Now I'm Alright

Half Moon Bay Weyr - Rec Cavern
This large cavern is painted a pleasant shade of pale blue-green, with purple highlights along borders. The weyr's badge is featured in a twin tapestries hanging on either side of the entry. Directly inside the doors and to the right is an area with bookshelves and a long computer desk for the public computer. Several chairs line the desk so that people waiting for the computer may pursue other studies. To the left of the entrance is a sitting area with a chess set built into a table.
Along the wall to the left is a bar, set up against the storage closet. Tall metal chairs with bright purple and blue-green cushions line the bar; beside the bar is a pair of gambling machines. Prior to recent renovations, the bar was set up on the other side of the room in front of a huge mirror inset into the wall. Now that mirror is behind a slightly elevated stage featuring a piano recently built by the Harper Hall and transported to the islands. Several music stands and musician's chairs are stacked against the wall, for use when Harpers or weyrfolk desire to perform.
Along the wall opposite the entrance are dart boards, each with a set of couches and chairs nearby for relaxation between turns. And all throughout the room are sitting areas with similarly constructed couches and chairs, all featuring blue-green or purple fabric. Short, darkly stained wooden tables are centered inside each sitting area, for games, food, drinks, and whatever else weyrfolk need. Near the center of the room is a large, long table useable both for crafty pursuits or table tennis, and interspersed throughout the room are card tables with wooden, cushioned chairs.

Ila'den thinks he's a very funny man and that I won't take him up on a joke, so here Ryn is. Existing in this space like the ginormous lump he is. TA-DA!

Just kidding.

The night grows long and dark, and though the weather holds fair, this is not an evening meant for stargazing or nighttime explorations, at least not for R'hyn. No, this evening finds him residing in a location far more familiar, occupying a space as though somehow it is his even though in truth, it belongs to everyone. Try telling that to him, though - he has pulled the chess table away from the wall to situate it across from a squashy chair, into which he has draped himself with a distinct lack of care for perception. It is lackadaisical, bordering on indolent, jaw propped atop fist, elbow resting on the chair's arm in turn, blue-grey eyes fixed on the board in juxtaposition. Silence reigns, R'hyn's only movement to flex and curl toes before tucking one leg up under him, considering… And then, with decisive swiftness, move a black piece on the board. With a sigh, he finally hefts himself up from the board, padding with a quiet scuffle of heels to its far side, to the chair behind it, draping himself with equal ease into the furniture's cushioned embrace, chin to hand to armchair to peer at the board in studious contemplation once more.

"Checkmate," Ila'den drawls from the doorway, leaning against the lip of the frame with arms crossed over his chest and one leg crossed over the other near the ankles, balanced on its booted toes. Just how long Ila'den has been there is anybody's guess, but given that it's Ila'den, and the only other occupant of the rec caverns is R'hyn, it's probably been long enough to seem creepy for anybody outside of their dynamic. For once, Ila'den is void of little girls and burbling baby boys, having pawned them off on Citayla, or Risali, or the Trifecta, or all of them at once because their family is growing by leaps and bounds and they have a lot of people willing to take their troublemakers. Which is not relevant to the here and now. Relevant is the way Ila'den uncoils from where he permeates and saturates, moving with that hint of a limp in his gait that suggests a long ago injury that never quite healed right, but Ila'den is not slow. He's leaning over R'hyn's shoulder with his entire body, reaching to knock the King over with one flick of his finger before turning his head so that that grey eye can meet grey-blue. "I win." THAT'S NOW HOW THIS WORKS, ILA'DEN. That's not how ANY OF THIS WORKS. But this is Ila'den, who has no regard for rules, and even less regard for personal space when it comes to R'hynaldo and his R'hyntasticness. "If you're so bored, I have an idea to keep you… busy." A beat, as that grey eye rakes over the planes of R'hyn's face, delineating his nose and catching on his lips in a way that suggests so much more than might be legal before it snaps back to jump between R'hyn's eyes, that smile merely growing in impishness. "Well," he drawls, accent thickening with that sometimes-well-hidden burr, "your hands, anyway." And there Ila'den goes, without explanation, to push away from R'hyns and chessboards and chairs to the piano. Where he sits. Expectantly. Yes, he is leaning forward, resting his elbow on the yet-to-be-opened fallboard, hand closed into a fist and pressed into his chin as he pat, pat, pats the bench beside himself. Those eyebrows raise, and it's that expression that seems to challenge R'hyn with an unspoken, 'Unless, of course, you're afraid.' COME HITHER.

It likewise speaks volumes as to the quality of their dynamic that R'hyn doesn't jump out of his skin at the sound of Ila'den's voice, though it's a very near thing. Fingers that had just closed about a knight's head seize, pulling the chess piece up into his palm, blue-greys rolling to fix the bronzerider with a stare that would be accusatory, if it were not so appreciative as well. Those eyes note many things - pose, lack of children, gait, but also the fold of cloth where it pulls over muscle when he moves, the position of hands as too much dragonrider leans over his person, that smile - with a ripple of awareness fueled as much by that permeation as it is by R'hyn's own interest. The younger bronzerider turns in his seat, drawing feet up onto the cushion, allowing himself to be surrounded by Ila'den's presence, gaze only ticking away to watch the man flick the king onto its side. R'hyn's eyes squish shut, smirk playing at both corners of his lips, shoulders quaking with laughter, working hard to quell what is clearly ample amusement before he finally risks a look Ila's way again. He is partially successful; though he doesn't laugh outright, his eyes are bright, far more blue than grey, lips splitting wide in a grin that is as devious as it is delighted. "Honestly, I have no fucking clue what I'm doing. I was playing Xermiltoth on white, and he was kicking my ass. He's so mad at you right now." Indeed, the bronze is a wash of golden indignance somewhere in the corner of everyone's minds, but surely Ila'den is almost as used to this as R'hyn by now. His rider certainly ignores him outright, smile dimming down from mirthful candescence to simple pleasure for Ila's continued proximity, a single brow lifting for those promises his gaze makes without following up on them. "I am certainly open to… suggestions." His expression goes particularly dark and smirky for the implication Ila has a task to occupy him, his hands, but he does not rise to the challenge, nor immediately make to follow; instead, he remains coiled on the chair, watching the rider go with a look that would read as possessive on any other man. It's as much appreciation as it is a play at being coy on R'hyn, that pat-pat-patted seat eyed with slow contemplation before his gaze lifts to Ila'den, holding for a beat, two, reply obvious: 'I wasn't afraid of you before, bronzerider. I've no reason to be, now.' But it wouldn't be R'hyn if he followed orders outright. Feet untuck from the chair, bear the weight of an unhurried rise, brush the floor with each step, gait lazy in exaggeration as he walks through a stretch, expressing without words that, much like the felines that occupy their weyr, he's coming to Ila'den because it's his own idea and certainly not because he's more than avidly interested in what the bronzerider has to offer. We know that's a lie. He knows that's a lie. Even his body betrays him, attentive, alert, despite the easy press of the lines of his side up against Ila'den's, as expectant of what is to come as his weyrmate was of his arrival, expression keen and clear: what's next?

"He'll get over it," comes that raspy burr around an unrepentant smile, confident in his words if only because Xermiltoth is a dragon, and dragons are prone to forgetting things with remarkable reliability. So while Ila'den is very much aware of the fact that one of the THREE DRAGONS CONSTANTLY IN HIS HEADSPACE (or is that FOUR now?) is twinkling with indignation somewhere in his partitioned brain, he's equally unimpressed by Xermiltoth's disappointment. He's much more interested in the coiling of R'hyn's body; in blue-grey eyes that answer challenge with challenge instead of demure submission and acquiescence to Ila'den's every whim' it's the way R'hyn is so very aware of Ila'den that makes Ila'den so very aware of Ryn, acknowledging and enjoying the weight of R'hyn's attention as it follows his movements long after he's seated himself at the piano with the same kind of attentive appreciation that Ila'den always fixes on R'hyn. The elder bronzerider's smile goes feral in response to what he reads in R'hyn's eyes despite the distance between them now, too many teeth exposed as he waits and communicates even more dark promises if only to remind his wayward weyrmate just who it is that holds the title of Big and Bad and Wolf in this… relationship. And what a match they make, hard bodies constructed from harsh lines and masculine angles that press together along shoulders and arms and thighs when R'hyn finally joins him on the bench. But not before Ila'den watches R'hyn move; not before that grey eye tracks every shift of muscle beneath skin with the same kind of apprehension that a predator focuses unerringly on their prey. "As much as I would love to suggest that Half Moon Bay Weyr's Weyrleader remove of an indecent amount of clothing in a particularly public place just so that his — what is the word that you use, R'hyn? Incorrigible? — incorrigible weyrmate can fuck him on this piano," Ila'den offers on husky tones, pushing up the fallboard to expose keys without his gaze ever leaving R'hyn, "that particular line of thought will have to be placed on a temporary — extremely temporary — hold." One, two, three, and Ila'den is shifting, chin tilting a fraction of an inch as he drops his gaze towards the instrument in question and drags his fingers across several keys to make a discordant sound. "I was hoping that you would humor me, husband, and show me how well you've been practicing that song I taught you." NO PRESSURE OR ANYTHING. It's only been turns, R'hyn.

"He will," R'hyn concedes with an amiable tilt of his head, eyes sparking with amusement for Ila's sheer unrepentance, "right after he tells the whole entire weyr." His betrayal will LIVE ON IN INFAMY, BUT WHAT ELSE IS NEW, AMIRITE. At least it's an improvement over the bronze's usual interjections into moments like these - R'hyn gets to enjoy the dark promises that linger upon their future like an event horizon, gets to return that wolfish grin with a slow, pleasurable smirk that plays at both corners of his lips, gets to flick a wink the bronzerider's way that's as much acknowledgment of Ila'den's Big Bad title as it is expression of his role in this titillating back and forth - without the Pernese equivalent of 'Careless Whisper' crooning with sultry undesirability in the back of their heads. That reflected awareness seeps into the tiny cracks left behind by Ila'den's inherent pervasion instead, sealing wayward edges until there's little left but this, this press of bodies, this meeting of edges that shift to meet just a little more, R'hyn's chest edging in against Ila's shoulder, arm sliding beneath his with a spread of palm along the length of the bronzerider's thigh. Though the mere mental image he conjures up earns an audible inhale and a dig of fingertips into the space above older rider's knee, there's also a slight flush of color across cheekbones, and a giddy grin that's as much for the idea as it is Ila'den's use of incorrigible. "You stole the word right out of my mouth," the bronzer drawls, gaze fixing on Ila's lips as though he very muchly fully intends on stealing it back. Is that even possible? It's worth the attempt. For science. Alas, that emotion wins out over rampant sexuality; heat shifts to adoration, gaze skimming Ila's face, lingering fondly upon all of his favorite features of the bronzerider's visage before leaning in. "You are incorrigible," R'hyn murmurs as he presses his lips to a soft patch of skin beneath Ila's ear, "and impossible," the corners of his eye, "and irrational," the curve of his cheekbone, "and irreplaceable," and finally his lips, no more than a swift touch, but one that conveys no less emotion than deep, momentous exploration might. It's all Ila's fault, really; R'hyn's attention drops immediately to the piano as the man pushes the fallboard back, withdrawing from the bronzerider's person with a squeeze of thigh and a brush of fingertips across leathers, withdrawing if only to place long fingers on white keys without applying any pressure. Fingers ghost over notes left unplayed, shift, follow the lines of a song - correct or not - before blue-grey eyes swivel up to meet his weyrmate's one. "Mm. You and I both know that my verrah good teacher and I have been verrah busy making verrah cute babies," accused with a wicked little grin that wavers with typical nervy onset, "but I have been… That is, if you'd rather play it?" No, it's clear now - fingers have settled at the start of the song he knows Ila is talking about, but still R'hyn waits, seeking permission with look and with lingering both.

"I would hope so," Ila'den drawls about stealing words out of mouths. "It's been turns since you showed up on my ledge and never left. I like to think I have some idea of what goes through that head." Ila'den doesn't move despite the gaze on his mouth; he smiles, an invitation as much as it is amusement that's no less obvious when Heryn leans in for that first kiss. "Mm," Ila'den inputs with the utmost diplomacy for being 'incorrigible', low, rumbling, husky laughter emitting from the older 'rider as the next kiss is placed and the next word delivered. So it goes, another sound of agreement in his throat, until R'hyn is saying things that simply shouldn't be allowed and that smile is depleted, replaced with something dark and feral and hungry. It's why R'hyn's kiss is met with a growl; why Ila shifts to apply pressure against lips regardless of how quickly they're withdrawn from his touch. One hand curls into a fist, a physical manifestation of the effort it takes Ila'den to nod make good on his earlier words, and then he's turning to adjust the piano. The amusement is back, a hint that dances in the depths of stormy grey, echoed in the pull at the corners of his lips as R'hyn mimics Ila'den's accent and the bronzerider tilts his head to watch. There's honest pleasure in watching his weyrmate speak, more husky laughter that escapes him as he returns his attention to the piano and hits another note that lingers in the air. "No, weyrmate. I want you to play. And I don't want you to stop. If you stop, I stop, and it's verrah, verrah important that we get to the end. Understand?" Because Ila'den, well… he intends to sing while Heryn plays of course. "Go on then, husband. You were so eager to have something keep your hands busy." HE WASN'T ILA, BUT SURE.

R'hyn can't help it; he laughs for that, short, clipped barks of amusement that echo into the relative quiet of the room. "That means it's also been turns since you turned a blind eye and pretended not to notice that I never intended to wake up without you next to me again," is parried if only because this back and forth is familiar, welcome, as ingrained in the pattern of their lives as gentle teases and that ever-present heat that sings just beneath the skin. One hand withdraws from the piano to press fingers to his temple, eyelids scrooching as though attempting to divine Ila's thoughts in turn, eyes taking in his closed fist, dancing grey gaze, honest pleasure, laughter and— he gasps, quiet, scandalized, hand snatching down from his head to clutch against his chest with a breathed, "Bronzerider. What filthy thoughts you have." But just as he couldn't help laughter, he likewise cannot repress a candid little smile, one that acknowledges Ila'den's enjoyment of himself and it's a testament to how much good this man has done for him that he does not shy from it, choosing instead to bask in it, return it's glow in a glint of eyes and a flash of teeth, visibly happy before he finally retreats behind a curtain of overlong bangs and focuses on the instrument before him. Pleasure still lingers, pressing dimples into his cheeks, lids gently scrunched along their entire lower edge, but Ila'den is emphasizing the importance of reaching the end of the song, and R'hyn is nodding his compliance, warmth draining from him if only to be replaced with studious diligence. That. Lasts all of a second. Ila'den makes quips about hands and eagerness and R'hyn shoots him a look reminiscent of their first meeting in this very spot, all fire and want and lack of amusement as he echoes words with a low, "You don't have to remind me." But this time there's a smoochy-face tacked onto the end, expression easing to honest amusement so quickly that could only have been a purposeful invocation as fingers resume their positions on keys and still only for a second of composure before he plays, gaze attentive to the shift of his fingers to hit certain notes with the rapture of one still learning, one still doing their best not to make mistakes, going to great lengths to keep their attention fixed on the task at hand even as he braces for whatever is to come.

"That's because I never intended to wake up without you next to me again," is all the more explanation that Ila'den offers. Because it's the truth; because Ila'den was as surprised to find he didn't want R'hyn to leave as he was surprised that Ryn didn't want to go. The impression of one mortally scandalized has Ila'den rumbling more of that husky laughter, smiling with too many teeth when he responds, "Only when it comes to you, husband." But if you want to speak about the good that has been done, take an honest look at Ila'den. Infamously crazy Ila'den, whose solace and sanity was once found in the bottom of the darkest bottles of whiskey, who now drinks rarely because he finds what he needs in sideways glances through lowered lashes and the sound of Heryn's laughter filling their home. Ila'den, whose laughter was so often brittle with dark humor, who now laughs simply for the pleasure of laughing; whose eyes are no longer angry and muted, but alive with joy and love and mischief. This was R'hyn's doing. All of it. Every look, and smile, and joke, and physical assertion of affection — with Citayla, with R'hyn, with their children — is more now simply because R'hyn took a chance on a man who didn't deserve it. Who could not fathom being Heryn's forever. "Dangerous game you're playing, weyrleader," Ila'den rasps, his own expression echoing fire, and want, and need that's put aside only because this is so much more important. This has been too long needed and too long undone. So Ila'den waits, and instead of catching fingers in his hands and lips between his teeth, he lets R'hyn begin the song, adding, "Play to the end, and then you can do what you want to me," waiting until the proper interval to add words to R'hyn's melody. True to his earlier threats, if Ryn stops, Ila'den ceases singing, helping with hand placement if he must, but he doesn't let Ryn stop because it's important to keep going. It's towards the end of the song, when the need to hit keys is slowed as to practically be diminished that Ila'den leans forward, foregoing music so that he can pull R'hyn's hand from the piano and continue acapella. "Now I'm alright," he says more than sings. "Now I'm alright." A brush of knuckles against R'hyn's cheekbone, retreating so that he can execute what R'hyn did before: seek out the ring finger on R'hyn's left hand, pushing a band of metal identical to the one he owns down the digit. "Everything's alright." And that grey eye jumps to blue-grey, the older man's voice rasping out a whispered, "Don't stop," as he relinquishes his hold and returns R'hyn's hand to the proper keys, waiting for him to start again so that they can finish the song like they made a weyr into a home and two people into a family: together.

"You just liked having someone willing to get out of bed and make klah on the cool mornings," R'hyn accuses in a quiet, self-effacing fashion, but he knows the truth, even if it still strikes him as a revelation judging by the sharp spark of delight that flickers through his gaze for the admittance. For if comparisons are being drawn, changes being emphasized, witness: Heryn, who had never, in more than twenty turns of existence, truly belonged anywhere, never had a family, never had a place to not only call his but to also call home. The deprivation is never so clear as it is in moments like these, where the comparison of the impetuous, hot-headed orphan he was when Ila'den met him can be held up against the man he has become, warm, confident, settled solidly into his place in the world. There is always room for subtle doubts, but gone is the fractured mosaic, the hollow chasm in his chest that threatened to pull him into the vortex of its depthless drag; that has been filled with those self-same things that put light in Ila'den's eyes, so many words whose simplicity he found inadequate right up until he came to truly experience them for himself. Now it is with love, and joy, and mischief in his heart that he flicks a sideways glance Ila'den's way, nose wrinkling over a brilliant little grin for a reply rendered unpredictable by the use of his formal title. "You know, the first time you said that to me, I didn't have anything to lose in the gamble. Now…" Now he has a weyrmate, a sister, a live-in best friend and mother of children, daughters, sons, nieces, nephews, with only more to come and the realization of all he now has is so overwhelming that he cannot even complete the thought. He lets it read on his features instead, lets Ila'den see just what that does to him, for him, chest swelling with unspoken emotion, smile still wide but going softer around the edges by the second, gaze radiating gratefulness for this man who has let him in when he had every right not to. This is a thing that should not have happened, a world that should not have existed, a bond between two souls that should never have been forged, but he is so, so glad that it did because what is Ryn without his Ila. Luckily, it is a thing he doesn't have to imagine; Ila is here, reemphasizing the importance of reaching the end, Ryn offering response with a push of his leg flush up against his weyrmate's, needing the reminder when the man begins to sing and all those turns of pondering potential lyrics is slowly brought to resolution. What starts out as a crooked little smile soon fades, replaced by a gravity that borders on disbelief, and he does require assistance at least once, long fingers stumbling over keys when R'hyn cannot help but look sideways at the man vocalizing so very many things that he was in no way prepared to hear, not in this context, perhaps not ever. He isn't the sort to expect anything in return, content to give and receive as is comfortable without awaiting compensation, so when his hands are pulled from piano keys, cheeks brushed, fingers manipulated so that a ring can be slid upon one of them, there is a long moment in which R'hyn cannot process anything at all. He stares at the silvered band, stricken, expression unchanging until blue-grey eyes lift to fasten upon Ila'den's visage. Emotion cracks through his gaze, features crumpling right on with it; lips press hard in an attempt to stop their quivering, eyes tense and well up of their own accord, and fingers curl to grip around Ila'den's, pulling them to his mouth to rest knuckles against lips and attempt to breathe through the sudden well of emotion. 'Don't stop' earns a huff of breath that's as much laughter as sigh, eyes finally pressing closed in a shed of silvery tears, but he nods and tries, recalling earlier promise that he can do whatever he wants once the song is ended. Fingers stutter poorly at first, unable to focus, distracted in the extreme by the sudden but so very welcome weight on his left hand, but he manages for Ila's sake, plays bright, spirited, happy notes that've got nothing on the incandescent maelstrom going on just behind his eyes. Final chords are pressed, slow, slow, slower still, and it's honestly anyone's guess as to whether R'hyn actually presses those final keys or if he only just thinks he does; every single part of him is screaming 'yes' with so much fervency that short term memory takes a back seat to the need to feel Ila'den's body pressed against his, arms flung about his neck, head buried against his shoulder, and if his weyrhusband isn't careful they might wind up on the floor but Heryn does not care about anything other than making sure the man enveloped in his arms knows beyond any shadow of doubt just how grateful he is for every single little thing this ring stands for, now and forever.

But Ila’den isn’t careful. There’s a sound of surprise that gives way to laughter when Ila’den finds himself on the floor, catching Heryn’s face between both of his hands so that he can pull him down while pressing up for a kiss that's firm in pressure, but gentle and chaste. “I’ll take that as a yes,” he breathes against R'hyn's mouth, and where he might normally turn the scintillating contact into something so much more primal and illicitly carnal, Ila’den retreats a fraction of an inch so that he can turn his head to the side and call out, “He said yes!” Low, rumbling laughter underlines every word as a rush of screams and yells surge to a crescendo from where it was once quiet outside. Ila’den’s eye finds blue-grey again, brows raising in amusement as the door BURSTS open, spilling… everybody. Their family. It’s Risali, and K’vir, and D’lei, and Selene; it’s I’rly and Heribly, Syn and Ibsyglei, Leia and her children, and even Tanit alongside Citayla with Ciardyn, in possession of confetti (YES, SOME OF IT IS LIME GREEN TO SATISFY TANIT), and rice, and bubbles that they dispatch of by throwing it at both bronzeriders while cheering. Dragonriders might not be able to get married, but that doesn’t mean they can’t party like they are. And so Ila’den doesn’t pick R’hyn up off of the floor and carry him away somewhere private. He shifts to stand, placing another kiss on lips as he moves before holding out both hands for R’hyn to take. Ila’den’s lead when he starts singing with a low, “Hands, put your empty hands in mine, and scars, show me all the scars you hide…” but the rest of the family joins in too, clapping, and stomping, and yelling lyrics as Ila’den pulls R’hyn into an impromptu dance. It’s a celebration, something to be shared, and amid the joys of family and the rampant show-stealing talents of young children, so the night will go. Until it’s time to leave, that is, because then Ila’den is picking up R’hyn with humor in his every movement, carrying R’hyn over the threshold of the rec caverns like one would carry their bride so that they can figure out the rest of forever together.

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