitchen is located. Colored glass shelves line the wall in irregular intervals, stocked with all fashion of liquor and wine. A massive bar rests in front of the wall, an exquisite piece of skybroom polished and stained to a flawless black finish, accented with two inlaid meandering stripes of pearl and silver. Matching black and silver stools line along the front of the bar. Round tables for four-somes to six-somes are spread about haphazardly with comfortable but also easily replaceable wicker chairs.

The walk is a chance for R'sner to clear his head and reclaim a bit of that equilibrium that he's lost. And so by the time he is sinking down onto the bench, there is almost a relaxed air about him. Or, as relaxed as R'sner is apt to be without copious amounts of alcohol. An appreciative glance is spared the facilities, gaze lingering on the awnings overhead before taking in the general ambiance of the place. "Igen is not so bad, once the sun has set," he decides, tone faintly appreciative. "I can see why you like it." But while the words might be casual, there is an edginess to the weyrlingmaster that is at odds with the plush cushions and relaxed atmosphere. Despite his gaze remaining for the room, as though casually curious as to the comings and goings and general meandering of the various folk within, his focus is much more for the tailor at his side; highly aware of where he is, of what he might be doing, of any shift or movement that he might make.

Nassir smiles at the observation, dark eyes crinkling at the corners as he rests his cheek against one hand. "There is nothing so beautiful as the desert sky at night. Just wait, once true dark comes, the stars will shine in the night sky like nothing you have ever seen before." Evening in Igen is his favorite time. Shifting his weight, he leans forward to fill a cup from the decanter of wine on the table, a long swallow taken as he watches R'sner curiously. It is only as he lowers the cup that he shifts slightly closer, the movement serving to bring his shoulder into a whispering contact as he stretches out. "One day I will have the opportunity to see more of the world, but for now, this appeals to me." Particularly with present company, although the thought goes unsaid.

"Is that your favorite thing about Igen?" wonders R'sner, gaze shifted so that he can catch sight of Nassir from the corner of his eye. It lingers for a moment before drifting to the wine and the hand that pours it. Tension comes with the whisper of contact, but he does not retreat or flinch away from it. A heartbeat later, and there is a low and steadying exhale and a conscious effort toward relaxing out of the stiffness he's found himself in. "Where would you go," he wonders, voice briefly rough before smoothing out toward the end of the question, "if you could go anywhere?" He shifts back just enough to allow him to lift the hand nearest Nassir to tentatively catch a bit of his hair; letting the natural curl of it wrap around his fingers. "When I was younger," he offers, pausing to gather thoughts or perhaps decide whether he means to continue at all, "my favorite place in Fort was this bridge that spans a deep chasm. It was thrilling, to be up so high and so precariously… but more so it was the view. The winter sunrise over the bowl, when the snow is fresh and unblemished…" a fleeting upturn to his lips; the barest touch of a smile for the memory. "It's surreal."

"Everywhere," Nassir states with a mellow laugh. Sensing the movement, he makes a point not to glance at the hand in his hair, keeping his attention of R'sner's face and words, instead. When he is finished speaking, Nassir exhales a breath, clearly taken with the image painted for him. "It's like poetry, the way you speak of it. I'd like to see that. I've always thought," he admits in quiet tones. "That it would be amazing to just get away from everything and explore. Go someplace where there are no people for as far as the eye can see." In the wake of the words, his smile turns quietly bemused, his brows rising and falling in a mildly regretful gesture.

That 'everywhere' earns an actual smile; faint and amused, but there all the same. "Alright then," clarifies R'sner, "Where would you go /first/." Absentmindedly, there is a twist and twirl of that lock of captured hair, letting it slide through his grasp before taking it up again; a subtle appreciation for the feel it, even as his attention is focused on the words that are spoken. "It is beautiful," he agrees, for his winter landscape. "But very cold," he continues, as though in warning. "Heavy layers, and even then, the chill will bite at exposed skin; your nose or your cheeks. It is worth it." At least, it is worth it for him. He listens avidly to the desire to go somewhere vacant; vast and empty. "What would you do in such a place?" he wonders. "Is it the thrill of discovery, or the desire for solitude that tempts you?"

Nassir considers the question more seriously, taking another sip of wine before deciding. "High Reaches. I would like to see the Seven Spindles." Lowering the cup, he twirls lightly between two fingers before setting it back on the table. Shifting on the couch to better see R'sner's face, he settles his head tenatively on his thigh. "I know you cannot possibly think I would pass up an opportunity for /more/ clothing?" Lots of layers means lots of clothing, after all. "Fort would have to be second on my list, now," he admits. At the last, he smiles, dark eyes crinkling at the corners. "Both? I mean, I have no desire to be alone, but the thought of being able to just… be.. without any added pressures or expectatons? Even for a little while is appealing."

"Really?" wonders R'sner, somewhat surprised. "I thought you hated the cold?" It's more statement than question; he remembers rather clearly that beach-shivering episode of not-so-long ago. The shifting of position has him freezing briefly, releasing his tenuous hold on that lock of hair. He remains immobile even after Nassir has settled himself, a flicker of a frown ghosting across his face before he seems to accept even this and goes back to drifting fingers through curls. "Hm, how could I have been so silly," murmured for the mention of more clothing, tone pitched just enough to be almost /teasing/, just shy of playful. For Fort though, there's a brief tightening of his jaw and a glance across the room. Nostalgia may have brought a moment of warmth, but that light is fading in the wake of memories more painful than pleasant. A deeper breath is taken, something meant to ground and center him once more, before he speaks again. "There are places," he offers. "The jungles in the South. There is a glacier in the north… the desert would certainly have the vast space and solitude…" but the words fade off as he drops his gaze to the tailor in his lap. "What expectations?"

"I hate being unprepared for cold," Nassir corrects. "Knowing that it will be cold, I can be certain that I have everything I need to stay comfortably warm." And hopefully have someone with him to warm him up, goes unspoken but assuredly thought. It's the teasing, though, that stirs a husky laugh to spilling past his lips. "Right?" The pained look does not go unnoticed. Witnessing it in silence, Nassir opts not to pry allowing R'sner all the time he needs to process whatever is going through his mind. It is the last, however, that stirs him to giving a faint shake of his head, a few stray curls whispering over the Weyrlingmaster's thigh. "Assumptions is a better word," he admits. "People look at me and immediately think that they know who I am, R'sner. They did it in the hold, they do it here. I flirt, I speak my mind, I don't hide it when I admire someone. Even the way I dress. There are people who believe that entitles them to expecting things from me." The singular exception being present, now. "I thought I was fine with that," he admits. "That it was no big deal to have people take what they want from me. I guess…" Trailing off he frowns, dark eyes narrowing mildly as he looks away. "I guess I let myself believe that was what I deserved. Now? Not so much."

R'sner would not have answered, if Nassir had thought to inquire into that moment of solemnity that the memory of Fort Weyr brings. That he does not ask about it is very much appreciated, and it is not a long pause before Res has pushed the unpleasantness aside and focused on the here, and now. There is a slow sort of relaxation happening; the beginnings of contentedness and easing of taut, tense muscles. The discussion of assumptions brings a drop of his gaze, lingering on the tailor as he speaks. There is no break in the drift of his hand, though on the next pass he pauses and allows his thumb to drift over the crescent scar once, gently, before he retreats. "Such as this mysterious bronzerider from Xanadu?" wonders R'sner, making an assumption of his own. "Why? Why would you believe that you /deserved/ such treatment, Nassir?"

Nassir does not answer immediately, although the frown that dances on his lips is answer enough. It is the sensation of the scar being touched that stirs his nostrils to flaring and inspires a faint clearing of his throat as he turns his head fractionally toward that contact. "You grew up in a Weyr," he points out. "It's different. I guess, as much as I am determined to leave the hold behind me? I haven't entirely managed to do so. I know what the people I grew up with think of me. They were relieved when I left for the Weyr." Brushing his tongue over his lips, his eyes narrow, his lips thinning on a frown. "When you grow up knowing that you are 'wrong', that entire part of you is held in contempt? It's easy to let yourself accept whatever reasonably passes for affection. I -know- that is foolish," he assures. But contrary to what people think, words do hurt and he has had a great many unpleasant words hurled at him.

R'sner did grow up in a Weyr. And it is definitely different. And he is keenly aware of those differences, in this moment at least, as he listens to Nassir speak of growing up in the Hold. He has no words of wisdom or reassurance to offer but, while he lapses into silence, there comes another brush of thumb to skin; a touch that lingers and is meant to be comforting, if nothing else. "There is nothing 'wrong' with you," is likely an unnecessary statement, but it comes all the same. "You don't still believe that, do you?"

Again, Nassir lapses into silence, the frown still dancing on his lips as he gives a mild shake of his head. "Logically, no. But there are times when emotion and logic do not go hand in hand." In the wake of the words, he pushes off the gloom, the frown fading from his lips. "I like who I am, R'sner and I am looking forward to seeing who I become. There are things I have to change, and I am doing that. But," he adds in attempt to change the subject. "You haven't told me what Toith thinks of me? Be honest."

"Good," and there is some relief that comes, when the frown fades and the subject turns. R'sner would much rather see a /smile/ on the Igenite's face, even if he is reluctant to give his own in return. But the question of Toith? That has him briefly hesitating and looking just a touch awkward. "Ah, well…" and takes a deeper breath and frowns in momentary thought. "She is a dragon," is rather unnecessary to point out, but serves as preface for, "so she doesn't… think the way people do. She generally does not bother with people at all," he admits, "So her engaging in a… discussion," of a sort, "with you is rather high praise." A pause, a clearing of his throat and he decides, "She likes you," though perhaps the proper phrase would have been '/approves/ of you', Res will just take some artistic license in this regard. "Do not be surprised if the next time you see her, she is… a lot less clean," and there is a grimace for that.

Nassir immediately looks relieved, a quietly mellow laugh spilling past his lips at the last. "Clean is overrated," he assures. "I'm rather fond of mud, myself." He hadn't been kidding on that score. Mud is fantastic for the skin, after all. Shifting on the couch, he turns his head, his cheek resting on the Weyrlingmaster's thigh as he watches his face. "You'll have Weyrlings very soon," he observes. "I still want to visit you, but I know that your time will be limited. What would you comfortable with in that regard?" He has no intention of doing anything that might risk making R'sner retreat back into his shell.

"… it's not just mud that she enjoys coating herself in," he warns with another grimace. R'sner's hand stills at the turn of Nassir's head, removed a moment later to settle on the cushion beside him. "I will," he agrees, and there's a brief tightness of eyes and mouth at the thought; a glance spared for the door. It returns a moment later to the one who is currently occupying his attention; barracks full of candidates resolutely pushed from his thoughts. The question gets his consideration, and while there is certainly a moment or two where the silence becomes somewhat weighty, he does eventually deign to speak. "I don't have a good answer for that," he admits, a low murmur that is somewhat apologetic, though perhaps not for the reason immediately suspected. "The first few months will be… rough. My schedule… unpredictable…" He trails off, and his free hand lifts to scrub briefly at his face, pinching at the bridge of his nose. A pause, a hesitation, a wrestling with inner demons. But eventually, a resigned, "Come when you can. If I am available, I am available. If I am not…" then he is not.

"That makes sense," Nassir assures in warm tones. "I mean, it's not like I can't bring work with me. I doubt anyone is going to mind if I am sewing in the living cavern." Of course, he has no intention of being underfoot, simply present. "At the very least, I can pop down and if you are busy, leave you a letter." And clothes. Oh, most assuredly clothes. Falling silent a beat, his expression softens, dark eyes crinkling at the corners as he watches the Weyrlingmaster's face.

"A letter…" repeated, though it's meant more for himself than Nassir. It makes his jaw tighten again; a brief stillness to settle around him. A drift into thoughts that ought not to be thought, before R'sner is clearing his throat and dropping his gaze to meet Nassir's. Whatever he might have been about to say, for certainly he was about to say /something/, vanishes at the softer expression and crinkle-eyed look meeting his own. Blue eyes meet brown for a heartbeat before he's looking somewhere, anywhere, else. "I… should go," is probably not what Nassir wants to hear, and while it is said firmly enough, it comes with a rather gentle touch of his hand to the top of the tailor's head; a drag of fingers through hair before he's shifting his weight forward in preparation to stand.

Nassir has no idea that he might have touched on a sensitive point, content with the evening and the slow, steady course things are taking. "Mmhmm," is his quiet reply. At the last, he gives a fullbody stretch, a content sound humming in his throat as he rolls up to sitting. "It is getting late," he admits as he picks up the cup and finishes off his wine. It is as he sets the cup down and pushes to his feet that he adds. "I am glad you and Toith came to visit, it means a lot to me."

A sigh of something like relief comes as Nassir sits up, R'sner standing quickly enough once his lap is free of a lounging tailor. A roll of shoulders, the stretching of stiff muscles, and he hazards a glance Nassir's direction as he rises. "You're… welcome," he decides, though it seems to hang awkwardly in the air for a moment or so. "I am glad I came," he admits, with a small bit of surprise at the realization. A hand lifts, fingers drifting against the small of his back as he requests, "walk with me to Toith?"

Nassir exhales a quiet laugh, leaning subtly into the press of R'sner's hand as he steps over to walk with him. "Absolutely." Crossing the bar, he sweeps the curtain aside, inhaling the cool desert air as they step out of the pavillion. "I still have to work out what I'm going to wear to the hatching, but one of the riders here promised she'd take me down when the time comes." He's actually getting more excited about it as the time gets closer and it shows on his face. "I'm looking forward to seeing your new charges and their lifemates find one another."

The press of his hand remains; warm and steady on the walk from the bar into the considerable coolness of the desert night. And while R'sner might not outright laugh in amusement for the working out of what to wear, there is definitely a flicker of merriment on his expression. Too bad it's likely too dark to see it. "I am sure whatever you decide on will be perfectly suitable." Of course, R'sner is the type to believe that 'clean' equals suitable when it comes to clothing, and generally matches because all of his items are the same colors (some shade of grey or black, with the notable exception being a rather newly acquired green vest). "And I am glad that you are looking forward to it. I hope it meets your expectations," though he's fairly certain it will surpass them; but then again he's a dragonrider. Kinda biased when it comes to Hatchings. Toith's shadow looms, suddenly very present and very solidly in front of them, bringing a halt to the weyrlingmaster and a brief flex of fingers that catches and holds at the fabric beneath his hand. It is a brief thing; there and gone, hand once more falling to his side as he withdraws contact completely. "If I don't see you before the hatching…" but he's not sure how to finish that sentence, and it trails off into a brief clearing of his throat. "Ah. Well. Good night, Nassir."

Nassir smiles up at R'sner, dark eyes warming. "You'll see me there, at the very least," he promises. When the hand falls away, his tongue brushes over his lips, dark curls spilling in to frame his face. "Good night, R'sner," he murmurs. Pausing a beat, he raises one hand, pressing his palm against the rider's chest just over the heart. It's a quiet gesture, holding a good deal of unspoken promise. Still the touch doesn't linger overly long, his arm dropping away as he turns and offers an equally warm smile to Toith. "Good night, Toith. I am so glad we had this chance to talk." In the wake of the words, he draws back a few steps, fully intended to watch the pair depart.

A nod, slow but accepting, for the assurance that R'sner will see him at the Hatching. The hand to his chest, the palm over his heart, is accepted in silence and stillness. And while his gaze lingers as the touch does, the moment Nassir's hand leaves him he's turning and hauling himself up Toith's side with practiced ease. For her part, the green offers a dragon-breath in the tailor's direction, a little huff-chuff-snort of acknowledgement and farewell. It allows R'sner the time needed to pull his jacket on and to strap himself in before he's issuing an order (a really firm request?) to, "move back further," even as Toith is sort of waddling backwards to put sufficient distance between them so that when she springs upwards, the first powerful stroke of her wings does not cause unintended harm to their spectator. And then she is up, and vanishing into the darkness, a shadow across the starry-sky before she vanishes Between.


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