Stars

Winter - Month 3 of Turn 2717
Half Moon Bay Weyr - The Vantage
Every weyr has 'the spot,' that one point as high up as one can manage to go where the trees thin and the skies open up and suddenly, you can see for miles. For Half Moon Bay Weyr, it is a point off in the wilds where a steep cliff rises from the surrounding jungle in an attempt to outreach the jagged cone-shape mountain that surrounds the weyr's bowl. It pales in comparison, despite its efforts, but the view is no less stunning for its failure. Kept partially treeless to allow dragons to land, the Vantage provides a gorgeous two hundred degree view of Half Moon's island. Rolling jungle and crystalline blue ocean takes up the majority of vista, a veritable cacophony of verdant greens and sapphire blues. Brightly colored flowers, fruits, and fauna break up the jungle's tedium, some trees rising to tower over others, allowing viewers to watch a small part of the forest's teeming life. Yet, for as lovely as the view is during the day, it is almost just as stunning after dark. At night, stars blossom to life, seemingly as bright and twinkling as they've ever been. One great stripe of the cosmos always seems more star-studded than the rest, the great arm of a galaxy weaving brilliant, complex patterns into the sky above.


True to his word, R'sner is not to be found in the Weyrling's training field. Rather, he's saddled Pieta and Valeska with the task of weyrling-wrangling for the night and staked out a spot in the weyrbowl where, perched on Toith's leg, he waited impatiently for the arrival of T'sul or, more importantly, Nassir. /That/ is when he moves, closing the distance so that he is there to catch Nassir's hand the moment his feet have touched the ground. There's a sort of awkward, 'Hello, thank you, enjoy your stay' sort of mumbling-acknowledgement for the other dragonrider, and definitely a greeting and a request to accompany him, for Nassir. But assuming all of that goes well, and smooth, and without much offense, the end result is Nassir and R'sner on Toith, soon winging up out of the weyrbowl. It is not a long flight by any stretch, and soon enough Toith is touching down within the cleared space at the location fondly known as the Vantage.

The sun is definitely setting, but there's more than enough light left for the pair to dismount, and for R'sner to pull out the items he's stashed in Toith's saddlebags. Namely: a blanket or two. "What do you think?" is asked of Nassir, in reference to the view, the location, the /idea/ of having dinner away from weyrlings and people and chaos in general.

The moment they appear in the sky over the bowl, T'sul points out the Weyrlingmaster and Toith waiting below. By the time they land, Nassir is smiling brilliantly, all too eager to half tumble off Decameth and into R'sner's arms. The greetings to T'sul are met with a chortle from the brown rider, one gloved hand raising to wave them off with the assurances that he'll be here late, or should need be, early the next day. Naturally, Nassir is just as delighted with the assurances and all to eager to head off. When they do finally land, there is a moment of stunned silence from the tailor, dark eyes crinkling at the corners as he makes a point to run an affectionate hand over Toith's eyeridges before turning to worm his way past blankets and bags and wind his arms around R'sner's waist. "I think it is perfect," he assures as he takes advantage of full hands to nuzzle at warm lips. It is in the wake of the kiss that he draws back, his palms smoothing down R'sner's chest only to sweep out and snag the blankets from one hand. "Not that I do not enjoy the company of your weyrlings," he assures as he snaps one out and spreads it carefully on the ground. "But alone…" Way better, if the expression on his face is any indication. It is as he sinks into a languid sprawl on the ground that his gaze sweeps both the sky and the surrounding view, his expression softening considerably. "This is breathtaking."

It is not the first time R'sner has been here; that is clear enough. But even he takes a moment to appreciate the view in between gathering blankets and checking on Nassir. Stolen kisses are met with faintly amused and somewhat pointed looks, before R'sner is releasing a blanket into the tailor's hands. Toith offers a soft chuff of acknowledgement, enjoying the eyeridge scratch before she scoots herself over to sprawl in one of the last remaining patches of sunlight. With blanket (and bags) in hand, Res follows Nassir, settling down easily enough. "I enjoy my job," he agrees, hesitating only slightly before adding, "but that does not mean it is not a… difficult or busy occupation." Boots are kept carefully off the blanket so as not to sully it, and a moment later he's pulling them off and setting them into the grass on the side. "I thought you would appreciate it," he murmurs, pleased. It is once he is on the blanket entirely that he turns to consider Nassir, watching him as the tailor takes in the view.

For his part, Nassir's attention turns to taking in the sight of the greenrider. The view is gorgeous, but it is not the view that has his heart racing with a word and keeps him coming to Half Moon. When boots are removed, he kicks his own off, letting them lay where they fall as he stretches out his legs and loosely crosses his ankles. It is the murmur, however, that has him twisting in his sprawl, his head coming to rest on R'sner's thigh as he stretches one arm back to wind around the Weyrlingmaster's waist. "It is perfect, particularly the sunset." In the wake of the words, long finges curl, kneading gently at the small of the rider's back as his gaze sweeps from streaks of orange and purple and blue back to R'sner's face. "Does it surprise you to know that I enjoy watching you do your job?" He has learned more about dragons in the past few sevendays then he has in a good while. It is, he has found, utterly impossible not to be immensely proud of weyrlings, dragons and weyrlingmaster.

Leaning back on his hands is about as 'relaxed' as R'sner is apt to get, at least for the moment. The addition of Nassir's head in his lap has him shifting to allow one hand to drift through dark curls in a lazy, absent-minded way as he glances out over the Weyr in the distance. "It is alone. And quiet," he observes. Which is why he picked it. Silence and solitude, other than the pair of them and Toith. A glance comes for the kneading of fingers, his gaze lingering as he considers the question along with the one who posed it. "A little," he admits. "I suppose… I understand the fascination with weyrlings…" though the 'just not me' part is left unspoken, but definitely suggested in the way his sentence trails into nothing. "It is… nice to watch them grow up."

Nassir exhales a low snort at the response, his head turning enough to brush his lips over the inside of R'sner's wrist. "The weyrlings are hard not to care about," he whispers against warm flesh. "But I have learned far more from watching you, then them." In the wake of the words, his teeth momentarily press tender flesh, his tongue flashing out in a teasing caress before tilts his head back to continue watching R'sner's face. He is all too aware of the fact that had they not met, he likely would have lived his life without really observing the dragonriders. "You know there is nothing wrong with your having such an impact on my life," he points out. "If anything, I am more confident that should I ever have apprentices of my own? I will be a better teacher for them."

R'sner's attention lingers on Nassir, catching his gaze and holding it steadily enough despite the brush of lips to skin and compliments given. It's the graze of teeth that has him straightening just a bit; jaw tight; a deeper breath taken as he wills himself toward relaxation once more. But his eyes do not avert, do not seek out something innocuous to fix upon instead of Nassir, but rather remain pointedly locked on the tailor in his lap. It is another, deeper sort of breath that is exhaled before he attempts to speak again, and even then there is a pause. A hesitation. A sort of preparatory inhale and the anticipation of words that… don't come if just because Res isn't sure which ones he ought to speak. And so a simple shake of his head will have to suffice as initial commentary. "I am not doing anything… different," he says eventually. "I am sure you would learn just as much, from any other weyrlingmaster on Pern." The idea of Nassir with apprentices brings mild amusement, and he wonders, "Do you want an apprentice?"

"Not right away," Nassir admits in response to the last. "But eventually I will have to take some. Duty is duty, whether to Craft or Hold or Weyr." Falling silent, he watches R'sner's face for a long moment, a slow breath drawn in, held and released. "And no," he points out. "It would not be the same watching another weyrlingmaster. It is not the position, it is the man. And while you might not want to believe it, you have made a deeper impression on me then even I was prepared for." Again, he falls silent, lightly clearing his throat as he smooths his palm over the small of R'sner's back. "I understand that you have reservations, R'sner. I understand that you may never come to share the feelings I have for you. I even understand that you may succeed in convincing yourself to stay away from me." He doesn't like the thought, but he has acknowledged it. "I don't like it. I won't be happy about it. But I am not going to let worrying about what might happen change how I feel. You.. I don't think you really understand how I see you. You have more honor and more wisdom then anyone I have had the good fortune to meet." Not that there are not honorable and wise people out there, but they have not come close to impacting Nassir's life. "If nothing else, you've taught me patience," he adds with a quiet smile and easy wink.

Falling back into old habits, R'sner remains silent throughout; tense beneath the hand that seeks to soothe him. It is the little flickers, changes in expression, that show he is /listening/ despite the apparent wall he's thrown up against the words. Twitches of his eyebrows or mouth, a brief subtle expression of surprise or apprehension. It is only toward the end that he pulls his gaze away, fixing it on Toith over yonder despite the green's apparent slumber. "Reservations," he repeats, a low murmur that somehow still holds a touch of dry, sardonic amusement. Self-deprecating. Aimed at himself, rather than Nassir and his chosen word. "Honor…" that he will allow. Or at least, he will not contest it. But wisdom? "I am not wise, Nassir. If I were wise—" but he does not finish that sentence, bringing it to an abrupt halt with a rough sort of noise in the back of his throat; a growl of frustration, or something akin to it. A lift of his hand, and fingers press first into his forehead before raking back through his hair, a long exhale sighed out into the vacant field.

Nassir is paying careful attention. But then he always pays careful attention when it comes to R'sner. And while he has refrained from poking at the tender spots, there comes a time when one just has to. It is the last that has him reaching up, his gaze quietly serious as he attempts to catch the greenrider's hand and draw it down against his chest. "I am not trying to upset you," he notes in quiet tones. "And I am perfectly alright with whatever you can give me. But…" Trailing off, he frowns faintly, his nostrils flairing mildly. After a few moments of silence, he exhales a breath, his shoulders rising and falling in a slow shrug. "When you are ready to share what you are thinking? I'm here. The only way I will not be here is if you tell me to leave." And even then he is not entirely certain he'd stay away.

His hand is taken. R'sner has no reason to remove it, even if he's becoming rather more tense than relaxed the longer they remain there as the sun sets. "I already told you," is murmured in answer. "I lost… I lost someone very important to me and…" If anything the waning light is a catalyst for speaking; the illusion of security that comes with lengthening shadows and perceived solitude. Even if Res keeps his eyes on Toith rather than the tailor, he's not really seeing her. He's lost in his head, or in a memory. If there was more to follow that simple statement, it doesn't come. But after another, deeper breath meant to ground and settle and re-establish him in the present, R'sner drops his gaze briefly to Nassir to say "Ask me directly what you want to know. If there is something you want to know. Ask me, and I'll tell you. But I don't… I can't…" and his eyes divert, cast towards the setting sun or the expanse of the Weyrbowl. "I can't promise to be comfortable talking…" about whatever it is that might be asked. "But I'll answer."

Nassir smooths his thumb over R'sner's knuckles, his expression turning pained as he listens. Rather then speak right away, he shifts in his sprawl, folding himself up until he is sitting next to the weyrlingmaster. "You know that I do not want to take him away from you, yes?" As he asks the question, he gently squeezes R'sner's hand, his head tilting in an attempt to better see his face. "He's a part of you and will always be a part of you, R'sner. I respect that." It is the last, however, that has him lapsing back into silence, his brows furrowing as he searches for what it is he wants to say. "What do you want me to do? What do you need me to do? If this… all of this… me… If I am only making you hurt…" He can't bring himself to finish that, however, his free hand raising to scrub over the back of his lips. It is with a resigned sigh that he finally gets a hold of himself and states frankly. "I'm in love with you." Surely R'sner has to know that. "Whatever you need me to do, I'll do."

"He is already gone," comes in a voice that is forced into obedience; flat and neutral despite the tightness of his throat, of his chest, of his heart that makes his hands ball up and removes his entire pretense at relaxation. He is dead. He is dead and R'sner can do nothing about it; and it is something that has been played out in his mind time and time again with the same conclusion at its end. R'sner is devoutly and resolutely avoiding Nassir's gaze. Staring into the distance, seeing nothing but paying avid attention, listening to every word. There are things he wants to say, /needs/ to say, but they don't make it past his lips before Nassir is offering his own words to fill the silence. And yes. R'sner knew. That much is apparent in his response. There is no surprise, but there is a sort of… resigned acceptance; a closing of his eyes and a hard swallow that comes in the wake of it. "It is not what I need," he says eventually, in a voice that is low, and more whisper than words. "That's not important. It's what you need. What I need you to understand… He died, and a part of /me/ died. And I am not who I was—" and it is taking considerable effort to speak when all he really wants to do is fall into himself, or throw up walls, or run and hide in the recesses of Toith's mind. "Is that fair to you?" It's not, and he knows it. "Can you really be content in the knowledge that…" That there is this ambiguous other person, who is dead and gone but still such a part of R'sner that he cannot even speak his name.

Watching R'sner's face, Nassir remains silent, letting him get out what he can say. It is only once he is certain that he is finished that he releases his hand, his own raising to gently cup the greenrider's cheeks. "I fell in love with who you /are/," he whispers in quietly emphatic tones. "As for being content? I have never been more content." Leaning in he brushes a kiss over the rider's lips, the contact brief and tender. When he draws back, his gaze is quiet. "I would rather have what you can give then not have you at all. I… I cannot pretend to know how it…" Feels. "I… Just know that the man who is still here is the man that I want."

It is when hands touch his cheeks that R'sner's gaze finds focus again, shifting to Nassir as emphatic whispers come. He does not steel himself against them; does not freeze or try to flee. But there is a raw, ragged sort of breath drawn in, matched in the pained, grief-stricken expression that flits across his face briefly. The lean in, the anticipation of the kiss to come, has his hands lifting to catch at Nassir's side. But it is to draw him in, to pull him closer, rather than to push him away or warn against the impending affection. Until R'sner's arms are around him, clutching him in against him even when the kiss ends and Nassir is once more speaking. R'sner's forehead finds the crook of his neck, face buried against warm skin and long curls, eliminating the ability to look at him but keeping him close. And for a long while there will be no more words from him, just the forced, deep breaths that are used to reign in emotions and ease the tightness of his throat.

Nassir closes his eyes when the distance is closed, his arms wrapping around R'sner's shoulders in a tight embrace. It doesn't matter that there are no words. Instead, he smooths his hands up the length of the greenrider's spine, warm fingers moving to comb through dark hair before settling into a gentle kneading. He's not going anywhere and he knows that. Allowing the silence to linger, he turns his head just enough to rest his cheek against R'sner's temple simply listening to the man breath.

For the most part, it is a deep and measured breathing, broken only occasionally but a stutter or ragged sound. Until it's even, and normal, and R'sner is not so desperately clinging to Nassir as simply holding him. But it is still some time before Res will speak. Time enough for muscles to get stiff, and the sun to set, and for Toith to creep her way forward and put her head within touching distance; a silent and somber presence. Until she is certain that she is not needed, and retreats to allow the humans on the blanket their space. "I don't want you to go," is what R'sner eventually murmurs, quiet voice rough as gravel but steady enough. "I am not… I am no longer…" he amends, finding it easier to speak now that he has begun, "… trying to stay away from you. Or convince myself that I could." A pause, a shift as he lifts his head and attempts to catch Nassir's gaze. "I want you to know that." And while there might be more to say on it, more that R'sner wishes to convey, he lapses into a brief silence if just to ascertain what he /ought/ to say, in this moment.

Toith's movement is met with a grateful look from Nassir, the tailor's hands continueing to knead at R'sner's scalp. As she retreats, he exhales a quiet breath, green flecked eyes readily meeting the weyrlingmaster's gaze. "I know," he promises in quiet tones. He's known that for a while now, although he doesn't point that out. "You have a way of speaking volumes without ever uttering a word," he promises. Tilting his head to the side, he lets one hand drift down to cup R'sner's cheek, his gaze softening as he offers a reassuring smile. "You make me happy, R'sner, rider of Green Toith. If there is one thing you can be absolutely certain of? It's that I am going no where."

R'sner has no answer for that; no comment for the revelation that he speaks, without speaking. And that Nassir is able to hear it. But it brings a searching look, gaze fixed on Nassir in the dark as he considers what he says and the implications of it. He almost smiles, though there is not enough intention behind it to breathe life into the expression. But it is there in the brief softening of his eyes, which drift down at the cup of his cheek and the words of reassurance that comes soon after. "Good," he asserts, ambiguously. For making him happy. For Nassir not going anywhere. Both, perhaps. And he seems to take that statement quite literally when he states, "You're staying in Half Moon tonight," even if it's really a request, and not an assumption. The 'please' that ought to be spoken comes in his expression, in the meeting of dark eyes with cobalt blue, and the question written across his face.

Nassir's response comes in the form of a quietly husky laugh and a brush of warm lips. "Yes, I am," he whispers before drawing back just enough to wink. Sliding in closer, he squirms until he's wormed himself under R'sner's arm, leaning back only far enough to tug the saddlebags close enough to rummage for food. "And we'll be going to Xanadu soon enough. You will be wearing the shirt I made for you, by the way." He's rather pleased with it, even if he fully intends to hold it back til the last moment. "Do you want to eat here, or find some place warmer?"

Shifting, wiggling, repositioning; and yet in the end, R'sners arms remain firmly around Nassir, even if it is his shoulders and not his waist that he has claimed. A light clearing of his throat, as the mention of Xanadu brings an easier topic of discussion. "I had assumed," he answers with an attempt at a lighter tone; not quite easy and relaxed, but headed there. "And I am not to see this shirt…?" is his other assumption. "How do you know it will fit?" Now he's teasing, outright teasing. Even if he does a fair job of keeping his voice steady and his expression neutral, there's a twitch to the corner of his mouth that gives him away. The question of where to eat is met with movement, Res leaning over to snag the second blanket and pull it closer, unfolding it with one hand until he needs both to drape it around them, a quiet, "Here," coming as he does so. "I am not ready to go back, yet." And then a whisper of a smile, just the hint of the expression as he meets Nassir's eyes. "I wanted your opinion on how the stars at Half Moon compared to Igen." Or, at least that is his excuse.

"Because," Nassir states with a flashing smile. "I know your body." In the wake of the words, he trails one hand down the length of R'sner's chest, taking full advantage of the shift to grab the blanket. "Of course, I can always know it better," he muses as he traces a finger tip along the waistband of leather pants. "And better and better…." Stars. The suggestion inspires a warm laugh and before the sound has faded the tailor is nestling in closer his gaze sweeping upward. "It's beautiful," he whispers as he watches the lights twinkling over head.

This time when R'sner goes silent, it is not because he is lost in his head or seeking the right words to explain himself. Rather, it is for the finger that slides down the length of his chest and the traces the leather at his waist. Such a small point of contact, but enough to steal his attention and his gaze, bringing a moment of stillness that has nothing to do with discomfort and everything to do with expectation. Amusement flickers across his expression; curls the corner of his mouth in an expression that is almost devious. "Stars," he repeats, but it's not the /sky/ that he is staring at with such focus. It is the whisper that draws his gaze briefly upward, a fleeting glance that observes the lights in the sky before it drops back to Nassir. "There is food," and he reaches over to snag the bag the tailor had been rummaging in, pulling out a small assortment of items. "I wasn't sure how long you might be," getting to Half Moon. And so he grabbed things that would not go bad; breads and cheeses and an assortment of fruits. "There is also wine… somewhere."

Nassir does not fail to notice the focus on his touch, his brows rising and falling in a playful lilt. "So… How private is this area," he muses as he deliberately tugs the shirt out of R'sner's waistband. "I mean, on a scale of one to ten, how likely is it that someone will…. fly by?" In the wake of the words, nimble fingers slip under the hem of the shirt, blunt nails dragging lightly over the flat of the rider's stomach. Food. The mention stirs him to slanting a glance toward the items pulled onto the blanket, a quietly husky laugh spilling past his lips. Energy certainly can't hurt, he decides as he reachs over and tears off a hunk of bread and a chunk of cheese. "Mm.. Wine would be amazing," is decided a moment later.

"Not private enough," decides R'sner, who just might be second guessing his decision to stay out here when the option to leave was presented to him. A twitch and sudden steeling of his form comes for the drag of nails; a sharper sound as he draws in a quick breath. But a quick movement catches Nassir's wrist in his hand; a firm grasp and gentle pressure bringing a halt to the movement of clever fingers or the caress of blunt nails against his skin. A moment of pause, and then R'sner draws him up to press a kiss to the inside of his wrist; a drag of teeth given that is not at all unlike the earlier affection bestowed upon his own. It's the request for wine that brings a release of his prize, quick and deceptively graceful movements that have R'sner on his feet and moving toward Toith with a, "Wine, then," in explanation. It is perhaps a necessary break but he returns soon enough with a wineskin in hand, the glow of Toith's faceted eyes following him as he sits once more on the blanket. "You," he decides, offering over the skin, "are dangerous."

Nassir sucks in a sharp breath when his wrist is caught. It is the brush of teeth over sensitive flesh, however, that his fingers curling, full lips parting to release low, husky moan. When he is released, he swallows audibly, an almost wicked laugh spilling past his lips at the observation. "What can I say," he purrs as he takes the skin and takes a long swallow. "You inspire me." In the wake of the words, he presses the skin back into R'sner's hand. And, for a moment, he remains where he is, clearly making an attempt at propriety. The attempt, however, is short lived, his head tilting in a comehither gaze as he oh so casually slinks over to R'sner's side. "Really," he murmurs as he ducks under the rider's arm and comes up pressed against his side. "You know.. there is a certain measure of eroticism in the thought that someone could fly by at any moment…"

The wineskin is set aside with nary a thought for it; R'sner sparing only enough attention to ensure it is out of the way of potential destruction before it's forgotten entirely. Easily persuaded towards deviance, with nothing more than a glance, for while there might be a certain amount of tension to his form, there is no complaint or attempt to evade the press of Nassir against him, his arm dropped easily around his shoulders to draw the tailor closer. "You're going to get me fired," he decides, turning to nuzzle at the side of his head; to breathe in the scent of him. It is the way he says it that might lead one to believe he is not altogether concerned for the consequences; the tone of his voice low and rasping, with the hint of a growl at the end.

A pleasant shiver runs the length of Nassir's frame at the hint of a growl, his teeth catching his lower lip as slender hands smooth up the length of R'sner's back. "The weyrlings are sure to be sound asleep," he whispers as he turns his head to let his lips brush the shell of R'sner's ear. Drawing in a slow breath, long fingers trace a path back down the rider's spine, dipping under the hem of the shirt and dragging it with on the return journey. He's fairly certain Toith would alert them to any approaching. Even if that were not the case, Nassir's teeth still find an earlobe, worrying lightly at tender flesh before drifting down the length of R'sner's throat. "Clearly," he whispers against warm flesh. "You don't quite have me properly trained." In the wake of the words, his lips seal against the juncture of shoulder and neck, his tongue bathing warm flesh as he suckles avidly.

"The weyrlings… are not what I am worried about…" And while Toith is unlikely to make the best watchdog (more apt to point and laugh at Res getting caught, than sound an alarm), the weyrlingmaster is rapidly losing his ability to care about such a thing, if he cared much at all. The shadow of the night, the perception of seclusion, makes him bold. The proximity of Nassir, the heat of his body and the scent of his skin, the fingers that trail down the length of his back and the teeth that worry at his earlobe, make him rebellious. Prone toward a recklessness, that might surprise him where he to sit back and consider it a moment. But presently, he's tossed aside the desire for careful consideration, much more interested in the whisper of words against his ear and the way it sets his pulse to racing. "Clearly," is repeated, dry amusement laced with the rumbling of a groan that comes at the seal of lips and the caress of tongue. Long fingers tangle in the tailor's hair and, for a moment, it is to clutch him close as though to invite further attention to the skin that Nassir has claimed. A heartbeat or two, and he is using that grasp to pull him away so that R'sner can catch his mouth with his own; with teeth and tongue and a ferocity that belies the calm fa├žade. And once he has him Res is quite unwilling to relinquish him again. A twist of his body; the lean of his weight; the toss of a leg over the tailor and the weyrlingmaster descends upon him.


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