Unrepentant

Half Moon Bay Weyr - [TP] Storage Grotto

Winding away from the Weyr's storage caverns, a short, narrow tunnel leads to a natural bubble in the surrounding rock. A string of small electrical lights have been run down the tunnel and into the cave, haphazard and usually drooping here and there, but it's lit bright enough to see by. Over the turns, the little grotto has been strewn with pilfered pillows and soft blankets, trinkets and old treasures. Somebody even managed to smuggle in enough large pillows to make a makeshift platform along the far wall. The back of the cave splits off into a tunnel narrow enough that only the littlest children could pass through — it's been rock-walled off, but water can still be heard from somewhere in the distance.


It’s well over a sevenday before J’en is spotted again, sans Leketh of course, trudging along down a corridor deep inside the inner tunnels of the weyr itself. Hands shoved deep into the pockets of his jacket he doesn’t appear to have a location in mind as the tips of his boots appear to have captured all of his attention. It continues thus for quite a while, wandering past the dustiest storage caverns presumably empty and long forgotten. Rounding a corner he seems to disappear into thin air, were it not for the presence of a narrow offshoot along one wall that could easily be missed if someone wasn’t paying close enough attention. Only his shuffled footsteps on roughly carved stairs descending downwards into the gloom signal his whereabouts until they too fade off into oblivion. Once inside the grotto, Jae scans the comfortably cramped space he arrives at the end and frowns as his gaze falls upon a fat and useless looking bronze firelizard, “Conduit,” he hisses softly, “I fuckin’ can’t even with ya…” There wasn’t quite enough clearance above, requiring Jae to duck and stoop before the ceiling is eyed and he growls to himself. Conduit opens one facet, peers at his pet and yawns wide, showing no sign of budging. “Yer the worst, ya really are.” Grumble. Grumble. The firelizard doesn’t care, he just curls back up and goes back to sleep, and rather than push the issue or trek back the bronzerider just strips off his jacket and tosses it aside wherever before flopping himself down into one of the piles of pillows someone had collected and brought here. “Whatever,” is grunted, kicking off his boots and folding his hands behind his head, finding some point of interest above to stare at. At least he was comfy.

Maybe Sevran is secretly stalking J’en. Although, if so, he’s been very terribly at it until today, given that he hasn’t seen the bronzerider since The Beach. The Beach. The significance of that day is such that he need only think the words ‘the beach’ and that is what comes to mind. Sandy shores and seashells? Salty breezes and sunshine? Nope. If someone mentions the beach, Sevran is right back in the moment when J’en bared his soul and Sev was rather helpless to do anything other than stand there. Fun times. Good memories. Not. There’s a very slightly roughed-up look to him. Nothing so obvious as to inspire health concerns, but maybe the shadows under his eyes are a little darker, and maybe he hasn’t been sleeping so well as of late. Course, it could just be the stress of candidate chores and a looming Hatching. And maybe it’s those chores that has him down here. Or maybe he’s ditching chores. Either way, J’en has a few minutes before Sevran arrives. He wasn’t trying to be quiet on his way in, either, thinking himself quite alone. The look of shock on his face at finding the bronzerider here probably says it all. Grey eyes fasten on the bronzerider, and there’s a brief assessment, a quick up-down before Sev kinda catches himself. “Uh…” and words escape him.

Eyelids growing heavy, it doesn’t take J’en long at all to pass out, those few moments he had alone and secure in his solitude robbing him of his very consciousness. To say that the bronzerider had a lot on his mind lately would be an understatement, coupling new worries with his duties as a Wingleader and he wasn’t able to be awake enough to be aware of the sound of approaching footsteps. The candidate’s quick appraisal reveals Jae’s own under eye shadows, though he wasn’t ditching his duties so much as escaping away from everyone at their conclusion. Inhaling in soft and deep Jae shifts in his sleep, one hand palm up with fingers curled just beside his head, the other sliding down his tanktop covered chest to come to a rest over his bare abdomen. The fabric had drifted upwards slanted across his navel as he repositioned himself to a more comfortable position, exhaling past parted lips; the smoothness of his features allowing him the benefit of looking younger and vulnerable somehow, even if his face was always rather lax. The firelizard was awake, for only as long as he needed to level is own appraisal, and then waddles off to squeeze through a gap where the sound of water was coming in. The grotto here was cool and secluded, various personal belongings of several people spread about without care or worry that they might be stolen. It wasn’t a particularly illuminated space either, but rather possessed of an ambience of perpetual twilight. One long leg was stretched out before him, the other bent at the knee where he was half propped up against a proverbial mountain of pillows.

It takes a few heartbeats for Sevran to figure out that J’en is actually asleep-asleep and not just resting his eyes. The idea is so novel that he can’t seem to wrap his mind around it at first. Of course the bronzerider sleeps – everyone sleeps – but for some reason Sev found it difficult to picture him doing so. Of course, now he had the actual living, breathing, partially exposed dragonrider in the flesh. No need for imagination here. And since he’s asleep, Sevran is just going to oh, so slowly drink in the sight of him, his grey eyes trailing slowly down his prone form from relaxed expression, to exposed abdomen (probably a looking a little bit longer here than necessary) to bent knee and back again. He sucks in a breath and closes his eyes, letting some emotion pass. Eyes open, he slowly picks his way forward, closing the gap until he’s near enough to touch. The temptation to do so, to reach out and very gently touch the sleeping bronzerider, is so fucking tempting that he very nearly does it. But alas, no. He won’t. Instead, he finds a spot near-enough-but-not-too-near to get comfortable himself, sitting down amongst the trash and treasure that has been deposited in this hidden place by unnamed souls over countless Turns. And here he will stay, keeping a silent vigil over the sleeping bronzerider until he wakes.

J’en is only out for about an hour or so, startling awake at nothing in particular, exhaling in a sound of disappointment with himself for being so out of it that he’d allowed himself even a nap, completely oblivious to the fact that he’d been ogled but not that he now had company. Rubbing a hand over his face, he peers between two fingers over at the patiently waiting Sevran, staring long and hard at him across the way to where he had set himself up. “Yer fuckin’ everywhere, ain’t ya?” he growls low and soft after half a minute, hand sliding off to the pillows below as he shoves himself up into more of a sitting position, absently yanking his shirt down over his midriff. There was no hiding his suspicion of the butcher, eying him dubiously, then suddenly remembering he’d come down here in search of his lazy ass firelizard. His expression darkening, he looks around the space for any trace of the ungrateful beast, coming up empty. “That little fuck…” Yep, he’d taken off again and Jae’s lips are drawn downward into a deep frown. He doesn’t bother asking the candidate where Conduit had gone, either not caring if he knew, or betting that even if he did the creature was long gone by now and tucked away into yet another impossible to find hiding spot.

Hour or no, Sevran has not been sleeping well, so even this brief moment of relaxation has him fighting fatigue. He alternates between being lost in his thoughts, and then pinching the bridge of his nose or rubbing at his eyes with his fingers, as if to try and dispel sleep from settling in. It’s during one of those latter moments that J’en wakes. Sevran sits up a bit straighter from his slouch, stretching his back and rolling his shoulders, working on the stiffness of remaining motionless for so long. Clearly, he was here for a while. “Yup,” he agrees, the corner of his mouth lifting up in a quick flash of a smile. He is completely unrepentant about it, too.

Irritation seeping into him vaguely, the bronzerider shoots an equally long dark look at the upbeatness of the lingering Sevran seeming to only make his agitation worse, leaning over to reclaim the boots he’d removed and return them to his stocking covered feet. Tugging one back on, the laces are tugged tight and tied, shoulders stiffening little by little the longer that he felt the butcher’s eyes on him. “Ain’t there a chore or somethin’ ya should be doin’?” he asks, adjusting the bottom cuff of that leg of his riding pants so that it hide away the upper portion of the returned footwear. Without waiting for the answer, the other boot gets the same treatment as the last, as well as the laces and the hem of the other pant leg. Pointedly, J’en appears to be doing his utmost to not look at the younger teen anymore, more of a mind to get the fuck out of dodge as quickly as possible.

Sevran’s gaze would like to linger on the bronzerider a little longer, but he’s not oblivious to the sudden chill in the room. So with a soft exhale, he scrubs a hand over his face and leans back again, tipping his head back to stare at the ceiling of the grotto. A shoulder is lifted, dropped, a shrug of dismissal for the chores. “Probably, but I don’t give a fuck. It’s my time, and I’d rather be here.” A pause, and a quick sideways look at the bronzerider. “You don’t have to run away, you know.”

When Sevran says he doesn’t care that he has chores and that this was the place he’d rather be, J’en almost glares over at him, his head nearly turning in his direction but he manages to stop himself at the last second; something he doesn’t say dying on his lips in a venomous hiss. No admonishment comes, nor stack of extra chores for once even with the very bold proclamation that the candidate had just made. With his boots back on, he scoots himself down and climbs his way back to sort of standing, the level of the ceiling making his full height impossible. A hand comes up to place palm against the stone and prevent him from conking his head, taking a few steps away in order to get closer to where he’d tossed off his jacket. The glance Sevran spares his way has a noticeable physical reaction on the bronzerider even if he only sees it out of his periphery, locking muscles into place as if he had just been flash frozen, or it could be the words that tumble out of his mouth so casually. “I ain’t runnin’ away, I ain’t got no reason to stay.” Jae snaps, bending then and scooping up his jacket in one fluid motion, the leather creaking in his hand as he grips it tighter than he necessarily had to. The Wingleader was starting to lose his cool, but whether this was a good or bad thing, remained to be seen.

He won’t stare. But Sevran is definitely keeping tabs on where J’en is and what he’s doing. For the most part, he’s the picture of relaxed, even slouching a bit more on his makeshift chair. But his grey eyes will settle on the bronzerider, then glance away. Then back again. As J’en seems to start losing it, he’ll lean forward just a touch, just to get a better look at him (because head tipped-back is not the best vantage point). He’s on dangerous ground now, and although he’ll hang on to the calm-cool-relaxed demeanor as long as he can, he’s well aware that he’s at a tipping point. His lips press into a thin line, and his next few words are said rather gently and very honestly. “If you want to leave, leave. But please don’t do it because you are running from me.”

J’en has slowly returned to standing as upright as he possibly can, hand back on the ceiling, the smallness of the space making it impossible for him not to be aware now of how those grey eyes keep coming back to him even if his back was still turned to Sevran. Aware of when he leans forward, aware of when he’s being inspected more closely. His shoulders begin to hunch, more and more, until his head turns and suddenly the heat of his glares shoots directly into the butcher for the words he releases into the space between them. A space that’s rapidly none as the bronzerider moves far more quickly than one might be able to anticipate, jacket lost in the journey, as long fingers closing around the younger boy’s throat with thumbs forcing his chin upwards. Somehow Jae had poised himself to straddle the candidate’s lap with knees on either side of his hips, leaning in but skillfully avoiding any contact other than that which he had taken with his hands, hands that were tight but distinctly allowing for the free exchange of breath. “Shut. Up.” he commands, the flames of his rage rising dangerously high, barely contained as he seethes right in Sevran’s face past clenched teeth.

Sevran’s body seizes up, every muscle frozen as those hands close around his neck and the space between them is gone. But his face is rigid determination, grey eyes meeting gold without a hint of fear or apology. Just steely resolve. Whatever may be going on beneath his exterior, Sevran is doing a mighty fine job of not letting it show. Let J’en rage and seethe. Let him hiss threats and even put threat to action. He’s just going to sit there and meet his eyes unwaveringly. He doesn’t even lift his hands to fend off the ‘rider. And then two words, firm and challenging now. “Or what?”

There was no way to miss the rigidity of the body beneath him even if J’en wasn’t touching any other part of Sevran other than his chin and throat. The gold of his eyes fills the candidate’s available field of view, revealing the depth of the sapphire embedded in them that only this close can, the scent of him overwhelming. He must have bathed recently, a heady aroma of patchouli and sage from his skin and hair from whatever crafted product he spends his marks on rather than use the soapsand the weyr provides, unavoidable. Jae finds determination instead of apology; bravery instead fear. There is nothing but the butcher’s absolute resolve in the face of someone who looks like he could easily break that neck he’s holding like a twig if he wanted to. Sevran was either incredibly invested or incredibly stupid, perhaps it could even be both. Or what, he says. With a furrowed brow and a snarl, the bronzerider sharply inhales before he lurches forward and claims that defiant mouth with his own, like a man starving.

A deep, guttural sound rises from the back of Sevran’s throat, a groan of need that escapes before he can clamp it down. It’s all too much; the scent of him, the taste of him, the feel of him against his body. Sevran is momentarily gone, lost in the carnal need that has been building for weeks. It lasts longer than it should, truthfully, but Sevran’s hands eventually reach up, pushing, forcing separation between them, fighting his way out from beneath the bronzerider. And once there is some, enough to speak, even if it’s against the lips and teeth of the bronzerider, Sevran speaks, “Jae. Stop. Let go.”

J’en presents a potent mix of anger and sensuality, as if once he was latched onto Sevran there was nothing that could stop him from sucking him dry, taking everything he needed from him without remorse. That sound he wills from him from the unfathomable depths of his desire for him adds fuel to the fire, delving deeper within, drinking of him until hands yield space enough to speak only, his grasp as steely as the candidate’s resolve had been. Jae pants for breath, heart racing, his reaction to the butcher indisputable at this distance. He had asked ‘or what’ and the bronzerider had answered him. “This is yer last fuckin’ warnin’ ya little twat.” is rumbled savagely against thin lips from his fuller ones; the dim light of the room catching on the loop of metal tucked away at the left hand corner of the bottom one. He inhales slowly, lingering like a predator over its wounded prey, “Stay the FUCK away from meh.” he spats out, shoving the younger teen away with a hand against his face and uses the force of it combined with the power of his legs to return to his feet, grabbing his jacket from where it had been tossed away yet again. He doesn’t even so much as pause or spare the candidate a backward glance, heading right up the stairs and back up into the corridors that will carry him as far away from temptation as he can possibly get. It’s not a growl that echoes in his wake, but something strangled and unrecognizable, fading out into nothing.

It’s only after the bronzerider is gone that Sevran lets go of the emotions he’d been holding so tightly in check. He falls back, trembling just a little as he tries to calm down. The sound in the tunnel has his attention, and he half raises as if to go after him but stops, sinks back down and lets him go. The look of pain that washes across his face at the sound though, is raw and intense. Shudder. He stays where he is for a long time. Minutes into hours before he finally pulls himself up and makes his own way out of the grotto.


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