I'll Hold Your Hand
Who Ashwin, Thys
What Best friends have confessions, and decisions, to make.
When Autumn-Winter, Turn 2711
Where Tir Na nOg, Fort Weyr

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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.


Warning: This log contains content related to riders and pregnancies that may be sensitive for some readers. Please do not read on if you find pro-choice conversation upsetting.

The invitation to come for tea clearly defined what type of 'tea' was intended - there would be a good Southern brew, biscuits and cakes aplenty, and little triangle sandwiches from the kitchens, too. There's a good spread on the coffee table in Thys' weyr, set beside the sheepskin rug in front of the blazing fire that warms the little living room. Plenty of cakes, for sure. In fact, Thys is already tucking into a slice when Ashwin arrives - she's lying on her back on the sofa, feet up over the edge, head propped up by a pillow as she balances a plate of creamcake on her tummy, pinching pieces off between her fingers to drop tasty morsels into her mouth. There's probably cream that's dropped onto her chest, and probably crumbs on her somewhere too, but given that the goldrider doesn't even get up to let Ashwin in - as if he needs her to do that?! - she probably doesn't care. There is cake. What else matters other than cake?

There are a great many things that are more important than cake. One of those things is sleep and that is what Ashwin was doing before dragging himself to respond to Thys' invitation. He has grumbled and bumbled his way through the weyr and his self imposed exile has ended by forcing open Thys' door and entering and closing it behind him. He looks tired, like he has slept in his clothes and his usually bound hair has been left to fly loose and unkempt. He enters and bends down to hug the goldrider and brush the crumbs off of her chest and then sit down heavily on the floor with his back to the sofa. "Came for the company. I'll be passing on most of the food."

"But there is so much cake," Thys protests quietly, rolling over on the sofa so she can curl an arm lightly around Ashwin's shoulders, and so that she can plant a little kiss on his neck. She nuzzles there for a soft, affectionate moment, before resting her chin in the groove where neck meets shoulder. "Did I wake you?" Apologetic, she gives him a gentle squeeze. "I needed to talk to someone. You're the best someone I could think of, Ash." Her head tilts towards his, dark hair pressed against dark hair.

"I haven't been sleeping especially well." Brownrider explains to Goldrider. "Or eating especially well." The second brief sentence is added mostly like an afterthought. A little bit of information, perhaps a confession that he feels that she ought to know. "I'll try some later." Exposure of his neck follows in all due time, accepting her kiss and her nuzzling both as something he has become used to but still does not take for granted. He allows his head to slump and lean itself back against her's so that he can comfortably close her eyes and use her for a rather impromptu pillow. "I've never been someone who is good at giving advice. I can't keep my own life in any state of order." He cautions. "But I'll listen. Come on out with it."

Thys is a willing pillow. She'll even adjust herself to make it more comfortable for her guest, giving him an encouraging nibble on his jaw so he knows he's welcome to lean against her as he will. "Please eat. Stay and sleep too, if I can help with that. Faranth knows I could nap." Which she looks like she may have been doing, considering she's wearing not much more than what looks to be one of A'ster's shirts and a pair of socks. She kisses Ashwin's neck again, a butterfly-soft motion, before she spills the beans in a tiny, whispered voice. "I think I'm pregnant."

"Excuse me a second." Ashwin murmurs politely as he reaches up and grabs his own hair, pulling his head to the side and away from Thys to crack his neck. Nope, he's not breaking his own neck to get out of the situation like that one famous cartoon character. He is giving himself a little extra time where he does not need to talk to think. Not that he's ever been someone who is extremely wordy. "Take me to bed, then." He holds out his hand for Thys and in light of her revelation: "The sleeping kind." His neck cranes all the way backward so that he can kiss her temple. "You think you are pregnant…. and?" A loaded question, much unsaid.

Thys is receptive of the kiss to her temple, exhaling a warm breath in response. She then pushes herself up so she's sitting on the couch, then stands, holding her hand down to Ashwin. "C'mon. Let's go talk until we nap." Naturally, she has a plate of cake to take with her. She raises the plate to her mouth so she can take a bite of the creamcake on it, which leaves a little residue around her lips that she doesn't have a spare hand to deal with. And again? She doesn't seem to care. "I think I'm pregnant, and I don't know how I feel about it. But it's A'ster's. I'm sure. I think… from Rhenesath's flight." With Ashwin's hand in hers, she begins leading him down the corridor and to her room, where she climbs onto the unmade bed and scoots over, so he can join her. "But I don't know if it's me feeling pregnant, or if it's Rhenesath projecting onto me. She does have eggs in her, I'm sure. Despite what the lower caverns rumours may be."

Kissing Thys' temple is chased by her cheek and then her neck. Affection that Ashwin isn't good enough with words to express. He stands after her and lazily lets her pull him to his feet because she can use a little bit of exercise anyway and then plods along into the room after her. He shrugs out of his pants and outer shirt and in boxers and a sleeveless T he flops with no grace whatsoever into Thys' bed, wiggling and mumbling until he can get himself up against her back. Grunting and mumbling and making an extra dramatic show he gets his arm under her and around her ribs and the other around her hips and his lips right into that sweet spot in the back and side of her neck. "You have to know by now. Breasts? Periods?" He is very direct but that is Ashwin. He has always been direct. "Let's figure this out first. Then tell me how you feel about it. Is this a bad thing to have happened?"

Thys captures one of Ashwin's hands, lifting it up to place it - with chaste intentions - on one of her breasts. "Bigger, but…" Her shoulders are shrugged. "I've been eating." That's said very quietly, embarrassed even. "No periods. Not since before Rhenesath was proddy. That's… normal, though." Another shrug. She takes Ashwin's hand once more, this time directing it down to her soft tummy, and sandwiching it there with her fingers linked with his. "I don't know if it's bad. Ask me a four months ago and yes, it would have been. I never wanted this. But…" Thys exhales a heavy, conflicted sigh. "He loves me. I love him. Doesn't it… make sense? I don't know."

Thys may be unhappy with Ashwin's next move after his hand is put down. His intentions are also chaste but he pokes her right in the fullness of one of them, looking critically at her face all of the while. It is a poke that is just hard enough to be a little uncomfortable usually and probably painful if there was something else at play. "I've noticed." Awww, Ashwin. That was a little assholish. He does not make these things up though, they just come out of his mouth without him thinking about it. "I'm sorry." He is, too. For being too direct. He holds her closer, nuzzling his lips affectionately down into her neck while his hand squeezes her's. "It does." He refrains from judging her. "I've been trying to get rid of mine for a couple of weeks. As stubborn as Th'ero is." There wasn't any easy way to tell her. So he just tells her.

The only reaction Thys gives to being poked is a sharp intake of breath. Given that he's behind her, Ashwin won't be able to see the expression that goes with it, but he'll feel her tense up - even more so when he says he's noticed that she's plumped up. Some of that tension slips away when he kisses her, and she squirms gently against him - then lies completely still. "You've been trying to get rid of… what?" That confession has her turning around, not fully at first, but enough to be able to see the brownrider's face. "Ash. Are you…? With Th'ero?" It takes a moment to sink in, during which she shifts around so she's lying on her belly, propped up on her elbows. "Shit - Rhenesath's flight. You slept with Th'ero. That's why you weren't at the feeding grounds. Shit. Ash…" Turning completely so that she can not only face him, but so that she can cuddle up against his front and hook a leg over his calves, Thys cups his jaw in her hands. "Are you… too? What if… it might be A'ster's? When we were with you and Kiena…" That was the night before the flight, after all!

It is just like Ashwin to keep talking about Thys' problems when she is trying to shine a light on his. "If that hurts. Would you like it if I went to the healer with you? I don't gossip. What they say will stay with us." He will not look at her. Her neck seems to entrance him and he keeps moving to keep his eyes from having any more than fleeting contact with Thys'. She gets nothing more, no looks or words until she captures him to which he makes no resistance except to close his eyes. "I haven't told Kiena yet. It was a cluster fuck of an evening. She slept with my other … oh, Faranth. How do I even … the other person I am close to besides her and her weyrmate. She told me that and I blurted it out. It happened, Thys." He is rigid. Shame for letting it happen and anger that he cannot seem to escape the consequences that have fallen. "Yeah, we were. But he didn't … " He never did get around to letting A'ster do that. Both were participating but that particular thing did not occur. "It could be but I don't think so. This one certainly is determined to stay around. I'm sick as fuck, Thys. I can't eat because I puke and I can't sleep because I'm stressed." Ashwin shrugs. He has said far more than he wants to. Physically he is stuck halfway between a cuddle and not, snared by her leg and leaning against him but he has forgotten what to do with his arms or his head. "I haven't told him yet either. You are the only one that knows."

"Shit." Thys nestles in closer, both giving and drawing comfort as she tucks her head in under Ashwin's jaw to kiss his neck and shoulder, while hugging him to her. She's soft and warm - like a big plushie! "I haven't told A'ster. Haven't been able to. Things have been tense between us since the flight too, and… shit, Ash, I'm sorry I didn't know." She squeezes her arm and her leg around him, exhaling a hot breath against his skin. Her other hand, the one trapped beneath her and the bed, is wriggled up so she can press her palm against the brownrider's belly. Gently, fondly. Cautiously. "Have you been between? I haven't. Rhen still can't fly, and… I didn't even think to. I've been so caught up in her healing, and there maybe not being eggs, and… and other things. I just didn't think to ask someone to… when does it become too late? Ashwin… we're in this together. Your secret is mine."

Ashwin kisses Thys on the lips as soon as she is done with his neck and shoulder. There is no warning to it. There is desperation but for a positive emotion and not to feel the way he does rather than any attempt to begin something sexual. If it is taken that way he will probably be fine with it but it is not what he was attempting to do. "Yeah. Shit." He says after it is over. He is nothing like a plush. More like a tensed up bundle of cords and nerves and he snatches at Thys' hand to push it away from /that spot/ she was touching. There are so many emotions there. What has happened and his questions of gender in one. This is why it takes an act of will to put her hand back where it was and keep it there. "It depends. If you don't want to see it then you had better get on it. I don't know after that. I guess it varies. Sometimes late, sometimes new. But if you wait for very much longer it won't be just blood."

Thys's replaced touch is light, but there; just as her response to the kiss was - nothing more than was being asked for, a search for comfort and distraction and even validation, rather than the desire to push things further than they are. She listens to Ashwin in silence, save for the rhythm of her breathing. "I don't know what I want. I can't separate myself from Rhenesath; she is all babies." Thys hides her face against the brownrider's taut shoulder, shaking her head softly. "Ash. I don't know. I need to speak to A'ster. H-he should know. But I… I don't know if I can do it." She raises her head, eyes slightly damp as she looks at her friend. "I don't know if I can go between. I don't know if I can keep it. I don't know. How… how are you… dealing? With it?"

Stoic and sullen, Ashwin is looking anywhere but at Thys again. The walls and the floor, her bedspread and even the other man's shirt that she is wearing. "I'm finding new and inventive ways to think about getting rid of it every day. I don't want this one, Thys. I might be open to doing it someday. But not this one. It needs to go, no matter how much it hurts me physically and then I have to deal with hurting emotionally because maybe I do want one of these. Just not this one and I feel it's maybe wrong to hate it? But I do. It is so many problems and questions. I don't. I can't." He appears about to cry and that is the longest sentence she has heard him say in a long time. "I should tell Kiena." It is as though he has just discovered and made up his mind about the obvious. His weyrmate should have been the first to know and she is not. "So." He says through teeth that are clenched and a chin on top of her head while she hides against him. "Maybe I'm not the one to ask for advice. But if you have any doubt, keep it, Thys. You can always turn it over to the nannies and it doesn't have to know anything about where it came from. There are plenty of weyr children. It is better that you live with that decision than a bad one that you can't handle for the rest of your life. You don't have to decide now."

"Oh, Ash -" Thys's voice cracks, and she curves her hands around his jaw to draw their faces together, forehead to forehead, holding him close in understanding. "I hate it. I feel horrible and guilty and awful but I hate it, and I've never, ever wanted it, but I also…" She swallows hard, pressing her forehead hard against his. "I also feel I should love it. I don't know if I do, though. I don't know if it's Rhenesath. I feel those things from her. I can't always tell where she ends and I begin, and I… I…" Ashwin will only feel the tears as they roll down Thys's cheeks, because she doesn't make any of the usual sounds of crying. "We both have the rest of our lives to do this again. You should tell Kiena. I should tell Ali." One tiny sniff gives her emotions away, but it's a dismissive one - one that is meant to end tears, rather than signal more. "I'll hold your hand all the way, Ash. If you want me to. I'll be here."

"Heh." It is a most bitter and not funny laugh. It is not one of humor at all. The smile that he has with it is just as heart wrenching. He feels this and hides it by kissing her again, burying his fingers in her hair and holding their faces next to each other afterwards. "I hate it. I feel horrible and a guilty and awful, but I hate it." He is using her words and he has to think about them less for it. "And I feel like there is something wrong with me because I can't love it. All I can think of is how fast can I get rid of it." He does not cry. He cannot. He has not cried for years. This will not be the occasion. "Right now we do not need to tell anyone. A few hours will not make a difference." His hands exit her hair and find her's and squeeze onto them. "Same. Always. Whenever you need something. Anything. I'll be here." A tired sigh escapes him as he suddenly runs into the wall of energy and fatigue that has been accumulating. "Right now I need sleep. Want to help me with that?" It might be a come on. It might be a request for a back massage. It might be anything that Thys takes it to be.

"If we both feel like there's something wrong with us for feeling how we feel," Thys says quietly, "then perhaps there's nothing wrong at all. It can't be wrong if we both feel it, Ash. It just can't be." She squeezes her hands back against his, blinking her tear-wet eyes. "Sleep is good. We need sleep." The goldrider nods, then leans in towards him to kiss him on the lips, gently. "Give me one moment. I'll be right back." She softly slips from his hold, padding in her comfy socks away out of the bedroom. There are sounds from the kitchen - and soon enough, Thys comes back with two shot glasses. They're steaming gently, and she sits carefully on the bed to offer one to the brownrider. "Here. This is something I got from the Healers when I couldn't sleep after the flight… I kept dreaming we - Rhen and I - were falling. Nightmares, really." She shudders as she sighs. "I've made it a little smaller, but the dose is the same. It won't taste good, but… it works." Her shoulders are shrugged gently, and to prove that it's fine to drink she knocks back the contents of one shot glass in a single gulp, gagging at the taste. The empty shot is set aside, and she waits for Ashwin to take the one offered to him.

"Heh." It is the same bitter not-laugh. "Or we are both fucked in a similar way. Probability is that someone other there is." Perhaps it is still wrong but they are both wrong in the same way. That is what his face tells her and after she kisses him he lets her go but not before kissing her tears away. He is sitting up cross-legged in her bed when she comes back. "I want you to be big spoon. I'm always big spoon. Is there alcohol in that?" He does not mean for it to be a reminder of … their shared condition. It is because he does not drink. He does not care past his asking either and pounds the warm fluid back in one gulp too. "Bleh." No. He did not like it at all. He removes his shirt and tosses it to where the rest of his clothes lay in a heap and presents his back to Thys. "It could have been me instead of A'ster. Loving you. I do. In my own way. Please don't let new love take you away totally. All right?"

Thys is happy enough to be the big spoon, curling in behind Ashwin with one arm around his waist, and the other under his head so she can properly cushion him. She buries her face against his hair, then kisses her way down to his neck, as she draws her leg up to hook that over his hip, bringing him well and truly into her hold. "It would have been you," she says softly, nuzzling at warm skin. "I love you, too. And I'm here. Always. Things just… didn't turn out the way they could have. I wasn't ready." Thys kisses his neck again, then sighs as she settles more comfortably. Her words start to slur sleepily, becoming more murmured. "I'm happy with Ali. You're happy with Kiena, and everyone else you have. And we're happy together." She squeezes him, sighing again. "He makes me really happy, Ash. I didn't want to feel like that. I didn't know I could. I didn't expect to. But my heart jumps just thinking about him, and I… I ca- can't… ca…" Whatever it is that she can't will be left unknown, because a heavy sigh, then a soft snore, says Thys has succumbed to the sleeping draught and is out for the count. Nini, world.

"Heh." Prior to the sleeping medicine putting him straight out and asleep, Ashwin just has enough time to lean back and kiss Thys on the lips. "Happy you are happy." He is warm and is held and he falls fast asleep. His long hair only tries to strangle Thys a couple of times during the night. That is why he is never little spoon.


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