Firsts

Fort Weyr - Tir Na nOg
Located in the administration complex, this ledge is reached by walking up stone stairs carved into the bowl wall, passing several other ledges before reaching the wide tongue of stone that shapes this one. Worn smooth by centuries of time, wind, rain and dragon hide, its finish is almost glossy, shimmering with minerals deep within the basalt. The ledge transitions into a massive cave that shelters the queen's wallow, and from there there is a sturdy wooden door that leads to the inner weyr.

Step inside, and you'll find that, as with any of Fort's leadership weyrs, this one is spacious and well appointed. Already furnished with fine hardwood furnishings, the new occupant is of course welcome to alter things. A sitting area cozies up to the large fireplace, stones from the mountains creating the facade and the hearth. There is a small kitchenette with simple storage and workspace, and further back is a nook that could easily be used as an office, complete with a rod for hanging a curtain. The far back of the cave has a small hallway, through which the modest bedroom and precious bathing chamber are located, the bath carved into the floor itself with running hot and cold water.

All that being said, this weyr is /cramped/. Not that it's full of furniture, but it's full of /stuff/. There's a bookshelf overflowing with old books and records, half of them nearly disintegrated and most of them being based in poetry. Shelves are crammed full of knick-knacks and various other *things*, stuff piled upon stuff piled upon stuff. No doubt there are treasures hidden within, but it'll take a lot of time to sort through it all and find things worth keeping. Might be easier just to chuck the lot.


Flight lust leads to long lie-ins, meaning it's well into afternoon before Thys finally begins to stir following Rhenesath's dawn flight. She's slow to wake, stirring gently in the tangle of limbs and sheets on her bed. Wait… when did they make it all the way in here? That thought kicks that last bit of awake into her, and Thys carefully extracts herself from Ashwin's embrace so she can sit up and run a hand through her tousled short hair. With bleary eyes she looks down at the brownrider beside her, a slow-growing, sleepy smile growing as she reaches down to stroke the back of her hand gently across his cheek. Then she gets up, padding with bare-foot softness through to her weyr's little kitchenette. When she returns, it's with a pot of tea, teacups, cookies and toast with all the right accompaniments. She climbs back into bed to sit cross-legged, settling the tray of goodies on the sheets in front of her before leaning over to press a soft kiss to Ashwin's forehead in an attempt to wake him.

And so, it is a long sleep in. And he's a heavy sleeper. He lost track hours ago where they were, how far they'd gone . . or how many times they'd changed roles, gone togeather or changed again. If he were awake, he's just grateful for the cushions. Awakening before him will give her a chance to study his body and it really is an interesting one, such a fusion of qualities of both genders — though the most important parts are very, very definately female. His body is . . not scarred, but marred. It looks as though within the last month or so he was badly torn up by someone or something, tiny cobwebs of lines that cover his entire body. A flight gone very, very badly. No part of him seems to be free of the infulence of whomever marked him so.

If she's in a hurry, she'll have to wake him, but if she leaves him alone, he'll awaken fully sometime after she brings the tea. He stirrs once at her leaving his arms, mumbling something or other at the deprivation of the soft place where he was resting his head. He'll mumble again at the touch of her hand, and then she's silent, the smell of food drifting around his nose and still not wakening him. Sleepily, he reaches up a hand behind her neck, and tries to kiss her on the lips before his brain fully activates. Then his eyes shoot open and he blinks, sharply. "I, I, I." He starts. Then breathes heavily. Slow down, Ashwin. " … . you're okay with this?"

"Ssssh," is Thys's first reaction to the stammering, with a warm smile and a soft hand reaching out to cover one of his as she offers a reassuring, "It's fine." Her fingers squeeze around his gently, then she starts pouring out a second cup of tea. "I hope you don't mind it black? I haven't got any milk, but there is sugar if you want it. Or whisky. As you like." She winks at Ash, then slides the tray around to where it's more easily accessible by both of them. "You caught me by surprise, I have to admit. It was probably inevitable that it would happen someday, especially given Rhenesath's propensity towards browns… so thank you. It was…" The right word seems to fail her, but the big grin and the blushed cheeks probably say it all.

Her reassurance does what she hoped and fingers squeeze back at her hand. Crisis averted, and so he can take his time waking up with none of the drama that usually accompanies his flights going to happen. It's almost pleasant to lie as he is, warm, and he's even more surprised to find himself laughing. "No, no thank you. On the whiskey. It's a little too early in the morning for that." Then slowly, he passes his hand over his head to get his hair out of his eyes and collect himself anymore. " . . or afternoon, but please. Black." He's smiling, and it's genuine, not faked even in the least. "Ah, about that. I catch most everyone by surprise. It's a little more complicated than it first appears." Since he already has her hand, he squeezes it. "Ashwin. And yeah. It was special. Thank you. Most of my flights don't go like this."

Thys blows on her tea before taking a sip. "Ashwin. Have we met before?" She cants her head sideways slightly as she tries to recall. "From Xanadu - is that right? I'm sorry I didn't introduce myself, but, ah, I did assume that you'd know me. Thys, Rhenesath's." And she gives his hand a squeeze in return, before drawing hers away so she can reach for the plate with the biscuits on it. It's offered to Ashwin first, then she rests it on her knee so she can pick one out for herself. "Would it be terribly inappropriate for me to ask questions?"

"Ashwin from Xanadu." Ashwin from Xanadu confirms, sitting up with a pleasant sort of stretch. "And…. wait a minute." He peers at her; brows furrowing. Long and hard. " … wait a minute. You're … " It's been over a turn, but he searches for the words on his tongue. Think, think, it'll come back. "You're Trouble, aern't you?" There's a little bit of a thought as the memory of their last meeting comes back. With his left hand, he indicates himself from collarbone to pelvis. "Complicated." But today? It's neither a boast, nor a curse word. He's quite happy to wear that title. "Standard rule for this kind of thing is that you can ask all the questions you… I'm startving, wait a minute." Nomf, nomf, nomf, goes the biscuit and he starts talking again before his mouth is quite clear. "…sorry. You can ask all the questions you want, but once we leave this room, we never speak of it again, and as far as anyone is concerned, Rhenesath was caught by a male rider?" There's a little bit of an imploring look in his eyes, though he pauses. "… and I get to call you Trouble. Forever."

"Ashwin from Xanadu." Ashwin from Xanadu confirms, sitting up with a pleasant sort of stretch. "And…. wait a minute." He peers at her; brows furrowing. Long and hard. " … wait a minute. You're … " It's been over a turn, but he searches for the words on his tongue. Think, think, it'll come back. "You're Trouble, aern't you?" There's a little bit of a thought as the memory of their last meeting comes back. With his left hand, he indicates himself from collarbone to pelvis. "Complicated." But today? It's neither a boast, nor a curse word. He's quite happy to wear that title. "Standard rule for this kind of thing is that you can ask all the questions you… I'm starving, wait a minute." Nomf, nomf, nomf, goes the biscuit and he starts talking again before his mouth is quite clear. "…sorry. You can ask all the questions you want, but once we leave this room, we never speak of it again, and as far as anyone is concerned, Rhenesath was caught by a male rider?" There's a little bit of an imploring look in his eyes, though he pauses. "… and I get to call you Trouble. Forever."

Trouble? Thys blinks in surprise as he throws that nickname at her. It takes a long moment, but her face lights up in amusement when she finally places it. "Oh, shards - the Gemstone." She smirks as she hangs her head, brushing her hair from her forehead when she looks back up. His attempt at bargainin raises one of Thys's brows as she fixes him with a look. "I'll keep your secret, but if you go calling me Trouble in the wrong circumstances I'll have something to say about it." Across she leans with her teacup to chink it off the brownrider's. "I guess that leads me to my first question. Why?"

"Well, clearly I wasn't wrong." Ashwin says with an amused grin to himself, sitting up enough to have his coffee. He's actually waking up enough that he might be enjoying himself, if as much because of Thys' reactions as the lateness of the day. She is making him feel at ease after a flight and it's been a long time since he's felt that. "You keep my secret, and you're only Trouble if and when we're alone." The thought of having a private nickname for someone? Now that makes him smile. They've sworn over a teacup though, so it's a promise until everyone is dust. Why? That's hard. "Wired wrong, I guess? Someone else asked me that recently and I couldn't give them a half decent answer. Best I can do is say when I look in the mirror, I see someone I'm not supposed to? I'm not . . comfortable that way?" He frowns, because he knows he's being confusing and he's not trying to be. So, he sips his coffee. "I was born Ashlyn. Ran away from something. In hiding, became /Ashwin/ . . and over time? It's stuck. Wired wrong, like I said. Ashlyn doesn't look back at me in the mirror anymore. Ashwin does. Make any sense at all?"

Thys nods. "I think I understand what you're saying." She sips her tea, quiet as she mulls over what's been offered so far. "It makes sense, I suppose. A lot of people want to become who they think they should be, but most don't have the courage to go as far with it as you do." And that's a compliment. "Where's home for you? Actually… no. First, I'd like to know - what does Rinxyth see? Who does he consider you to be? … and weren't you at another of Rhenesath's flights?"

Ashwin steals another biscuit. Nomf. "Mm, good." He waves the half-eaten thing to her as a compliment. Her breakfast hosting skills are stellar, this isn't only not awkward in the least, it's incredibly tasty. "I think . . it was always that way?" Ashwin says, stroking his chin while he thinks. "I never was happy in my own skin. Even growing up, something was off. Never could stick into the roles I was supposed to. Ashwin . . is who I am supposed to be. The other? A passing moment until I realized that." He finishes the rest of the biscuit, before answering again. "He's only ever known me as Ashwin. He knew, to be sure, that something was different when he impressed me. He doesn't care, never did." He finishes his coffee, and holds out his cup gently, wanting a refill. "My turn?" He wonders, before asking. "I thought . . goldriders . . I remember we talked about this before, but I thought gold riders were arrow straight? How … are you not?"

Ashwin remembers the conversation at the Gemstone, of course. But saying and doing are such different things.

"He'll see you just as his, I suppose, and the rest won't really matter." Thys nods in understanding, accepting the explanation. When the request for a refill is made she obliges, nodding for him to go ahead and ask his question… which makes her smirk. "Arrow straight is a little… linear, don't you think? My view is that not everything is black and white. Nothing ever can be. I have a gold dragon. With a gold dragon comes the possibility of a mating flight that ends with her being caught by a brown dragon. Brown dragons have female riders. Whether I'm straight or not, there's always the possibility that I will end up with someone of either gender, and therefore those possibilities have to be accepted and embraced, for the sake of everyone involved." She gives a little shrug, and then smiles coyly. "And what's the point of just accepting it, when I can give in and enjoy it? It makes it so much more pleasurable, don't you agree?"

"You realize whom you're talking to when you say that everything isn't black and white." Well, he does have a point as he accepts his recharged cup, saluting her with it before blowing on it and tipping it to his lips. He does blurr the colors into a sort of gray himself. "I agree wholeheartedly. If only others were as open minded." There's a little smirk, then. He can't help it. It develops into a little smile, then a big one. "My next question was going to ask you how you felt, but, I don't need to. I'm glad, more than you know, this was a positive thing for you." He reaches out, meaning to squeeze her knee. "I'm going to stick around, by the way. I might bend the rules of black and white, but I like my tradition. You won't be alone on the sands."

"I wasn't always as open-minded as I am now, y'know… my upbringing was in a Crom minehold. It was a pretty black and white place." It's time for Thys to refill her own tea, and doing so empties the pot so she wriggles to the edge of the bed, where it can be set down on a dresser. "I'll appreciate the company, for sure. Rinxyth needn't feel obliged if he's not so inclined; Rhenesath is quite happy out there on her own. In fact, most days she doesn't even need me to accompany her… I just do it because, well, the first time she was out there there was a fire. Arson. It might've been turns ago, but something like that just doesn't leave your thoughts."

"We're both staying." Ashwin assures; rolling onto his side to look at her, properly. Thinking. He's obviously got something in his mind, though whatever it is, he isn't quite ready to articulate it yet. He's also eating another biscuit. A minute or two of silence will go by, before he asks her: "You're going to need to tell me that story. Not now, but sometime. No more questions, though? I'm impressed. I do stick to my only one chance, so." His voice is calm, even cheerful. He means what he says, for sure. But it almost sounds as though he wants her to ask more.

It may be her own chance to ask, but Thys would seem to be almost out of questions as she offers a soft shrug and a smile. "I've never really been one to pry, Ash. May I call you that? My belief is that if people have something they want to share, they'll share it. Actively seeking information that they're not willing to share just seems rude." She resettles herself on the bed, so that she's reclined and propped up on one elbow. The position also allows her to reach over to trace her fingertips across the marks on the brownrider's skin. "What happened to leave you so marked-up?"

"Damn you for being so well adjusted. You're spoiling my post-flight tantrum." Ashwin says, failing to suppress the same smile. "I appreciate that. I am who I am, no more, no less. Confusing and complicated as it is." When she touches him, he does not move away, the line that she picked being on his side, trailing along to the almost-fadedness of a bruise that must have been very angry once upon the time. "Rinxyth caught a green at Ierne." His eyes are a little far away while he remembers this. "It was bad. Really, really bad. Very violent green, very violent Rinxyth. The rider and I? We… tore each other up plenty. I've never had anything like that happen before, not like that. I don't get it though. She's a sweetheart, I enjoyed meeting her. Wish the circumstances were different. I … actually, should go back to Ierne and check on her before I settle in here." His hand moves, laying calmly over her's. "I have a question." He's looking at her now, rather than his eyes being far away. "Do you remember what you asked me, when you… found out?"

"And I am ever more grateful that Rhenesath's flights are so violence-free." Thys winces as she traces her fingers over more of those lines, shaking her head and tutting as she does so. When he places a hand over hers, she remains still and exhales a long breath. "Rinxyth barrelled into her. That's never happened before. I think he took her by surprise." His question makes her look up at him, brown eyes confused. "I'm afraid I don't remember too much during flights, other than the pleasure of it. Did I ask you something?"

Ashwin's voice quiets a bit. "I hope he didn't hurt her. It's . . kind of a signature move of his. It really roughs up greens a bit, but she should have been okay. I mean, she wouldn't have let him catch if she didn't… " His eyes? Not confused. His face? Very soft. Almost shy, which isn't a natural thing for Ashwin at all. "You said show you." A moment while he waits for her to process that. "This is a little awkward, and if we've a thing of firsts here . . your first . . " He doesn't actually say it, but, flight with a woman, technically? " … I have never asked anyone else this, post flight." He grins to himself, looks down and laughs. "Bits of shards. I sound like a schoolchild. Far cry from the smooth operator at the Gemstone, huh?" He looks up at her, amused. But he asks, anyway. "Let me show you a little more."

"Did I?" Either Thys genuinely has no clue she asked as much, or she's a damned good actor. Ashwin's stammering makes her grin - and when he finally gets around to what he was trying to say, that grin widens with embarrassment as she drops her gaze, suddenly shy and very much blushing. "Ok," she replies quietly, peeping up and nodding. She rolls over to set her teacup somewhere safe, then leans in to kiss him - just in case her little reply wasn't enough of a green light.

When she leans in to kiss him, Ashwin interrupts her for a very brief second, index finger on her lips. "At the risk of sounding sappy and ruining my reputation forever?" He pauses. "And that doesn't leave this room either . . thank you, as much as I possibly can for all of this. Flights are usually a disaster, for once, just once in my life . . everything is going right." Then, finger is removed, and he'll spend a lazy rest of the day with her, teach a little, learn a little … and for once in Ashwin's life . . everything is indeed right. Until he realizes how much work this is going to be. But that will come later.


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