It was a slow drift back to consciousness. Rilora had drifted up towards the warmness and back into the softness of sleep. After some time of this she was perhaps too rested and accepted there was no other option than to get up. With many slow blinks she looked out at the new day, the boring and blank weyr wall. She felt too warm and shifted to stretch. When she moved a cold trickled along her back. Her eyes tried to widen, still fighting off sleep. What?
Oh. D'gan. She looked down, confused. She wasn't naked. She wasn't exactly dressed either. What?
She cleared her throat to ask, "Are you awake?"
Did that mean they just kind of-? She felt the recollection of the day prior just slightly beyond her. She was left with the vague impression she'd enjoyed herself. She needed some klah, that was it. Surely. Things would make sense then.
D'gan shifted slowly, as if Rilora's question had just roused him from sleep. But in truth, he had been lying awake for the last hour, due in no small part to nerves. The Flightlust had blurred his memory, and he wasn't quite sure what he had gotten up to last night. He had checked himself earlier and found that he was still dressed -- well, if one considered wearing only pants as being dressed.
Confusing, to say the least. That was not typically how Flights ended, though it wasn't the strangest morning he ever had to face. Waking up next to a beautiful woman certainly helped.
"Mmhmm. I am," he replied, his voice low and gravelly from sleep. D'gan turned to look at her as he spoke, and offered her a warm smile when his eyes met hers.
That voice and those sharding eyes. Shards. Shelling shards-
"Well shards there goes any chance I had at a clear thought," Rilora lamented, sinking back into the bed. "Do you wanna just lay here another hour?" With that she let her head drop against the mattress and whined, "Why are we clothed? How does this even happen?" what is my liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiife?
D'gan laughed at her exasperated outburst and settled back down in the bed. He grinned over at her. "Well don't ask me! I'm just as confused as you! I swear, I'm usually really good at this sort of thing."
The whole situation was ridiculous, and silly, and the slightest bit strange. He chuckled once more, then left out a soft sigh. "Perhaps I was just happy to lie next to you…and then fell asleep, like a fool."
D'gan cleared his throat. "But yes, to answer your question…staying in with you sounds perfect. More than perfect, really."
And then, he decided to voice the thought that had been on his mind for…well, for what felt like forever. It was the right time.
"You don't mind that I'm the Weyrleader now, do you? I know I'm probably a bit older than what you're used to. If you want to take someone else for your Weyrmate, I'm fine with it, you know. I don't want to force you to do anything."
His protest of skill convinced her to leave her face buried under her hair. It was too red to be showing to decent people. He sounded surprised if not sincere, and that made it worse. Because that meant he was available. And if he was available, then that meant she had to make a decision. And to make decisions she ought to have a clear head. And she certainly didn't have one now. Not with mister no shirt and gravelly voice laying over there. Sharding attractive man.
"You're-" she was going to retort. She was. But to question his sincerity felt wrong, frankly, so she let the sentence go. And then came the real questions, or something more like them. Faranth shelling...shells...
"Wait?" she sat up to look at his face. It was a serious question. "Do I mind? Do I mind? What? Shells, do I mind?" she let the litttle jolts of laughter make their way out in bursts. "Do Imind? You, the most qualified, up to date, already involved, loyal, supportive man in the entire Weyr? And do I mind?" She laughed again. "No. No I don't mind. I vaguely remember picking you before Archith made up her mind..." she tilted her head back to think, hair tickling over her shoulders. Right, it was colder sitting up. But she did recall...yes, she had picked D'gan out of the lot. He was the most comfortable choice. And the certainty in that thought set her back to sifting through the rest of this odd morning again. "I need a minute about the whole weyrmate thing. I mean, we should probably talk about...this-" she gestured "-uhm, first."
It was his turn to blush when Rilora answered his question.
Her enthusiasm was positively infectious, but her answer was so much more than he ever imagined it'd be. Every Rider knew just how strong Flightlust could be, and he wanted to get a solid grasp on the situation. But to hear her say that she chose him? He was surprised she couldn't hear his heart beat, it was so loud.
And then she brought up their current situation again, and he dissolved into laughter once more. The weight on his shoulders was infinitely lighter now that he knew that they at least shared similar feelings for each other.
It made it so much easier for him to do what he had planned next.
Amusement flitted across his face when Rilora gestured to, well, all of them. Or she was gesturing to their clothes, but that was more of a minor detail at this point. Now that the big question was out of the way, it was back to the situation at hand, it seemed. He didn't mind in the slightest.
"Oh, you want to talk about the fact that we're somehow both clothed and no worse for wear than yesterday?" He sighed and nodded to himself. "Mmm. It is a problem, I must admit."
With a mischievous smile on his face, D'gan took the opportunity to lean in close. His voice dropped to a whisper. "But tell me…is talking all you had in mind, Rilora? I don't know about you...but I can think of a few other things I'd like to do with you right now."
He pressed a soft kiss against her temple. "At least, while we have…oh, how long did you say? An hour? Should be more than enough time to…discuss...whatever it is you wanted. Wouldn't you agree?"
It was all too much. Now they were both red in the face, and even with the pauses between sentences Rilora couldn't string together the words to even begin to explain what was going through her mind. It was a series of memories and impressions: their reunion breakfast after he came back from Fort, her asking him to go to Fort in the first place -- and occasionally work was harder because he was gone, and then when he came back it hit her then and took sevendays to sink in that she really had missed him. How this felt comfortable, that she just wanted to snuggle up against him and let the world take care of itself for a while. And that scared her. Because the world was not very good at holding itself together. Because D'gan was her friend and a trusted partner in keeping the planet from falling to pieces. And she had lost T'kar so violently, so suddenly, that the possibility of opening herself up to that happening again scraped against the pleasant morning and warm sheets and -- kiss on her forehead?
And she found herself pressing a kiss against the edge of his jawline. "I'll make it enough time," she said, deciding on the matter. "if you'd be kind enough to keep your pants on for a minute." She decided to throw a wink in there too. For a minute. Did she mean that? Probably.
"Do you think we, uhm...would be okay, as weyrmates?" she asked. "If I'm honest," gathering her words, "it's a little scary for me. Okay?" She leaned into him though. This, this right now, this was good. "I just know the Weyr will need you always, and I don't want to jeopardize that. Shards, D'gan. I- Shards. ...can you just say something nice and we move on from this?" It was frustrating. She didn't want to be having this conversation. She didn't want to think she needed this conversation. She didn't want to be worrying that she'd ruin everything and- D'gan wasn't like that. He'd seen her through worst, honestly. And she almost trusted him for that. And she should, should?, trust things would be okay later, and work out and not catastrophize these little things that all humans lived through, perhaps without being the ones that were at the center of global attention and conflict. She needed to trust things to sort themselves out, to not put everything on her own shoulders. Because the world needed that. Her world needed that.
"Mmmm, of course," D'gan murmured in reply. "You make the rules here."
Her kiss was soft, her body was pleasantly warm against his, and it could have been a nice distraction from the topic they were trying to keep at bay. But when Rilora turned the topic back to Weyrmates, his mischievous smile waned in favor of a more serious expression.
D'gan turned fully to face her as she haltingly tried to express herself. He would have thought her hesitation cute, but she was saying the same thing that was in his mind. And when she asked to move on from the topic, he couldn't keep from chuckling.
"Rilora, always in such a hurry." He kissed her again, this time on the cheek. "It's okay to be scared. Choosing a Weyrmate is a big step, and I wouldn't want you to choose because you think you have to. Don't rush into something because you think it's good for the Weyr, especially something as personal as this. This is a decision only for you."
His voice grew wistful in thought. "Did you know…when I was younger, I never wanted one. A Weyrmate. It was just going to be me and Mosiliath, until the very end. I didn't want to be in a relationship with anyone for a long time, truthfully."
D'gan paused and took the opportunity to shift his position a little, pushing his silver hair out of his eyes. "There were and are still variables that make me hesitant to commit, but do I think we'd make good Weyrmates? Absolutely. We work well together, and I think we also understand each other. To a certain extent, at least. Archith also seems to tolerate Mosiliath, which is a huge success."
He grinned. "I mean, with my beauty and your brains, there's nothing we couldn't do. So…Do I think we'd be good Weyrmates, for the Weyr? Yes." Then his voice grew softer, and he looked Rilora right in her eyes.
"But I don't want you to think about the Weyr right now. I want you, Rilora, to think only of yourself. I already know my own answer, and I think I've known it for…well, for longer than I care to acknowledge. I like you, Rilora. A lot more than I can express in words, that's for sure. My answer to you will always be yes. I would gladly be Weyrmates with you, if you'd have me.
"I want you to know something, so listen carefully. You don't have to decide now. You don't have to decide, ever. Period. That won't change any of my feelings toward you. So go at your own pace, until you're not scared anymore. Choose who you like, if anyone at all. I'll always be at your side, no matter what."
With that conclusion, D'gan stretched out languidly. "That was a very long minute, wouldn't you say?"
"A very long minute," Rilora traced a hand down his side while he stretched. "The short version of a reply for me then," she commented, settling up against him. She felt a swelling in her chest coming from across the room. Archith. She smiled.
The pair of wills pushed against each other for a second, more like playing kittens than anything else.
"I could probably bore you to death with all my life details. I'll have to save some of them for breakfasts... I'm flattered, you know. Ah,-"
And I'll keep tolerating Mosiliath. The two laughed.
"In short, I never thought my life would wind up here. Farm fields to Weyr heights," and she sat with her thoughts racing. He had been so honest. Answers to questions she hadn't asked, no answers to questions she thought she had asked. "Took my brains up here then, I suppose. Your beautiful hair though..." she tsked, teasing out a collection of silvering strands. Her face flushed. "So, chose? I chose this morning, right now, these circumstances. Just the way they are. The hard. The easy. If Rainbow Mists has taught me anything is that the two and all other pairs come together and you have to learn to thrive with both at once." She pursed her lips and considered her speech. Good enough.
"Well..." she exhaled. "Lot of words. I'm glad they're aired."
"Well..if anything it's been two minutes now." She rested her hand on his hip. "Ask first and slow?" She tilted her chin up towards him. "Kiss me?"