Soft, Comes the Rain

Half Moon Bay Weyr - Winter's Asylum
Never has the phrase 'it's not what you have, but how you use it' been more apropos. This weyr is not a large one by any means, but it takes the space it has and makes it count. A wide ledge opens into a open-layout living room area, the space stretching back the length of the weyr to include a small island and a relatively modern kitchen space. Ceilings have been vaulted high, rough walls layered with flagstone to give it a rustic, regimented air. Into one wall has been carved a dragon couch, hung with icy blue blankets and padded with pillows in varying shades of tan and grey to make the space comfortable.
The entire space seems to follow the same color scheme, human-sized couches a soft, squashy beige and littered liberally with pillows and the occasional pale blue throw. A low-slung coffee table plays host to a gnarled piece of driftwood and the occasional book or toy, but seems to be used much more often as a hiding place for felines or a resting place for feet rather than any kind of storage. Floors are layered with utilitarian carpets, not always of the same material, but always in a basic tan, never quite managing to clash with the decor no matter the room. Windowless, the weyr is predominantly lit by dangling electric chandeliers, though the occasional lamp or recessed ceiling light is needed for particularly poorly-lit areas.
The wall opposite the dragon couch has been split horizontally to create two living spaces, the bottom space hollowed out into a dining area suitable for a small family or an intimate party, while the upper loft has been modified into a study-playroom hybrid by necessity. Hallways stretch back beyond both rooms, the lower floor branching off into a small bathroom, a master bedroom, and a set of switchback stone stairs that lead upwards, while the upper hall branches into a series of smaller bedrooms just off the study.

Somewhere on Pern, a beautiful day is dawning, crisp and bright with gold-gilded clouds and the chirp of birdsong, but today is decidedly not that day for Half Moon Bay. Today the sky is hung low and heavy with cloudcover, usual draconic activity brought almost to a standstill by impenetrable bank of fog. It is a quiet day, rough edges dulled by faint swirls of mist and cloudmatter, faint noises drowned out by the low, dulcet patter of rain against stone; it's quiet enough that young dragons are best kept inside, quiet enough that R'hyn has abandoned usual haunts in favor of remaining inside the weyr… if perhaps only just. Every single spare blanket, pillow, cushion has been appropriated in the creation of what might be best called a nest just inside the weyr's entrance, a soft but untidy sprawl that occupies most of the small hallway leading to the main room. R'hyn occupies most of the nest in turn, the very picture of quiet, contemplative comfort with long, mostly-bare legs splayed, modesty maintained by loose underclothes and a soft, hooded shirt that's likely seen better days. This isn't a day for pretenses, however - he's snug, and cozy, and reading something that leaves a pensive but ultimately unbothered notch just between his brows, something just interesting enough that he rolls to one side with a sigh, the better to bend one shoulder over the pages, surround the book with himself to keep reading in the day's dim wash of light.

And while R'hyn worked, Ila'den watched in silence - a silence undisturbed by his curiosity, punctuated by the steady fall of rain that suggested sleepy, quiet days to the world and was celebrated instead by nests of pillows and blankets and bronzeriders with books that do remain inside, but only just. Without words, Ila'den helped R'hyn build his nest, had set down a steaming mug of Klah after watching a second room emptied of spare bedding to gather blankets, and pillows, and necessary things himself. Ila'den participated in making R'hyn that quiet sanctuary, a place where the younger bronzerider could be the rain's companion as much as the rain was his without ever asking why. Today didn't seem like the kind of day that needed 'Why'; today was the kind of day that settled with a hush as soft and as persistent as the rain and said because this is enough. So Ila'den watched R'hyn. He settled in the back of that mostly-occupied hallway space to lean against the wall and watch R'hyn's back with his Klah in hand. And for a while, it was enough. It was enough to trace the lines of clothing and muscle underneath, it was enough to love him in quiet observation from a distance, and then it wasn't enough at all. So Ila'den moves, coming in beside R'hyn when the assistant weyrlingmaster bends his shoulders towards book, pressing close as one hand comes back to settle just behind R'hyn's hips and Ila leans into the space without leaning on R'hyn. He settles his legs before him, crossed at the ankles, hand still wrapped around his drink while that solitary grey eye faces forward to watch the rain now. But he still says nothing. For where love is, the speaking is unnecessary. It is all. It is undying. It is enough.

It's entirely possible that, somewhere in the quiet recesses of the bronzerider's mind, R'hyn was waiting for Ila'den to come to him - not the sort of waiting borne of impatience, or expectation, but perhaps simple inevitability. At some point, in some manner, by some magnetic pull that spans far beyond physical distance and rationality, one of them inexorably seeks the other, and despite peace, despite quiet, despite the utter lack of 'why,' today seems no exception. It takes a long moment for R'hyn to acknowledge Ila'den outside a fleeting, instinctual tug at one corner of his lips - his book occupies him, keeps him focused, holds his attention rapt - but finally, finally it releases the former bartender from its spell just enough for him to move again. Whatever air is held in Ryn's lungs leaves him on a low exhale, and though he keeps the pages split open wide in one hand, lifted at the level of his eyes, the bronzer's big body shifts in a languid, unhurried roll, muscled lines showing in the pull of fabric across stomach, hips, as he turns to curl into the bronzerider's presence. R'hyn has no such compunctions about invading Ila'den's space; one palm slides between back and wall to curl around Ila's hips, pulling steadily inwards to seat the older man's thigh right up against his chest. One shoulder curls comfortably around the bronzer's ribs, a leg lifts just enough to tangle with crossed ankles, and though he's mindful enough of hand-held klah, the rest of him gets pressed into chest, stomach, eyes closing as nose, lips, forehead are nuzzled into Ila'den's person with a soft noise of adoration. He might not be quite done with moving just yet, but that's all he can manage for now. Eyes flick back open, distant but content, pinch between his brows eased even as his gaze returns to the pages, listening divided between two of his favorite things: the rain's somnolent drifting, and the quiet beat of Ila'den's heart.

It’s the most natural thing in the world, the way R’hyn curls into Ila’den, innocuous and unassuming, in the mutual press of bodies that impel each other to be just a little closer by the sheer fact that they both exist, somewhere, in the incomprehensible vastness of time; tension leaves Ila’den as he shifts his hips to make more room for that hip-bound arm, the older ‘rider curling his arm around R’hyn’s torso, to bend at the elbow and press fingers against the backward curve of the once-bartender’s skull, down the ridges of spine until the twist of body forces them closer to R’hyn’s side. Fingers catch at the hem of that hooded shirt so that he can pull the fabric up just enough to slide his hand under it, press palm against the younger bronzerider’s lower back while calloused fingers curl to rest against the jut of a hip. Ila’den tilts his head, finds the top of R’hyn’s head with the stubble on his cheek, his jaw, turning his lips into hair in a manner that’s not exactly a kiss, but is a contact that still compels Ila linger and close his eyes – an inhale, a moment to breathe R’hyn, to share his air and wonder at the fact that R’hyn is here - with him - where the rain sings a perennial lullaby to the world, and Ila’den’s heart beats just a little faster, singing a song of love to one man: the only man in the world who matters. He is content, rolling his head back to rest against the wall, grey eyes fixed ahead where they see nothing, and everything despite intervaled interruptions of a Klah-filled mug being pressed to his lips.

It's that kiss-that-is-not-one that pulls R'hyn's attention from his pages again, lips quirking upwards on one side, crooked and fond. He edges himself just a little closer to the center of Ila'den's chest in time with the press of lips, presses fingertips against ribs, splays toes against crossed feet, a small series of motions expressing required response to the affection encapsulated in the bronzer's lingering gesture. It is, after all, a feat that they are here, together, partaking in this quietest of moments, the sheer enormity of events that had to align to bring them to this very instant not lost on R'hyn, but perhaps set aside just now to simply enjoy this time for what it is. It might be the slight uptick in vascular tempo, or it might be that sense of hushed enjoyment of everything that Ila'den is, but something bids the younger rider peek up from his text when Ila relaxes back against the wall. Blue-grey irises warm by fractions as they make a slow, leisurely study of the features of the man he loves, tracing an unhurried path from unruly locks, forehead, brows, eyes, nose, lips, lingering as though quietly tempted before the impulse is dismissed, instead guiding gaze towards chin, jaw, ears, throat before his eyes finally pull away with a muted noise that might have been a hum of amazement on any other day. Today, it's just a noise, one that fades as he shifts to lower his book onto the curve of a pillow, print down to save his place, newly-freed hand shifting to mirror Ila'den's by easing carefully beneath the hem of the man's shirt to take up residence against skin, thumb absently tracing the tissue of an old scar as his focus drifts outwards into the world beyond his novel.

It’s a sound, just a sound, that echoes throughout Ila’den’s entire being; it’s reiterated in reverberation: a husky rumbling of sound that starts in Ila’den’s chest and pulls its way free from his throat; an imitation somewhat aggressive in reflection of R’hyn’s maybe-any-other-day-but-not-today amazement. While the rain washes the world clean, R’hyn’s proximity (his touch, the assuring heat in the press of his body, the indisputable weight of someone Ila’den loves, the eyes of grey-blue that delineate and still find something worthy) does what it always does for Ila’den: it quiets nightmares, hushes monsters, stills thoughts better left hiding in the darkest recesses of minds oft untouched because they are unwelcome and unwanted; R’hyn perpetuates the ease of tension in coiled muscles, calms the rage and proverbial beast lurking beneath the surface, draws out the man Ila’den wants to be and should have been and tries to be for R’hyn. Because he is R’hyn, R’hyn whose rib-bound fingertips engender shuddered breath, enkindle the whisper of goosebumps against flesh, beget the growl that’s half a warning and all appreciation for the application of digits to his person. Ila’den doesn’t move. He remains where any other time he might allow restraint to crumble, grey eye pulled from the world outside back to his world, whose gaze Ila’den follows, whose retreat back into Ila’den’s body the older bronzerider allows even if the hand under the hem of his shirt, exploring scarred flesh that’s tinglingly and numb, incites a shiver that ripples through muscle, drawing Ila's breath in as shakily as it retreats on an exhale. It doesn’t change anything; Ila’den merely presses his hand beneath R’hyn’s tunic higher, curling his hands so that blunted nails can trace flesh up towards R’hyn’s ribs with a pressure meant to be illicit. And he is content (if losing to his more primal, base nature).

R'hyn likewise responds, though whether said response is to Ila'den's primal nature or the simple enormity of the emotion inherent to the moment, it is neither clear nor cared for. What is clear is his enjoyment of this man, whom he has fought, and killed, and bled for, who has done so much to instill confidence and self-worth and a sense of belonging in a young heart that experienced it so little, who has saved Ryn in a hundred thousand little ways he might never be able to appropriately quantify or comprehend. It is this man who has taught him what love really means, taken the word beyond its simplicity, beyond its inadequacy in summarizing just what Ila'den is to R'hyn, made it mean more by merely existing here with him. It takes herculean effort to withdraw from the bronzerider's embrace, to bid muscles shift from utter contented relaxation to movement again but somehow, he manages, pulling back with much regret but no less ardor or admiration, pad of one thumb lifting to slide against Ila's lower lip before a pointer finger descends to take it's place, implication clear: 'shush,' as well as 'wait,' as the finger remains raised even when R'hyn rocks back on his heels, pushing to knees to stand, gaze riveted, fond, to his weyrmate's form even as he backs away. It takes several steps and a near-trip to finally break his gaze, head ducking with a swoop of shoulders to face the direction he's going with a silly smile, one that lingers still upon his eventual return. The space between them closes with that prolonged inexorability that so defines everything that they are, the slow downwards arch of a long body, one fisted hand leaning forwards to press to the wall next to the bronzerider's head, languid muscles flexing in turn, keeping him aloft as klah is taken, set aside, its removal hopefully forgiven in the wake of the kiss that follows. R'hyn settles in again, weight descending on Iladen's person in a long drag of fabric and skin, one knee sliding slow between thighs to hold just enough of himself up while the rest of him leans into the easy pressure of his lips against Ila's. It's undemanding, that kiss, the leisurely press of lower tier against upper repeated once, twice before shifting down by fractions. His free hand draws up to slide fingertips along cheekbone, jawline, chin, touch fleeting, reverent, because finding Ila'den worthy is an understatement so gross, there are not even words enough to correct it. Ila'den is beyond the concept of worth, beyond words, precious, necessary to everything R'hyn is, was, and ever hopes to be; he was from the very moment cynical grey eyes fixed on his, and will be until death do them part. Vocal expressions of sentiments this convoluted have never been the bronzerider's forte, and so he seeks, as ever, to fold this and more into the soft-yet-needy press of his mouth against Ila'den's, the slight pressure of his thumb bidding Ila to acquiesce to the smooth glide of R'hyn's tongue against his. It takes minutes of unhurried exploration for R'hyn to finally move again, weight shifting from one hand to the other, that long fingers of his right hand might seek the length of Ila'den's left, narrowing their focus to just one, that the hard band of metal sliding in their wake might be adjusted, manipulated, slid onto his ring finger with a subtle sense of pure, unadulterated pleasure in the doing of it.

There’s curiosity in Ila’den’s gaze as it settles back on R’hyn, brows raised in unvoiced question as fingers are applied to his lips in the universal sign for silence, acquiesce communicated in a kiss against solicitous digits without his focal-point ever straying from blue-grey. The younger (taller) bronzerider gains his height, and still Ila’den watches him as he leaves, lips curling in a manner that precedes low, husky laughter when R’hyn’s refusal to look away has him stumbling, and finally Ila’den shifts his attention back to the world outside. There it remains, bearing silent witness to the unremitting (albeit gentle) punishment of Mother Nature as she washes the world clean and leaves Ila’den to work on his mug of Klah while R’hyn makes his inevitable return. Ila’den doesn’t protest the removal of his drink, though that curiosity is back as he allows R’hyn to sate his curiosity with action: a meeting of mouths, an invasion of space, an answer from Ila’den that comes in the form of too-big hands on hips and a growl breathed into the unhurried contact of R’hyn against Ila that starts with a kiss. Ila’den takes his time, parts his mouth in an invitation for there to be more, because there could be more. There could be so much more. There could be the teasing brush of tongues, the carnal imprint of hard bodies that impel each other to move; there could be clever fingers that exhort gasps and provoke shuddered breath and – and then there is more. Fingers curl in a grip near-bruising, though Ila's studied exploration of R’hyn’s palate is just as languidly slow as the curling of tongue that’s never quite enough to be more than a hint. Ila’den’s brows draw in as he blinks that solitary eye open, watching R’hyn’s face as the once-bartender's fingers catch one of his hands and - surprise. Grey eyes go wide, Ila’den’s head cants to the side, and his gaze falls on that metal band that's more than just a ring. It is forever. The older bronzerider pulls his hand free from R’hyn’s grip, using the tip of one thumb to twist the band as much as feel it before his attention is back on R’hyn with an almost-feral kind of intensity. There are no words; they’d done away with the usefulness of inadequate language long ago. Ila’den’s answer is yes. It will always be yes. And R’hyn will never have to question it, not now. Now Ila’den worships R’hyn in every way he knows how: with mouth, and teeth, and tongue. With gentle fingers that demand even as they ask and expect nothing; with a body, that presses into R’hyn once clothes are removed where they sit: Ila’den upright on the bottom, R’hyn on top, their bodies as unhurried as the whisper of rain outside because this time it’s not about chasing away nightmares or pushing each other to a mutual peak of pleasure. This time it’s about, ‘I will’, and this time, it’s about making love.

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