Comforting Confessional? Not so much.

Day 9 of Month 4 of Turn 2714
Half Moon Bay Weyr - Corrals
Enclosed by a wooden fence on one side and the steep walls of the weyr on the other is a couple acres of grass that holds the Weyr's herdbeasts and wherry flock. While this dragon feeding area is smaller than most of the Weyrs on Pern, there is still enough room for a large dragon to swoop down and grab his dinner with relative ease.

The storm has passed. The damage has been done. And the stench of the creature at the lagoon lingers even here at the corrals. But it does not seem to bother the young bronze, who is uncharacteristically slow as he heads for the corrals. Slow, because rather than easily outpacing his weyrling counterpart, this time Aedeluth is measured and walks with him. Companionable, perhaps, if not close. A show of solidarity. Something silent passes between them, and the bronze moves ahead, takes wing and begins the hunt. Limping and uncoordinated on the ground, he's already at ease in the air, spiraling up over the corrals for the sheer joy of it. His human half? There is no joy there. Just a dangerous look, a deep-seated rage that would likely frighten those who knew him. Fists balled up so tightly his knuckles are white, he glares at the fence as if he might punch it. But no. He at least has better sense than that. No need to break a fist. But he will give that bottom board a vicious kick, though he finds little satisfaction in the sharp *CRACK* of wood as it splits. And then eyes on the herd, waiting for the kill that is sure to come.

Oh, there was a kill coming, two in fact. An enormous silhouette blocks out the sun casting an oppressive shadow onto the ground, mighty wingbeats carrying a pale hided bronze over the feeding grounds and circles only once around it and the younger smaller male looking for his kill or simply the thrill of feeling air beneath his wings. Talons extend and twin cries are heard as Leketh lands atop two once frantic herdbeasts who die together in a few small spurts of vitae. He wears no straps about his slenderly muscular form, sleek and beautiful as the golden rays from above catch on the spinner webs embossed upon his wingsails right before they fold and settle along his back. Sinking his teeth into one of his fallen prey, a silvery threaded question is tossed the younger bronze. Does he want the other? Not that he believed Aedeluth was incapable of hunting for himself nor was he incapable of consuming both, it was merely a kind gesture. The kicked fence post though, that draws whirling blue facets the way of the fuming figure of a tiny weyrling. Well, tiny compared to him. A soft, sweetly crooned greeting is extended.

The shadow does not garner much attention; another dragon sweeping over the corrals. Hardly noteworthy. Until he's in view, and S'van recognizes just who that dragon is. And then, much like his rider before him, S'van is glancing around with a nervous expression. Right now was not a good time, despite how desperately the weyrling might want to see him. And so there is relief, as well as regret and longing, when he becomes certain that Leketh is alone. Eyes back to the dragon just in time to catch the kills, grey eyes following the spray of blood with little reaction. It doesn't seem to sooth or upset him. It simply is what it is. Aedeluth circles again, climbing in the sky for the thrill of being allowed to finally do what dragons are meant to do. Fly. The offer is rejected, not necessarily unkindly, but brusquely. No. He does not want one. He wants to feel the life of his prey between his own talons. After months of dead meat to fill him the young bronze wants the thrill of the chase; wants to take that life for himself, now that he is allowed to do so. But not yet. If just because he is not too terribly hungry, and he would rather glide for now. Soon. Soon. The promise is sung for the frantic beasts below him. S'van leans against the fence, arms crossed, chin dropped, eyes unfocused as he half-watches the herd. The greeting gets his attention however, and grey eyes fix upon Leketh. A heartbeat. Two. Three, and then a rather soft and hoarse, "Hey," for the dragon.

Leketh upturns his head toward the young one flying about, sending shivering wispy note of understanding before the thread breaks and drifts away, returning his attention to the two warm hunks of meat still clenched beneath his paws. He beings to eat of course, making short work of the smaller one in no time at all, but the second is dragged closer to where the weyrling is watching the rest of the herd. Hunkering down, those whirling pale blues meet grey, and everything about that massive powerhouse emits nothing but absolute calm. If there was anything that Leketh knew about, it was behaviors such as the ones he'd observed since he'd landed. Even as he lowers his muzzle to begin feasting, pulling his kills apart and grinding it into a mush that he could swallow harmlessly, casting wide his spun net with a feeling of soothing nonjudgement. No, J'en was not here, and he would probably have a fit if he knew what his lifemate was up to. Another few purposeful tearings of flesh from bone and he tilts his head to the side, looking more like a confused puppy than a dragon.

The younger bronze is enjoying himself; the feel of the sun on the top of his sails, the breeze and lift of the wind beneath; the joy of freedom found aloft. He was a force of speed and power in the air, grace and beauty. Perfection. Something he could not achieve on the ground where limbs hindered and judgement was cast. But his enjoyment is tempered by the sea of emotion that is his human. A snort, a brief flicker of a connection, the general sensation of 'foolish' for his weyrling. For all humans. Foolish emotions. He has no time for consoling broken hearts or tempering raging anger. Should it not be enough that he was here? Aedeluth thinks so. Though the giant encroaching on his weyrlings space grabs his attention briefly, and a connection flings itself towards his human, embedding itself needlessly. A claim on him, even if he is not particularly covetous. This is a show of ownership, which is followed quickly by dismissal. Leketh is welcome to approach, if just because Aedeluth cannot be bothered to be jealous. There is a shuddering sigh from S'van, for the attempt at comfort from the dragon who was not his own. It is welcome, and eases a little of the tension from his shoulders. He can't form words, at least not aloud. He's too caught up in the whirlwind in his head to form a sentence that would make sense. There's only the betrayal of a friend, for that which was confessed against his knowledge and his wishes. The fear of the damage it may have caused, not to himself, but to the one whom he loves. The anger for the rules, the choking leash, that ties him up and keeps him from doing what he really wants to do. Grinding teeth. Stinging eyes, that he refuses to let form tears. "She shouldn't have told him. She has no fucking clue what she did." But S'van did. Even if Catwin hadn't told him, he had a pretty good idea how well that information would have been received. "Fucking bitch." But he doesn't mean it. It's the fear that's talking, the cloying concern that has transformed into anger because he has no way to deal with it otherwise.

A momentary flicker of attention is spared to Aedeluth who was all laying claim with only a slight turn of his head towards the air sailing young one. Leketh had a strong and established bond with his lifemate, he had no thoughts of trading him in for a younger model. Instead, he looks back to S'van, but keeps the distance between them. Even with the unspoken threat of vengeance from on high in the shape of underdeveloped dragon talons, the pale hided bronze remains as he eats, letting a companionable silence fall over them. That is, until the weyrling begins to speak aloud, and that confused puppy look that had lingered disappears without a trace. Not enough time had passed between this event and another earlier for him to have forgotten about it, or its effect which still rippled like radiating thunderclouds along his irreversible connection with J'en. Leketh tears off another hunk of flesh, chewing it thoughtfully, or at least masticating slower than before. Then, out of no where, a floating thread of spinner silk drifts over to him, carried on a gentle and unseen wind. The second it brushes against S'van's mind it snaps into place, taunt with tension, dew-like jewels of thought sliding across it. They pulse, fading in and out slowly, changing in hue from blue to red and back again. « You're talking about Fascath's right? » Surprisingly, Leketh's mindvoice was a chipper and cheerful tenor, sounding so much younger than Aedeluth's and infused with a particularly carefree note of playfulness. A flash of light, blinding, and the exact look on the weyrling's face is reflected back at him with glossy eight by ten perfection. Followed by an amused chuckle. « We get that a lot, but they do say that opposites attract. »

Aedeluth had made his point, and feels no need to make it again. Even if his glide has turned purposeful, and his sight is fixed on those below. A dull hum and drone, pervading the space between minds, that links him to his weyrling. His thoughts on Leketh choosing to speak with him? Amusement. That another would want to touch S'van's mind is of little concern to him. He was already thoroughly entrenched and immovable. The spider-silk gets a little zing of electricity, a hybrid connection of organic and electric. Aedeluth will monitor this, for curiosity's sake. Until he becomes bored or feels the need to sever the connection between the older dragons and his lifemate. For S'van, the shock of that foreign touch to his mind briefly wipes out all other emotions, and he straightens up from the fence. Grey eyes flash up to Aedeluth, but when there is no adverse reaction, they settle decidedly back to Leketh. It's unsettling; he'd only just recently been able to reconcile the feel of Aedeluth, and here was a new sensation, a new creature invading his mind, entirely different from his own dragon. Nevermind the stark contrast between dragon and rider, which definitely has him reeling briefly, trying to reconcile the opposite natures at work here. A million questions spring to mind; but they are foolish questions indeed and quickly dismissed in favor of answering the one posed to him. A quick swallow and then a soft "Yes." Shallow. Unsteady. Without the anger from before, if only because the shock of this conversation is still predominant. But in answer, yes. He had been talking about Fascath's little Cat. "She's a fool." Again, the bitterness. Anger. Tempered slightly, but still there. Not towards Cat, but towards the foolish things she said. Toward the situation that, while attempting to be helpful, may have ruined everything. "She never should have told him… Fuck." And hands go into his hair as he drops his head into his hands. "Fuck."

No mind is paid to Aedeluth and his electronic monitoring of the conversation unfolding between the bigger bronze and the weyrling, deciding to ignore the younger dragon as he returns to his meal, casual like. It was as if Leketh were merely cutting up his steak at the dinner table neatly instead of tearing the flesh from the carcass of an animal that was peacefully grazing not that long ago. At least he didn't eat very messily, stopping in his enjoyment in order to lick away a bit of this or that from his muzzle, because cleanliness is next to Godliness. Or, something. He waits patiently for the gobsmacked look on S'van's face to fade away, leaving that single thread of thought to remain stuck to the surface of his mind, having no interest in digging around in another's territory. The anger, an emotion he knew very well indeed, is weathered with just as much patience. « Fascath's was worried about you, you can't really blame her for trying. » There was no blame there, even as Leketh projects the fuzzy image of himself peering down his own snout to the top of his lifemate's head as it rested against him, the bronzerider's shoulders shaking as if in laughter. Except for the quiet backdrop of soft sobs he attaches to it. « Can't say much of the results, though. » A soft sigh follows, slowing the progression of the dew, before they start chugging along again as his mind eases back. « My J'en thinks he broke you, Aedeluth's. »

The cleanliness of the kill, of the eating, is not something that S'van has much opinion of. The animal was dead, and certainly didn't care one way or the other. Its misery was at an end. Gore does not bother him. And why should it, given his past profession? Though perhaps there is a quiet sort of appreciation for the lack of mess, as he would prefer not to wear any of that upon his person. The anger will subside with time and perspective. Right now, however, it is something that S'van clings to, because it keeps away the sorrow. So there is an audible snort for the logic presented to him via the giant bronze dragon. "I can blame her for sticking her nose into places it doesn't below, talking about things she knows nothing about, when I neither wanted nor asked her to do so. For telling him something that I confessed in confidence! She… she…" but he can't decide what 'she' did or didn't do, because his mind is suddenly filled with the image and sound of a sobbing bronzerider. HIS bronzerider. Fingers tighten against his scalp, and there's a painful sort of sound emitted for that particular image. "Don't…" because he really can't handle it right now. Because he has only a tenuous grasp on his emotions. Because his instinct is to protect and console, and he can do neither of those things from where he currently stands. Jaw clenched, a hissing breath inhaled through his teeth, followed by a hasty swallow or two, forcing back a despair that threatens to overtake him. And then he's releasing his grip, lifting his head as he looks towards Leketh. Brief confusion. "Broke…" him? And then dawning understanding. Eyes close, and he huffs out a soft, humorless laugh. "Of course he does. Fucking Catwin." Another breath, to steady him once again. "He didn't." Because maybe it needs to be said, even if the one that needs to hear it isn't around. "I'm not broken, and I'm not afraid. And it doesn't change anything. I already made my choice." A long time ago, on a beach, where dark secrets were brought to light. "Does he really think I'm going to start listening to him now?" to back down. To leave him the fuck alone. To take his threat seriously. It's a hypothetical question.

It could very well be that it was Leketh's proximity to the weyrling that kept his rendering down to a minimum, or maybe he just wanted to eat in such a way that didn't portray him as the sort that could carry on civilized conversation while pulling apart an innocent creature. What kind of monster would that make him out to be? As for Catwin's part in all this, the bronze lets S'van vent and proves to be an excellent listener, even if amusement seems to trickle down their temporary link to one another. « Fascath's cares about you and worries for you dude, and that's a big deal. HUGE in fact. Though, maybe she wasn't the best choice to confide in, because even my J'en knows that Fascath's has a big mouth to go along with that big heart of hers. » Leketh doesn't let that image of a devastated bronzerider linger longer than a few seconds, but that seems enough to extend that description to the bronzeling on the other side of the fence. « Shit, sorry. » Foul language probably can be expected, considering who the bronze was paired up with, but he offers another image instead which he likely believes will make up for it. A beautifully smiling J'en laughing at the viewer, dark hair lightly tousled and lashes low, holding up a large jagged piece of bone in his hand triumphantly. There and gone, leaving only the sight and sound of a single silver thread shimmering some in the dark. S'van's confusion brings the bronze's laughter back again, a lens flare rotating in and then out again. « I'm a dragon, you're lucky any of us can form a single coherent sentence in whatever language this in a way that you can understand even a little of what we're trying to say. Much faster to communicate in images and feelings. Honestly, you two legged folk need to get with the times. » Leketh chuffs almost indignantly, finishing up with his herdbeast and extending his wings so he can propel himself up into the air, if only to land gracefully on the other side of the fence a ways from S'van. « Deep down, under all the weyrshit? » Leketh extends his head forward upon the length of his sleek and slim serpentine neck, until it fills the weyrling's entire view. « No. He doesn't think you'll listen, and he hopes you'll show up with all the bravado that drives him crazy. » A beat. « But I'd prepare myself for anything if I were you, because while I don't know exactly why he's going to do what he's planning if you show up uninvited, he's already hating himself for it. »

A long-held breath is exhaled slowly and, though it may suggest relaxation, there is none to be found in the weyrling. Grey eyes narrow and go briefly distant as his lips press into a thin line of frustration. "I was trying to help her," he growls. "It was for her benefit that I told her anything at all, so that she knew she wasn't alone. It wasn't so that she could just… AGH." What's the use? What is done is done and the finality of it weighs heavily upon him. Catwin's friendship is something he values, but right now he's having a difficult time forgiving her for her betrayal. Leketh may remove the image from his mind, but that doesn't mean it's gone or forgotten. Likely, it will haunt him later when he tries to find sleep. The replacement brings its own wave of pain, this one distinctly different. And though it makes his throat close up, and his chest tighten, he doesn't ask for its removal. This image he clings to, inscribes it upon his memory, eyes closed against the pain. And then it is gone as well, and he looks towards the bronze once again. His emotion doesn't need to be said; it's written across his face as plain as day. Love. Longing. And then another one of those deep sort of breaths, meant to settle himself again. It's practiced at his point; the shoving down of things he doesn't currently have the time or the inclination to dwell on. Later, under the cloak of night, he'll let them loose once again. There is no comment for his primitive communication skills, though in another time and place, in a different circumstance, he would likely have something smart-ass to say about it. Instead, he just follows the progress of the bronze as he finishes and slips effortlessly over the fence. Only when the beast is closing the distance does he turn his body away from the herd and towards him, unmoving and unconcerned even as his personal space is invaded by the impossibly large head. Neither is there hesitation in the extension of his arm, to touch a dragon that isn't his. The young bronze in the air certainly does not seem to care, though he is attentive; eyes pinned on the pair below and mental connections humming with purpose and clear awareness. But he is not concerned. There's a sort of courage found in Leketh's words. For although he had an inkling, and would have shown up regardless, there is a confidence in knowing he was wanted. A confirmation of what he'd already suspected. Words of rejection when everything else about the bronzerider said 'stay'. The warning rolls off of him with a shrug, though he doesn't take it likely. He is simply resolved. Stubborn. Persistent. Undaunted. "He can do whatever he likes. Short of shoving me bodily from your ledge, it won't stop me." And even then, he'd probably come back. "But don't let him do anything stupid," to himself. "How… is he doing? Really." Because Cat's assessment was wrong, and he knows it.

When it came to human type relationships Leketh could only apply dragon logic and as he had already said his peace on the subject of Fascath's future rider, it was up to S'van to decide what he wanted to do about his friendship with Catwin. There is no further input from the bronze, settling down the rest of his bulk, making himself comfortable and watching the weyrling work through some aspects of it without his assistance. Other relationships, such as the one between this one and his, was an entirely different matter. He'd seen a pained expression plenty of times since he'd hatched, both in memory and reality, and so he can plainly see it blossom on his face and translate it back inside his own mind as emotion. The laughing, smiling, J'en. Gone. At least, no longer projected, even if S'van seemed to be desperately committing it to memory no matter how much it hurt him. The rest of the expressions that pass over his face are also familiar, but Leketh leaves them be without further comment, not the type (unlike a young bronze he was getting to know) to be rubbing salt into wounds. Now with him all up in the weyrling's physical business as he was in the rest of it, the bronze has no reason to refuse either the hand upon his snout or the inquiry that follows. « I figured as much. » He laughs, the thin nearly imperceptible spinner silk connecting them quivering and dancing along with pulses of pale pink cheer flung out into the abyss as the beads are dislodged. « I wouldn't put it past him. Well, a long as he was relatively sure Aedeluth could catch you. » So, J'en had never actually wanted S'van dead for real, this was good to know. Right? For the request, Leketh is oddly, silent. There is only a low rumble and the feeling of confirmation along with agreement. Nothing more. Trying to be subtle in the way he leaps on the slight change in topic, he draws in a deep breath and exhales it slowly, which has the unfortunate side effect of sending the overwhelming stench of blood and death over the poor man. « Leirith's convinced my J'en to let you in, it's not something he decided on lightly even if… » A beat and a twitch, pushing his snout lightly against the hand that rests there. « …she's just as stubborn as you are. » This wasn't answering the question though and rather than be evasive, Leketh eases into it as best he can. « Without Aedeluth's, my J'en will exist but not exist. Living, but not alive. This was also decided. » Translation: Not good. « He misses you. »

It is now that the young bronze chooses to make his attack, diving towards the herd with lightning speed but clumsy, imprecise; he is an immature hunter, even if he was a master of the sky. But the kill comes with relative ease; sharp talons in soft flesh, the quick jerk of his jaw as he snaps the neck of his fallen prey, and then settling in to feast. It draws his weyrling's gaze briefly. Catwin, and the dilemma of how to deal with her, is pushed aside. The anger is already receding from him, dampened by the turn in conversation towards the welfare of the Archipelago Wingleader. A small huff, dry amusement, and a glance towards Aedeluth. "He would catch me." If just to prove he could. « Snatch him right from the air, » agrees the younger bronze in an offhand way. No concern there. Absolute certainty for his ability to save his weyrling from this hypothetical fate. The draconic laughter earns a small twitch to the corner of his mouth, the contrast between Leketh's amusement and Aedeluth's reflected briefly in his eyes. Then gone. Because there is too much weight on his heart to try and force any false emotions. But at least he doesn't try to mask everything, not really. Let Leketh see him, if the bronze even could. "Leirith…" and it takes Aedeluth's mental image to connect the almost unfamiliar gold to the rider S'van knows. "Oh. Risali. She did?" This, if nothing else, surprises him. And maybe he would thank her one day. If it occurs to him to do so, when he sees her again. "She is a fucking hurricane," he decides of the young weyrwoman. The nudge at his hand prompts a wiggle of his fingers, automatically scratching at soft hide, moving up towards bronze eyeridges, if close enough to do so. The next words though… those take a few seconds to digest, to really sink in. And once they do, he's hard pressed not to let himself run wild with it, to not over think the statement and assign an emotion to the words that was not specifically stated. Regardless, they inspire conflicting emotions within him; elation that he left such an impression on the bronzerider. But then a crash of frustration and unease that he was apparently not doing well. As does the very direct message about missing him. "I miss him, too." But J'en already knew that, thank you Catwin. "As soon as Aedeluth and I are cleared to fly, I'm coming to visit." Beat. "Don't tell him." If that is even possible. Is that possible? "Are you going to tell him you're talking to me?"

Leketh doesn't turn his head much, certainly not enough to dislodge the relatively tiny warm point of contact with his soft pale hide, but sufficient to allow him to watch the inexperienced catch. He offers no tips or such for next time, because a catch was a catch and the younger bronze would learn as he matured how to be the fiercest of hunters. He was by no means willing to take a chance for learning away, not when he knew the thrill of doing something well for the first time, and having gotten there through one's own power. So Leketh leaves Aedeluth to his nomming, and turns back to lavish all of his attention back on S'van. There is some amusement for the perfect example of self-assurity and bravado that comes to him from both of the bronzling pair, but little else, not when there were other more important things on the table at present. Such as the identity of Leirith's partner in crime and would have provided an image of his own, but likely one that was much less flattering than the one that Aedeluth provided. Still would have yielded the same results, though perhaps his would have made S'van laugh at the very least. « She did, and that's exactly my J'en's assessment of her too. » A hurricane. Another tingle of amusement, before it fades in light of the pleasure those wriggling fingers provide, causing the bronze to rumble and nudge at him again. His facets close as the touch proceeds right up and over his eyeridge, converting his rumble to a pleased soft croon. He remains in silence though the connection he established remains, probably because he was a bit distracted with the scritches he could never get enough of even if several people's arms fell off trying to sate him. He might appear he is lost to them, except as the weyrling continues to speak, Leketh's facets open again to slits. « And incur his wrath? » A snort of this, though he doesn't appear troubled. « If anyone could find a way to break a lifebond, it would be my J'en. Rather than risk him trying, I think we can err on the side of caution and just keep this between you and I, hmm? » While he laughs, there is a note of worry, enough to etch his thoughts into truth.

Aedeluth will soon own the hunting game, as much as he owns the flying game. For now, his inexperience is a mild frustration that is quickly pushed aside. The lack of instruction, the withholding of tips and tricks, is likely (definitely) a good idea when it comes to this particular youngster. Authority be damned. He will figure the thing out himself. On his terms. In his time. Keen observation may be had by the bronze, but he is not one to seek instruction, nor accept correction. Certainly not politely. But now the task of eating his victim has his attention, and he is neither delicate nor clean about it. Is it intentional, all that flinging around of blood and gore? Probably. At least, S'van does not look thrilled at the giant mess that he'll soon be responsible for washing. It causes that scratching hand to briefly pause, and a quick exchange between Weyrling and his bronze happens in the space of two heartbeats before Aedeluth calms his frenzy to something more acceptable and S'van starts his scratching once again. "Does she visit him often?" he wonders, turning back to the conversation at hand, having already fallen into a relaxed acceptance of this otherwise rather profound experience of speaking to another's dragon. And then another question settles upon him, one he maybe shouldn't ask but can't help himself from speaking aloud. "Does anyone else visit him?" But there is relief, knowing that J'en will not be privy to the conversation he was having with Leketh. "Let him be mad at me," he decides, a measure of dry amusement finally coming into his voice. "I'm used to it."

There is no longer any thought for Aedeluth and his meal, or anything else that might be associated with it. Which of course includes how me might be making a mess just for the sake of it, staying out of things that have nothing to do with him. Instead, Leketh focuses on the movement of blunt fingertips along his large eyeridge, wishing perhaps that there were two of them, so he could experience the sensation on both sides of his head. It would have kept him from tilting slightly into the touch, even if every muscle along his massive body more closely resembled jelly than anything even remotely solid as they appeared. « Leirith's? No. » The beads of slowly pulsing thought crawl along the thinness of spinner silk, barely changing from red to blue before they evaporate the second they make contact with the weyrling's mind. Tension finds the thread and images flash almost too quickly to be processed, every single one a moment of every meeting that J'en and Risali have ever had, most of them associated with anger and rashly implied hatred, but always something deeper than neither ever admits often if they can help it. There was love there and kinship forged in blood and fire. A fluttering frame which shifts and changes, a worried and frantic Risali, a dark wooded area, the feeling of tension wrought apprehension, the squeal of frightened children. A rush of endorphins, energy pouring out into metal spiked knuckles, a blood soaked J'en standing before a broken and captive Ila'den. The twist of rage on distorted faces and the threat of death from the men who hold the former Weyrleader. Then, the flame of multiple dragons towards same woods alight, ablaze, burning away bodies and structures into charred nothingness. A single image of R'hyn. « Friends. Companions. Love, but not love. Camaraderie. » Several other strands of silk come to wrap around the first, strengthening it. Though the new strands dissipate as they are absorbed into the first, leaving it alone to shine on it own. Symbolic. As for the second, hesitantly asked question, Leketh's facets open in full and train in on S'van. A beautiful redheaded woman. A grey-eyed young teen who looks remarkably like Ila'den. « He doesn't let them in to the place meant for another. » The bronze doesn't clarify as to if he means J'en's weyr, his bed or something much more meaningful, and won't answer even if pressed for the distinction. Though his thoughts become quieter, « He's not mad at you, he hasn't been for a long time. » A mental smirk, represented by the pulsing mass of a thick cocoon, a glimpse at what it was like to be welcomed deep inside his mind. « Why else do you think he allowed you to mate with him so often? Why he agreed not to mate with anyone else? » Leketh rumbles but its overlayed with his metal laughter as he nudges as lightly as he can at the full body of the man beside his head. « Don't worry, I won't spoil the surprise. »

If S'van was aware of the want for double-eyeridge-scritches (and if his arm could reach that far around) he'd likely employ both hands to the task. As it is, he will just do his best with the one hand and one eyeridge that he has, the other hand going to his pocket to rest casually. Scritch-scritch. Thoughtfully now. The anger still burns, but it's so low that he can ignore it for now. The concern for J'en is still there, but it's been dampened by the reassurance of the bronze dragon. Risali does not visit. This is filed away to the back of the weyrling's mind. Interesting, but not important in this moment. But the images that come after, that little flash of history, makes his back straighten and his heartrate skyrocket. Fear courses through him, even if this was in the past and obviously the danger has passed, the adrenalinet is still there. Logic does not have an impact on the emotions running through him, just as it does not have much impact on his irrational hatred of a man long dead. "What… was that?" and he is not talking about the image of R'hyn as companion, or the solidified threads of symbolism. No. He's asking about the screaming children, the blazing woods. The blood-soaked J'en that will likely also likely haunt him later. His next answer; those that visit or are visited by the bronzerider, pales in comparison. He does not ask, does not try and pry into the meaning of that cryptic statement. He doesn't even have the strength to really consider it, and so he dismisses it as irrelevant for the time being. But Leketh's admission that J'en was not mad at him? This earns his attention, and a puzzled expression. "Oh…" because no. It had not occurred to S'van to consider those things in more depth, if just for the self-preservation of his own heart. He had been unwilling to think too long on the subject, to let himself dwell on something that was most assuredly going to end in pain. And now there's a twitch to the corner of his mouth. A twitch that J'en would know rather well. The one that usually turns into a smart-ass sort of smirk.

Scritch. Scritch. Crooooooooon. If there was a dragon heaven, surely, Leketh was in it right now. He doesn't have access to or any interest in the inner workings of the weyrling's mind, letting him deliberate and conclude all on his own. For the bronze, there was only those delightful nubs working along his eyeridge. He pays no attention to his expressions, but his voice was significant enough to garner some sort of response, considering it had something to do with images he had shown as explanation for another question asked of him entirely. Clarification, wasn't something he could find reason to deny. « Teimyrth and his were taken, so was the hatchlings of Irkevalath's by ones like this. » A flash of Taeski and a taller blonde man that looked like he might be related somehow, both smirking coldly back at him through the dark. Another flash, this time to men who had no faces, lost to the bronze's inability to hold onto things that didn't matter. But even without distinctive facial features, they seemed dangerous, the kind regaled in hearthside tales of renegades. The image fades off, replaced by another of the woods before they were burned down. « They were tracked to this place. » More images come up, stills of events long since past, of enraged dragons and their battle ready riders. « Xermiltoth's and his were there. Many others, some who went after the hatchlings. My J'en and Meirath's had to hunt and kill to get to Teimyrth's, to being him back here to Xermiltoth's and Leirith's. » Even if S'van didn't want to see or believe it, there are several images of J'en unleashing his anger onto once living and breathing people, using their bodies to quench then unresolved issues with other things going on at the time, as Leketh is kind enough to share. A momentary second of wanting to use the metal claws clutched in his hands on the incapacitated Ila'den, before a platinum blonde woman is called out of the shadows to disembowel one of the men holding the one-eyed man upright. The way the young bronzerider's skin crawled as he carried Ila'den back to everyone, his rage at having to use the transport baskets strapped to Leketh's sides as means of transport, his desire to dump the body *between*. Hate the only thing keeping him going until arriving at the Infirmary and handing Ila'den over, when the realization hit him over what he had done, what he had almost done, and widened golden eyes shatter into a million pieces just to tumble away into the black. A bead of the palest shivering blue works its way down the spinner silk. « A dark time. » Leketh is more than happy to return to things that were more recent and less taxing on his ability to put together one killer storyboard, letting the information he'd provided good and bad sink into S'van. The start of that smirk, calls forth a snort from the bronze. « And here I thought you'd figured him out, what with you chasing him down and cornering him in all sorts of places regardless of anything he said. » He decidedly leaves out the imagery on this one, but his own special kind of gloating was attached none the less to the dewy drops of light bouncing along his thread of thought.

The scritches do not stop, if just because the movement has become automatic by now. Even through S'van is anywhere but in the present moment. He's doing his best to reconcile the images and information that Leketh is feeding him, working hard at keeping a handle on his emotions so that he can remain somewhat sane in this emotionally turbulent time. He has very little to say about it, and likely won't be able to ascertain how the whole thing makes him feel until he's had a long time to process it. A soft inhale, breath held, for the recollection of that anger. The rage. And then the breakdown. Jaw tight, fingers pause only briefly as his hand flexes involuntarily, as if wanting to ball up into a fist. And then gone, back to scratching an eyeridge and breathing once again. "Oh." That's all he has to say of it. Dark time indeed. But what else is there to say? It's in the past. But like so much else in the past, it is now something S'van must work through in the present. But he's learned enough for today, and wisely decides not to press for more information, probably sorry he asked in the first place. So he forces away the new information until he can sit alone in the dark and sort through it, and instead focus on the dragon who is now… laughing at him. Or at least gloating. "Hey! I did! Sort of," because he did, and he didn't. Don't ask him to explain, he won't be able to. "I knew he didn't… well. He meant it, but I knew he didn't really mean it." Which makes no sense, and he knows it. But then again, Leketh probably knew better than the weyrling what he meant. "It wasn't his words that I was listening to," he says dryly.

While the scritching may not stop and Leketh doesn't stop adoring the weyrling for giving them, as long as no more questions come he seems content to leave the feel of him to that single wisp of spinner silk. Somewhere in the back of his mind he was aware that Aedeluth was young and some of things that he had shared with his, were probably not the sort that wouldn't call up the kinds of strong emotion that were to be avoided in this time. That is why he lets it go, he does not press, and lets that companionable silence fall over them both as the things that were revealed become part of S'van forever. Whether he liked it or not. That soft 'oh' earns only a butt of his head against the fingers that work along his eyeridge and nothing more than a soft rumble, perhaps just as relieved that there was no further inquiry into this or any other painful event in J'en's past as he was not to get bombarded again. Leketh's thoughts twitch, the thread holding their minds together being pulled almost to the breaking point, mostly in revolt against what was being somewhat implied. A flashed bulb of a single image, one of two naked bodies that might look familiar, coiled around one another. « I bet. » Wry, and just as dryly returned. The bronze does not pursue the meaning behind the words proceeding this conclusion jump, but the true meaning behind such activity was not lost on the bronze, so down the line of their communication towards the person portrayed along with his lifemate in that image, a swell of deep red gratitude. « Thank you for loving him. » With that, he yanks back both head and though, severing both. The snapped thread drifts away as Leketh's mind abandons the weyrling's entirely, climbing up to his paws and turning his body around so that he can leave.

Aedeluth is young, yes. But he has already delved into the mind of his lifemate, and it has not done permanent damage, yet. He is also rather furiously tearing into a second herdbeast, having obliterated the first. But his head lifts, turns so that he can fix one eye on the duo across the field. Hmph. And then back to his meal. Companionable silence, and eyeridge scritches, ensues, lasting through the head-butt and rumbles. A roll of grey eyes, a briefly amused look that fades far too quickly. And don't worry, Leketh. Aedeluth will be MUCH MORE GRAPHIC in the retelling of that moment. Later. During lessons, likely. Smug and cocky as he watches S'van flounder and squirm. But in the present moment, Sev is being thanked, and there is no response from the weyrling. Because what do you say when someone is thanking you for loving another person? Connections are severed, and the bronze head is removed from his hand. Leketh's retreat leaves S'van standing by the fence with a helluva lot more to think about than he came here with. A soft and heartfelt "thank you," is all he'll offer to the retreating form. And then Aedeluth is demanding his attention, a giant bloody mess of a dragon, intend on tearing the limbs from his meal before eating it, requiring the weyrling to remain at the fence and watch the destruction with a vague and distant expression.

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