Opinions Vary

Characters N'sir, R'sner, T'ven
Synopsis T'ven receives a distressing letter, N'sir and R'sner discuss influence and opinions
Out-of-Character Date June 16, 2018

Igen Weyr - South Bowl
The orange hued sandstone layers comprising the bowl walls curve gently, but ever presently in your view. Fine sand shifts underfoot, a slightly paler version of what is found upon the walls. It gives way along the eastern edge to a section of contrasting green grass where a series of cleverly engineered pipes provide water to the fenced off area of the feeding grounds, and keeps the shimmer of the shallow lake beyond from disappearing during the driest periods of the turn. A distinctly squared entrance farther south is the tunnel leading out to the lands beyond. Traders and tithes arrive here at regular intervals and it is not uncommon for part of the bowl to be set up with a series of tents and wagons as wares are displayed and sold. To the west, the bowl wall has been eroded by the desert winds into strange shapes. At their base are found the weyrling barracks and training fields.

It has been a long long long day for the weyrlings, and while most of them seem to be catching on to things quickly the tattooist-turned weyrling is not one of those people. Still he is pressing on, currently T'ven is sitting on one of those benches with Aloath curled up next to him the evening afterglow soaking up the rays of the last light of day. Dragon has been bathed and oiled and fed while the weyrling himself just looks tired. Diligently working on something that can only be described as a freaking mess of leather and thread his finger tips are bandaged but that doesn't stop him from cursing every couple of times.

N'sir has been running. And running. And then running some more. It is on the circuit back near the barracks that he spots T'ven and slows his pace to a jog, then a walk as he nears the bench. "What are you doing?" The question is asked as he kicks one leg into a slow stretch before repeating the process on the other. Shaking himself out, his braid is tossed over his shoulder, one brow arching sharply he gets close enough to see what T'ven is working on. "…Is that supposed to be straps?"

T'ven looks up as his friend, well whom he hopes is his friend, questions him. But instead of the smile or even the jaunty snark back he just nods and goes back to work. "I got to at least make something decent." It is clear there is part of him being detached right now, no emotions are being portrayed just that blank focused work. Aloath is almost ready to sleep but she nudges his leg and more pointedly a paper letter he is hiding underneath.

"Uh huh," N'sir murmurs as he slips onto the bench and glances from the 'straps' to T'ven's face and back. Noting the letter, he glances at it pointedly, but otherwise doesn't mention it. Instead, he leans in and nudges T'ven's shoulder with his own. "First of all, you are using to much thread. Pull all that out and rethread the needle. You never," he advises. "Want to use a piece longer then the length of your arm from wrist to elbow."

T'ven happily hands it over to N'sir for him to explain "Then how am I going to do all the straps in one shot?" Because again he has read the manual but doesn't quite get it. He lets out a heavy sigh which wakes up dozing dragon again. He reaches down and pats her before asking "Do you still talk with your folks?" It is an odd question to be sure but probably not given there new jobs.

N'sir exhales a low snort, a chuckle spilling past his lips. "You're not." Pulling the thread out of the leather, he shakes his head as he tosses it aside and reaches for the spool. "It's an art,' he explains. "Just like drawing. You can't do it all in one go, you have to use precision and patience." Measuring out a length of thread, he slips it deftly through the eye of the needle. "Working each piece one at a time also creates a stronger finished product." With the needle threaded, he knots the end and sets it aside. "When you're working with leather, you want to punch your holes ahead of time. You cut the straps, mark your spots and the punch the holes. Then," he adds as he hands the pieces back to T'ven. "You can start putting them together." It is only belatedly that N'sir registers the question about his parents, his lips twitching in an unconcious frown. "They want nothing to do with me," he answers in low tones. Pausing a beat, his gaze sweeps out over the sandy bowl, his shoulders rising and falling in a mild shrug. "Prefering men is unacceptable. Being in love with a man and fully intending to spend your life with him? Well… Yeah. So, no, I don't talk to them. I don't even know if they know I impressed," he admits.

T'ven takes it back and looks down at the really bad mess he has made of it and his finger tips. He picks up his letter and hands it over N'sir "Didn't know mine did either…" There is a lot in that letter, on the surface it seems pleasant and nice but if a person reads between the meanings the true comes out. And it isn't something a person should get when they are having to learn to keep there emotions in check. "My old man seems to be in the same line of thought still, that I am wasting my life, and now dragging down a weyr and a dragon with me." He sticks himself again in the attempt to try to get the straps right. "Just tired of people looking down on me ya know.."

Toith is always preceded by a shadow; a darker splotch against the growing dark of the evening. But she is a normal presence, making a habit of checking in on weyrlings whenever the thought comes to her. She settles far enough away not to kick up sand, then hobble-hops her way forward until she's within easy distance of the pair. A whuffle-chuff for N'sir and T'ven, a rumbly, throaty greeting for little Aloath, though Toith keeps it quiet lest the little dragon has finally managed to fall asleep. She is sans R'sner at the moment, but that doesn't mean much; he's usually not far behind.

N'sir frowns as he glances at the letter, his head giving a firm shake as he folds neatly in half. "It's /thier/ loss, T'ven," he states in flat tones. "And really? Anyone looking down on you is not worth your time." Which is easy to say, not so easy to live. "I'm pretty sure my father would have a lot to say about Elianneth," N'sir admits. "But I'm not giving him the chance." At the approach of the shadow, N'sir's head raises, his lips twitching in a warm smile. "Hey, Toith!" The greeting has Elianneth emerging from the barracks, oiled and gleaming and crooning a husky greeting, as well. It's the appearance of his darling that has N'sir's expression softening, his weight shifting as he gives T'ven another light shoulder bump. "The ones that matter are right here and I certainly don't look down on you." In the wake of the words, he glances at the strap and winces when T'ven sticks himself. "You're still trying to go to fast," he advises. "Take your time, watch your needle."

T'ven nods and looks up, it is a thin smile for the elder green dragon but he is trying, to many things welling up that he is trying to bury. Aloath on the other hand is pretty happy to see the other green but she isn't leaving T'ven's side so teacher gets a « Hey your looking just Dandy today. Why are your talons redder than usual? » because she is still curious about all things. T'ven slows the 'attempt at stitching trying again "Oh I know, but I just HAVE to prove them wrong now. And prove my self to the weyrlingmasters.. "

« Cause I killed somethin', » is Toith's nonchalant answer. And it's probably the truth; no doubt there's a bit of dried blood lingering on her muzzle, as well. A shame, to be sure, though she looks pleased as punch to be seen at "less" than her best. A throaty welcome for Elianneth comes at the appearance of the much more properly cleaned and oiled green. Toith settles with a thump in the sand, stretching out in the last of the days light but stretching her head forward to take a peek at the straps. Or, what /ought/ to be straps. A chuff for that, humor spinning in her eyes. « Res'll fix that. »

"You've already proven them wrong," N'sir points out. "You're a dragonrider." At the last, his lips twitch in a wry smile. "We all have to do that," he reminds. "You're a step ahead of me, for what that is worth?" He's already gotten himself into trouble. Elianneth, of course, makes her over and curls up in the sand with Toith, a husky croon offered to Aloath in invitation.

T'ven rolls his eyes and lets out a harsh laugh "I doubt you could do anything to make /THAT/ man think less of you." He leans against his friend though saying "thanks man, I needed that." Aloath was asleep, she really was but hey her favorite sister is here as well so she just slides on over to Eli and try to curl back up next to the brighter green dragon. « Your looking shiny!! » T'ven shakes his head at his silly green.

Toith acknowledges the approach of Elianneth with a lift of her wing, a subtle invitation and routine gesture that allows the little princess her preferred spot. Even if Toith is a dusty, sandy mess. At least it's not mud? And it's not blood. Just sand. That Aloath joins them is cause for humor in Toith, faceted eyes whirling all the faster at her approach. « She is shiny, ain't she? » she notes with amusement. It is only as everyone is settled that R'sner makes his approach. Or rather, that his approach might be seen by those near the barracks. Dressed down for the evening, but nonetheless moving with the quiet authority of someone who knows he is allowed to approach the weyrlings and the barracks. And of course he's got food, because these days he's always got food when he comes.

Elianneth croons when Aloath joins her cuddling under Toith's wing, her tail snaking out to wrap snugly around her sister. Really, Toith could be caked in mud and Elia would still cuddle up against her. «Always.» Elianneth responds to both. «N'sir is finally trained to keep me so.» The laughter in her reply grows when N'sir rolls his eyes and sticks his tongue out at Elianneth. "Oh, I know that," N'sir assures T'ven. "But I also know there is no chance that I'll get away with /anything/." Glancing up, his smile warms, dark eyes crinkling at the corners as he raises a hand in an enthusiastic wave to R'sner and the basket. He's come to love that basket. "Are you going to write them back," he asks curiously.

T'ven shakes his head saying "probably not, was thinking about asking R'sner or S'las to screen my mail for me if they could.." Because he doesn't need a guilt trip or bad surprise like that again no sir. He looks over at the group of greens saying "did you ever think we would be here like this, worried about dragons instead of what we were going to do to keep from being bored?" It is still a mess, those straps in his hands but he is getting better now, or at least not sticking himself..

Good thing, as Toith is much more likely to be a messy disaster than prettied up and clean. Alas, there is a sad, sad lack of mud in Igen, and the older green has had to settle for sand and the little bit of gore she can hoard before R'sner makes her wash it off. Woe. Speaking of R'sner, there's a distinct pause in his steps as he spots Toith with her growing group of snuggle-buddies, one dark eyebrow raised in amused disbelief (that Toith staunchly ignores. She is *NOT* cuddling, thank-you-very-much. She's guarding. Huff-huff) before he's turning to continue. "T'ven. N'sir," and while the greeting is quick enough, there's a warmth to the second name that definitely does not permeate the one before it. A flicker of a smile, and he offers over the basket as he closes the distance. "Fruits, cheeses and nuts. Plenty of grapes," he notes. A lighter snack, since it is past dinner. It is only as he lets his gaze pass from N'sir to T'ven again that he seems to notice the bits of leather and poor attempt at strap making. A frown, and he wonders, "What are you doing?"

"Not in a million turns," N'sir admits to T'ven. "And yeah, I think that's a good idea. It's easier just to have no contact," he adds. At the greeting, his smile warms, his weight shifting as he eagerly takes the basket of food and starts rifling through it. "I'm starved," he admits as he pulls out a bunch of grapes and cheese. Pushing a wedge of cheese into his mouth, he twists his wrist to cover his lips as he mumbles. "Vorking on stahps." Hey, his mouth is full, he can't help it. He does, however, scoot over to make room on the bench between them for R'sner. Choking down the cheese, he coughs once, then twice before clearing his throat. "Sorry. Straps." «He chides me when I eat like that,» Elianneth points out to Toith and Aloath.

Oh Shards FOOD! T'ven salutes r'sner even as his stomach actually rumbles loudly as all the issues he has been dealing with have deprived him of proper snack time. He grabs a hunk of cheese with those bandaged finger tips and nods with N'sir "He is giving me pointers on how not to stab my self." He holds up the bandaged tips for R'sner to see. He chews rather rapidly himself, not so much messy as he is just not slowing down either. « Really? usually mine is telling me to speed up.. » comes Aloath answer as she snuggles against Toith and Eli happily.

R'sner waves away T'ven's salute with a quick, "That's not necessary unless it's a formal occasion." This? Not formal. Res is more or less "off the clock" for the moment. He even left the knot behind before coming down. A quirk of an eyebrow, and a glance passes between N'sir and T'ven at the explanation of what they were doing. "Hm," for that, and rather than take a seat straight away, there's a reach of his hand, palm-up, in a clear 'let me see' gesture toward those straps. The spot on the bench is eyed, but he's not quite ready to sit. « People're full o' contradictions, » huffs Toith with feigned exasperation. « Tell ya not ta do somethin', then go an' do it th'selves. Pft, » but she's teasing, and if she could grin, she'd definitely be doing that.

«Or not do it and complain about not doing it incessantly,» Elianneth chimes in. N'sir shoots Elia a look and tsks before shaking his head. "Don't forget to mention the mail situation," he reminds T'ven. With R'sner checking out the straps, he pops a few grapes in his mouth, chewing and swallowing before washing them down with cheese.

T'ven nods to N'sir as he hands over the straps and letter to R'sner asking "Would it be ok if either you and S'las screened my mail or just held it until Aloath is old enough.." He glances over at his green who at this point is dozing now head lulled onto Toith while her tail and wings are draped over Eli. No escape now T'ven you are stuck here till she wakes up.

« Ahh, yah, tha' too, » agrees Toith with a whisper of sarcastic amusement. « Worst is when they try an' convince ya o' somethin' like ya can't read their shardin' thoughts. Like ya don' know 'em better'n they know th'selves. » Huff. Res? Not privy to that conversation; Toith knows how to keep her partner out of her conversations when she wants too. And so there is no scathing look or quick, mental retort meant to hush her up. Instead, R'sner is accepting the length of leather with a frown, pausing to ask, "Screen your mail?" in a voice that is somewhat cautious. "Why?" But the length of strap takes his attention and he sighs just a bit before he catches himself. "We haven't started working with leather yet; you'd do better to wait until we do," which is a polite way of saying it sucks? But he hands it back, moving to take a seat in the spot on the bench beside N'sir. "You'll need an awl, for the holes. And much thicker leather, for the actual straps."

N'sir exhales a breath when T'ven gets up and heads in to get the proper tools. Chances are good he'll be a while and N'sir knows it. "His parents are giving him a hard time," he informs R'sner. "Apparently his father is just as bad as my own." Falling silent a beat, he gives a shake of his head to banish the hurt that inspires, lightly clearing his throat. "He's really worried about proving himself to you. S'why he started working on straps so early." Watching T'ven head inside, Elianneth turns her head, nuzzling at Aloath for a moment before chuckle in response to Toith. «Stubborn.»

Settled on the bench, R'sner allows himself to relax just a little. The thoughtful frown deepens at the explanation, but there's understanding there as well. "I see." Because he does, at least a little. At the moment of silence, Res lifts a hand to ghost his fingers along the side of N'sir's face, brushing back stray strands of hair. "To me?" he asks, unable to keep the surprise from his tone. His hand drops once more, arms folding across his chest. It is not a posture of resistance, but rather out of habit, and he turns his gaze toward the dragons rather than the retreating weyrling. "I see no reason why S'las or I can't simply hold his mail until he is ready for it. I wouldn't… I wouldn't feel comfortable reading it." But keeping it safe? That he can do. « Tch. Y' have no idea, » agrees Toith, turning her gaze toward R'sner briefly.

N'sir tilts his head into the contact, a relieved breath spilling past his lips. When it falls away, he slips a bit closer. Close enough that their thighs are touching. "Yes, to you. He's my friend and he knows that we're going to be together when this is over. And," N'sir adds in quieter tones. "I don't think he's gotten a lot of acceptance in his life. He's a good man, you know? He has a big heart." Glancing at R'sner, his expression softens, dark eyes simply taking in his profile. "You have a big impact on the people around you. I don't think you realize how big."

R'sner is not at all certain how he feels about that, a fact made obvious in the discomfort that flits across his expression before he can curb it; the subtle downward turn to his mouth and the shift of his weight on the bench. "None of you need to prove anything. Not at this time. You're weyrlings. You're meant to learn." It's a mild argument, but argument all the same. There's conflict still, a tightness in his jaw and shoulders, at consideration of T'ven and whether or not he is a 'good' man. But a quick glance at N'sir is enough for R'sner to hold his tongue about whatever lingering doubts he might have. "I am just a weyrlingmaster, nothing more. My job is to teach."

N'sir remains silent for a few moments, his gaze lowering in response to the words. "Right now you and S'las are the most important people in our lives, R'sner. I mean, you /are/ the most important person in my life, always. But.." Trailing off, he waves one hand before sighing. "I didn't mean to upset you," he adds in quieter tones. "Just to try to explain how I think he's feeling." Glancing up, he worries at a corner of his lip, lightly clearing his throat.

A rush of breath as R'sner sighs, arms unfolding to run a hand over his face before he rakes it back through his hair. "I am not upset," he clarifies, mildly apologetic. "I simply meant that… being a weyrling will be difficult enough. There is no need to increase that difficulty with unwarranted pressure to try and be perfect." A reach of his hand, and his thumb finds that worried lip with gentle pressure to try and free it from N'sir's teeth. "Have I been unfair to T'ven?" he wonders honestly. "Have I treated him with bias?"

N'sir's chin tilts down, his lips brushing a kiss over the pad of R'sner's thumb. "No," he assures in quiet tones. "You haven't been unfair to any of us. And considering I was punished? That's saying a lot," he adds with a smile. "He's just sensitive? I guess, we must be weird like that? Well, except for Taia? She's pretty tough." Pausing a beat, he glances toward Elianneth, his expression softening. "I don't know how it is for T'ven," he admits. "But I know for me, I just feel more with her in my life. The letter from his parents probably didn't help much, either. This really the first time that we've talked anything like that."

The relief is subtle, but evident all the same. A final brush of his thumb to N'sir's lip comes before R'sner drops his hand once again. "That is normal," he observes, turning to follow the weyrling's gaze toward Elianneth. "Being sensitive, feeling… things more intensely than before. Emotions can change quickly, too. It is something that will settle as the months pass and you adjust to having a dragon. Her emotions, your emotions… everything is a mess," and there's a glance for Toith, though the older green is half-asleep as the sunlight fades. "Taia likely feels it as well, but is simply better at hiding it. She's very…" but whatever Shetaia is R'sner doesn't say, letting the sentence fade into the evening air. "They disapprove of Aloath?" he guesses. And after a moment of hesitation, he murmurs a cautious, "Have you told your family about Elianneth?"

"No." The word is flat and oddly cold, N'sir's head giving a firm shake. "And I have no intention of doing so. I don't want to know their opinion." Despite the fact that he's pretty sure he already knows what it would be. And Elianneth deserves then the judgement of people who just don't matter in her world. "Besides, they are not my family. You are my family. And Elianneth and Toith." Drawing in a slow breath, he clears his throat, swallowing past the discomfort. "As for T'ven? They know. I guess his father implied that they think he'll make a mess of it." Which N'sir thinks is both cruel and ridiculous.

"I'm sorry." For asking. For the pain of their opinion. For things that are just wrong in the world. All of it. And it comes with a lean forward and the press of R'sner's lips N'sir's temple; a kiss that lingers as he seeks to provide a measure of comfort, as well as simply breathe in the scent of him. "I love you," comes in a low murmur before R'sner straightens once again. Of T'ven's parents and their opinion? Mild confusion and disapproval, though he knows very little about the man, and nothing at all of his upbringing. "Ridiculous," he agrees, giving the opinion a voice. "He's Impressed a dragon; he's already succeeded."

N'sir smiles at the kiss, a quiet sigh spilling escaping as he slants a glance up to R'sner's face. "I love you, too and that's really the only thing that matters." When R'sner straightens, N'sir shifts his weight, his legs curling up on the bench as he settles in to lean against the assistant weyrlingmaster's shoulder. "I agree with you and I told him that," he assures. "But sometimes it takes a while for these things to sink in? I mean, he'll be fine. Aloath is healthy and happy and I'd think if it was really something to worry over, there would be signs from her?"

The drape of R'sner's arm comes with a murmured, "He'll be fine," in quiet affirmation. "If he is unduly upset, she would indeed show signs. Generally an announcement of distress to anyone and everyone," he notes with a faint, dry amusement for a stray thought or two, "And if not that, it would be noticed in her hide, her eyes… And with S'las and I, never mind Chessylith and Toith, keeping a close eye on you all, it would be caught quick enough. He will be fine," he repeats, confident in that assumption.

The moment the arm goes around his shoulders, every hint of tension spills from N'sir's body. And for a moment, he turns his face into the curve of R'sner's throat. He is careful, though, to keep the affection at that, only faintest whisper of breath offered before he resettles his head on R'sner's shoulder. "I know," he assures. He has nothing but faith in that simple truth. Settling into a comfortable silence, his eyes drift closed, a days worth of exhaustion leaving him snoozing as comfortably against R'sner as Elianneth tucked under Toith's wing.

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