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[G] [C] 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - Printable Version

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740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - R'dal - 16.Sep.19

R'dal was super excited! He was finally able to tell F'drel about Searching his sister and helping D'hys--both very cool things! Even cooler was the fact that he was now an official Searchrider! He never doubted Edath's ability. Oh really? Okay, maybe just a little but that didn't last long and he was far more confident than not and it all paid off!

D'hys had told him to keep what they were doing a secret since it was a gift for F'drel and duh, of course he'd keep a gift secret! Although it was all pretty exciting and R'dal had decided to stay away from Ista for a few days so he wouldn't accidentally say something. But he really couldn't contain his excitement anymore and upon hearing from his dad that the girl he Searched and her sisters had arrived, R'dal nearly exploded from the relief. He could finally go see F'drel and check up on the girls!

Still, he had things he couldn't get out of so another day passed before he could get to Ista. But that was okay, that meant the girls would be settled in and maybe not quite so overwhelmed so he could visit with them and maybe show them around some more, because obviously F'drel would have already done so.

But first he had to see F'drel, which was the ledge Edath angled for with a greeting to Halomirth. R'dal knew Edath wouldn't admit to it, but he had a feeling his dragon was excited to see another friend and tell them about being a Search dragon now as well. When they were both safely on the ledge, R'dal gave Edath a big hug, and practically skipped his way inside.

"Hi, F'drel!" R'dal smiled brightly as he spotted his friend and his nearly-skipping continued as he went to F'drel, going in for his customary hug greeting.

RE: 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - F'drel - 29.Sep.19

Everything in F’drel’s life had gotten so complicated since D’hys had stopped by to deliver his “gift.” First he’d had to go visit his siblings to check in with them and how they felt about it all, and let Kelikki know she had the option to stay, if she wanted to. As he probably should have expected, Kelikki was apprehensive, his younger sisters were excited but nervous, and Kit was a little worried about not having his sisters around anymore but also kind of liking how grown up it made him feel. As if he was grown up at ten! After briefly reuniting with all of them F’drel managed to find a moment to talk with just Kikki about her options. The two of them discussed it for a while, checking in with the others periodically to gauge their thoughts on the two choices.

As F’drel had expected, Kelikki wasn’t overly inclined to leave Kitelan alone in a Lord’s household (she knew the outlines of what F’drel had dealt with after all, on top of her own concerns). But she also wasn’t terribly eager to further indebt him to anyone either - she was as paranoid as he was, and understood that there was no way a “gift” like this came without any strings. When F’drel told her she could choose to stay, Kelikki’s immediate response was to ask what doing so would cost him. He’d said it was nothing he couldn’t handle. It was obvious she hadn’t really believed him, but what was she going to do? F’drel was nearly twenty-two and had a dragon, Kitelan was ten. There was no contest; F’drel could handle an unspecified favor, even one for D’hys, Kit couldn’t be left on his own. They didn’t need to spell it out, he and Kelikki understood each other in this.

Which then meant after F’drel left his family to pack and whatever else they needed to work out before the younger girls left he had to go find D’hys, tell him he needed to arrange it so Kelikki would stay and confirm that F’drel did indeed owe the bluerider a favor - shudder.

After that had been a blur of getting things ready for his sisters to arrive in Ista. The Headwoman liked F’drel, and was very accomodating with the room and things granted to his family. It was a small room, but it was private (at least for now), and on the lower levels like most non-rider rooms. It had two bunk beds, so room for four people, like a number of the Candidate rooms, and was plenty for his three sisters. Or two, but while Ferra had been Searched it seemed she would be staying with the other girls and being taught all the chores and such before she moved to a Candidate room. There were definitely benefits to being helpful and polite to the Headwoman. When she moved the remaining two in the room could use the extra two beds for storage or extra seating, at least until someone else was placed into the room. F’drel got a few essentials for all of them from the storage rooms - trunks, bed linens, a small table, a pitcher and cups, nothing fancy - and spent an excessive amount of time making sure the room and everything in it was clean.

Then it was time to bring them to the Weyr - with D’hys, because of course the bluerider wanted to be there, make F’drel uncomfortable because fuck him, though at least they had been in Fort because F’drel doubted he would have been able to handle going back to Nabol, especially with D’hys there. Jalazmar’s house in Fort was better. Once they were all in Ista and D’hys had left F’drel had given his three sisters a preliminary tour of their new home. Kalea was the most enthusiastic about it all, unsurprisingly, and F’drel just knew he’d have to keep an extra close eye on her for a while. Just in case. He worried about the kind of trouble Kalea could get herself in.

F’drel spent their first night at the Weyr with his sisters in their new room, borrowing the extra bunk to sleep in. Halomirth felt very far away, but she’d been all for him staying with them to make sure they had a good first night at the Weyr, and F’drel could still feel her. It was worth the distance to be with his sisters.

First thing the next morning, after a quick breakfast, F’drel properly introduced the girls to the Headwoman, who introduced them to another woman who would be walking them through all their chores and duties as members of the Weyr. Ferra attended too, because even as a Candidate she’d still be doing chores, and it made sense to teach her with her sisters. Once they were off with their appointed teacher F’drel returned to his Weyr and Halomirth. He decided to pamper her a little that morning, in apology for sleeping away from her the night before (even if she had been in support of the choice). Didn’t hurt that it kept him busy and allowed him to shove aside his panic for a little while. She got a long bath before they returned home for a very thorough oiling, until F’drel couldn’t find anywhere left to oil and Miri wanted a nap.

As Miri settled in for her nap, F’drel went inside to make himself another cup of klah. Because drinking too much klah and increasing his heart rate was absolutely what F’drel needed when he was stressed. He paced the weyr, not sure what to do with himself while he waited. There was no laundry to be done, and if he cleaned it anyway he may run into his sisters and then they’d think he was overly worried and hovering - all true - and F’drel didn’t want them to worry about his own state of mind. Instead of doing anything else even slightly productive the indecision kept F’drel pacing and overthinking.

At some point - F’drel had no idea what time it was or how long he’d been pacing - he sensed Halomirth stirring as one of her friends approached. F’drel stopped breathing until the visitor’s identity filtered through to him - Edath, it was Edath, only Edath - and waited anxiously for R’dal to appear. When he did F’drel nodded stiffly in response to his greeting, and while he didn’t step aside or push R’dal away F’drel didn’t lean into it or hug back as had become their norm.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked quietly, somewhere between hurt and accusatory.

RE: 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - R'dal - 30.Sep.19

R’dal tensed when F’drel didn’t hug him back, instantly knowing something was wrong but he didn’t get a chance to ask. What didn’t he tell F’drel? R’dal fell into a frown as he thought about what he had done recently, especially things that his friend wouldn’t have liked being kept in the dark about but nothing came to mind. He made sure to be aware of lords and their intentions if he crossed any when at a Hold and he hadn’t really even gone anywhere else or did anything outside of chores around the Weyr and his bead working project. So what had he done to upset F’drel so much?

Maybe the reason that brought you here, Edath pointed out gently even as he wrapped R’dal up in love to lessen the blow he knew it would be.


Arms dropped and R’dal finally stepped back from F’drel, eyes on the ground. He didn’t want to look at F’drel and see the hate and anger that was going to be there. He’d messed up again somehow and R’dal hated how he was getting really good at that. He didn’t want to be the guy that had friends worried about him and he didn’t want to be the guy that had friends hating him for doing what he thought was a nice thing.

“Because it was a surprise,” he mumbled in answer, finally finding his voice as weak as it was. “D’hys asked me to help him with a surprise for you and said it would help Edath as well to see if he liked any of your sisters for Candidacy and I thought that was so cool… and it did. Weyrleader R’nya officially made us Searchriders.” Not that it mattered now. There was no joy in that announcement that got half-assed jazz hands accompanying it though he continued to stare at the ground, making it doubly pathetic. R’dal was starting to wish he never mentioned it to anyone what his dream was.

“Did you know that was the first time D’hys ever spoke to me? He usually gives me weird looks and maybe a wave or a brief ‘hello’ but he actually sought me out and everything. I felt special and it was even better because I thought I was doing it to help you.” That had been really cool! He had kind of idolized the older bluerider since he was a kid and now the man asked for his help! R’dal had felt special and even more so because it was all being done as a gift for F’drel and his sisters.

But apparently it wasn’t a gift that was wanted and R’dal felt his stomach drop and felt a bit sick. What did he do now? How was he supposed to fix this? Maybe he was overreacting and F’drel was just upset that he wasn’t told sooner and actually did like the gift? He had a feeling he wasn’t that lucky.

RE: 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - F'drel - 01.Oct.19

F’drel frowned as R’dal stepped back from the hug. How did R’dal always manage to make F’drel feel bad for being upset? It wasn’t fair! R’dal would look like a kicked puppy and F’drel would feel like a massive asshole and he just wanted to be upset about something without feeling guilty. But no, he hurt his friend’s feelings by having his own emotions. He just wanted to be mad for five minutes! Fuck this!

“What about me has ever given you the impression that I enjoy surprises?” he asked incredulously. Didn’t R’dal know him better than that by now? Sudden, unexpected changes were not something F’drel thought of as enjoyable, quite the opposite; they were extraordinarily stressful. They were made even worse by blueriders of decidedly questionable intent.

“And from D’hys, even. We just talked about avoiding dangerous people!” F’drel shook his head exasperatedly. Why wasn’t anything he said sticking? “D’hys doesn’t do gifts, R’dal. If he does anything for someone it’s because he thinks it will benefit him somehow, someday. And he’s made it very clear I owe him now.” Technically the favor he owed was for letting Kikki stay with Kit in Fort only, not for his other sisters moving to Ista, but F’drel wasn’t stupid. If D’hys felt like it he would use his ‘gift’ as leverage. F’drel could easily see him making a comment about some rider he knew who thought one of F’drel’s sisters was pretty, maybe offer to dissuade the hypothetical rider for a price, that F’drel would almost certainly pay because he couldn’t let anyone touch his sisters. D’hys could probably warp his gift in countless ways, and F’drel had no faith that it wouldn’t come up eventually. That was just how men like D’hys worked, and how F’drel’s life went. How could he really enjoy his sisters being in the Weyr if he was constantly afraid he wouldn’t be able to protect them from someone else’s game?

“You’re lucky he hasn’t paid attention to you before, you don’t want his attention,” F’drel said quietly, trying to squash the continually rising panic. He was unsuccessful, becoming overly aware of how fast his heart was beating and how hard it was to catch his breath. R’dal had only been approached by D’hys because of him, because D’hys knew they were friends and wanted to, what, just make F’drel squirm more? Did he have ulterior motives? Was it about getting M’ris to let the girls into Ista? What if D’hys felt R’dal owed him now for his ‘assistance’ in getting the position of Searchrider? F’drel was glad R’dal got to be a Searchrider, he was, but that happiness for a friend was for the moment completely buried in the fear and anger, and he didn’t think it was worth the risk. Edath was clearly good at Searching, he would have proven that soon enough on his own without D’hys’ ‘help.’ Did it help R’dal more than it put him at risk? F’drel wasn’t sure.

It was all too much, the uncertainty and anxiety and panic, all crashing down on him and he could feel the panic clawing at his throat, making him shake. Why did it all have to be so complicated? Why couldn’t he just take a gift at face value, F’drel wondered, it would make his life a whole lot easier. Profoundly more dangerous, but easier. R’dal was certainly happier than he was. But he wasn’t R’dal, he was him, and at that moment the only thing keeping F’drel from collapsing onto the floor and crying was Miri, worriedly trying to help him in any way she could, but she couldn’t fix him. F’drel clung to where her mind met his like a lifeline but she couldn’t make this stop.

RE: 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - R'dal - 01.Oct.19

R'dal not only looked like a kick puppy, but he felt like one as well. He only wanted to help and do something nice! Why was that so bad? Why did having his sisters in the Weyr need to be such a horrible thing, because R'dal felt like it wasn't just the surprise of it happening that had F'drel so angry. He wouldn't have reacted so strongly if it was just another chair being secretly delivered. F'drel was right and he should have known a surprise wouldn't have been welcomed and he was about to apologise for messing up again when D'hys started getting attacked and called dangerous.

D'hys wasn't perfect, no one was, but R'dal still thought he was a nice guy. Sure, he'd heard the rumours and tales of what happened when D'hys dumped a lover but R'dal always felt D'hys played the complete jerk to further drive that person away because he was afraid of love. F'drel was even in some kind of relationship with the bluerider, so why would he think anything less of the man? Obviously he didn't know anyone like he thought he did and R'dal was mentally adding 'making new friends' to the growing list of things he wished he never did.

"Why do you always have to yell at me?" R'dal wiped at the tear that escaped eyes that had started watering while he'd essentially been told how stupid he was. He wasn't the sort to get angry, wasn't even sure if he knew the emotion before people started harassing Nerreh and Faxxonth, but he was starting to feel it now and it made him even angrier at himself for feeling it toward a good friend. But he'd had enough.

"I tried, F'drel. I'm always trying with you. I learned not to ask or assume anything about you and your past and I haven't since. I learned not to talk to Lords because they might be bad and I haven't since! I'm even careful with the glass-smith I've traded with for years now just in case I missed something before. I didn't know I was supposed to avoid people I have literally known since I was born as well!" He clenched his fists at his side, tears falling freely now, though they just annoyed R'dal further. He was mad and crying at the same time? He couldn't do anything right!

But the fight in him died and the sadness won out. "I don't purposely go out of my way to make you mad or to worry you. And I'm sorry about the surprise and you owing a favour to D'hys. I'll help you with it or do it for you when he tells you what it is. Just... send a letter or something." Because he doubted F'drel would want to see him much after everything that had happened. And that reminded him...

R'dal reached into a pocket and pulled out a handful of bracelets that he set on the table. "I made these for your sisters as welcome gifts. There's one for you in there, too. They match mine," he lifted his left hand to show off the various bracelets adorning his wrist, one of which looked like the ones he had just delivered. "Go ahead and give them out if you think they'd want them. I should get back to Fort." He didn't wait for any reply as he turned to make his way back to the ledge and dragon he wanted to hug and never let go of.

RE: 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - F'drel - 02.Oct.19

It felt like R’dal had kicked him in the chest. Considering F’drel already couldn’t breathe it very much did not help in any way. He never thought about it before, but all the times he raised his voice recently had been with R’dal. But it wasn’t because he didn’t like R’dal, or R’dal made him mad! Far from it. F’drel raised his voice with R’dal because R’dal was one of the only people he felt he could be that open around, who wouldn’t hurt him just for having emotions or speaking his mind. Though maybe he had been wrong about that.

F’drel wanted to say something, but he couldn’t. The fear had lodged itself in his throat and he couldn’t get any words out, just ragged gasps as he tried to breathe. He didn’t want to hurt R’dal, far from it, if anything he wanted to help make sure R’dal didn’t get hurt. It was just that F’drel say almost everything as dangerous and capable of causing hurt. And just because R’dal couldn’t see the danger didn’t mean it wasn’t there. F’drel may be paranoid but he was also right.

Still, it wasn’t R’dal’s fault he didn’t get it, F’drel must not be explaining anything right. It was F’drel who was accidentally pushing his friend away because he couldn’t talk about things or his feelings. F’drel wanted to apologize, try explaining better, hug R’dal and cry into his shoulder and hope he’d understand what F’drel wanted to say. But R’dal was walking away, leaving, after handing over a gift he obviously put thought into and F’drel couldn’t speak, couldn’t move, couldn’t reach out to R’dal and ask him to wait. Should he, even? He seemed to be hurting R’dal when he spoke these days, which was the opposite of what he wanted. What had ever given him the idea he could have friends? Clearly he wasn’t meant to, he kept fighting with R’dal, Mylorah...maybe it would be best for R’dal to just let him leave. Not that F’drel could stop him right then anyway, not with the way he was hyperventilating, incapable of speaking, the lack of air making him feel weak and lightheaded. He couldn’t even say a word to ask his friend to wait, just shake as he watched R’dal leave. Maybe this really way better, F’drel thought, the shaking and dizziness getting so bad he thought he would collapse, letting himself slowly sit down instead. He didn’t stop R’dal.

Halomirth thought that idea was nonsense. She wouldn’t stand for this, neither her rider nor Edath’s would be better off if they weren’t friends. They wouldn’t! It was ridiculous, and as R’dal moved to leave the weyr Halomirth moved to block his path, placing herself in front of the door to her ledge so R’dal couldn’t get past her to Edath, who she would sit on if he got it in his blue head to leave.

No, she said stubbornly, speaking directly to R’dal (though she let Edath hear her too). She excluded F’drel, though she didn’t think he’d have processed anything she said just then even if she’d spoken to him too. He didn’t need to hear her just then, he needed her words to get results. You’re leaving because you’re upset and then he won’t ever try to visit you because he’ll think you don’t want anything to do with him anymore and it will hurt him so much but he’ll stay away because he’ll think it’s what you want so he won’t say anything, ever. Because you’re his friend and he wants you to be happy and he thinks he’s keeping you from being happy. Halomirth paused briefly after something of an onslaught of words from a dragon, even one as chatty as Halomirth, before continuing on just as determinedly.

If you really want to leave and never see him again, I guess I’ll let you and Edath go. She looked at R’dal, eyes whirling sadly, trying to stamp down her own fear due to her rider’s emotional state, just for a minute so she could clear things up because R’dal was his friend. It was like that time with the boat all over again. Her rider had gotten mad and sad and scared and then he couldn’t breathe, and she couldn’t physically reach him this time to help him, but last time he and R’dal had talked and things had worked out and they had been okay again and if she could convince R’dal to stay than he could go inside the weyr with F’drel and help him feel better and they could talk and be okay again like the last time. But that couldn’t happen if R’dal left.

Please, Halomirth said, desperation creeping into her voice, He’s been better since you became friends, I don’t want him to lose you. She gave R’dal a miserable look and whined softly. F’drel always tried to hide the bad things from her, but he couldn’t, not completely, anyway. He could mute them somewhat, but it was still there and Halomirth knew it. Being friends with R’dal had made some of the bad things quieter. That was part of the reason she wanted F’drel to make even more friends, because clearly they helped. Halomirth wanted to help him, but she could only do so much.

She needed R’dal to stay with him.

RE: 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - R'dal - 02.Oct.19

R'dal stared at the dragon wall that appeared and continued doing so as Halomirth spoke to him. That was exactly why he was leaving. Why should he stay where he wasn't wanted? He already knew F'drel thought he was too gullible, naive, stupid... and R'dal realised that a lot of people probably viewed him in the same light. The opinions of others never really bothered him, except for his dad since M'ris was a badass and super cool bronzerider and Weyrleader but F'drel's opinions apparently mattered just as much and R'dal felt like he had been stabbed through the heart.

"I'm only going to keep disappointing him and making him mad. Why has he put up with me for so long? I'm loud and annoying and keep showing up whenever I want and throw myself into his life," it took ages for F'drel to start visiting in Fort which had been amazing and made R'dal a little less insecure about their friendship. Then Halomirth's Flight had scared him away again but R'dal didn't blame him for that. He never blamed F'drel for anything. Even now, R'dal knew he was the failure and had caused all the problems, it was why he wanted to leave. Leaving would fix everything for F'drel; well, most of it. It wouldn't undo the fact that his sisters were now in the Weyr, one could be a Candidate, and a favour was owed to D'hys--and how bad could that even be?

R'dal huffed out a breath and turned his back on Halomirth so he wouldn't have to keep looking at her sad eyes. He already knew he'd go back in and apologise again to F'drel for his outburst and storming out even though he wanted to go home and cry while hopping he meant enough to F'drel that he'd be the one to check in. But that was wishful thinking thanks to what Halomirth said and...

R'dal sighed again. Because he actually did like F'drel more than the greenrider would be comfortable with knowing.

He slowly went back to face the music, returning to the main room expecting to find F'drel still shaking with anger or maybe throwing the bracelets out because they were causing a mess. Instead he found his friend on the floor and not looking too good. R'dal tossed aside his own fears, anger, and insecurity to rush over, drop to his knees, and throw his arms around F'drel again. "I'm sorry, F'drel," just add childish to the list of things that best described him, R'dal thought but didn't say aloud. This wasn't about him. Not when a friend was hurting--though he supposed he was the cause of it, making it a bit about him. That just made it all the more important to fix everything.

"I really am! And I really do listen to you. I'll even stay away from D'hys. I promise!" He didn't know what else to say so he stopped talking and just held F'drel instead.

RE: 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - F'drel - 02.Oct.19

Halomirth lashed her tail in frustration. She didn’t think R’dal was really hearing what she was saying - F’drel wasn’t disappointed, she never said that - but since the bluerider seemed to be staying, Halomirth decided to let it drop for the moment. There would be time later to make them both address all the incorrect assumptions they were each making.

As soon as R’dal turned around to go back Halomirth moved from blocking the door over to Edath, and wound herself around him. Her purpose was twofold; one to make sure Edath couldn’t go anywhere, just in case R’dal changed his mind, and the second because she was so worried about her rider and needed the reassurance from her friend. She’d gotten R’dal to stay, but she couldn’t convince F’drel that R’dal didn’t hate him, just help keep him a little steadier (which wasn’t much just then). Hopefully Edath hadn’t become upset with her, but she had only acted to keep both their riders from unnecessarily avoiding each other and making themselves even sadder.

None of Halomirth’s exchange with R’dal registered to F’drel, who was focused only on remembering how to breathe and overthinking every bad thing that had happened, was happening, or could happen to him. R’dal’s return was a complete shock to him, and F’drel froze when he felt arms around him, bewildered. He blinked up at R’dal; hadn’t R’dal left? He thought R’dal had left and wasn’t coming back. Apparently he hadn’t left though, or he’d gone and then come back - F’drel wasn’t sure how much time had passed, honestly - and now he was apologizing to him. For what? R’dal hadn’t done anything that needed an apology, F’drel had. He was the one who needed to apologize.

He tried to say as much, but he was still having trouble speaking and only managed some sort of half-cough for his efforts. Having failed that, F’drel pressed his face against R’dal, nose bumping against R’dal’s collarbone, and simply clung to him. They stayed that way for a while, though F’drel had no idea how long. Long enough that F’drel’s breathing had evened out and his heart rate returned to normal. He felt exhausted, as if he had been running continuously for hours instead of doing literally nothing and then having a conversation, but when had his reactions to anything ever made sense.

“M’sorry,” F’drel mumbled when he finally managed to form words, though his face was still pressed into R’dal and his throat felt as if he’d been drinking chalk dust. “Didn’t mean to... to yell at you. I…” He hesitated, unsure. Miri flooded him with encouragement, refusing to let her hard work go to waste. F’drel took a deep, shaky breath, and clung a little tighter to R’dal before continuing. “I didn’t mean to yell at you, I just...I don’t feel safe showing emotions in front of most people, but I feel safe with you, but sometimes all the emotions come out at once, and it’s nothing to do with you at all, not really, I just can’t... can’t process all of it when everything starts piling on top of me like that and then it turns into yelling and it’s not at you, it’s just too much and I…I shouldn’t yell at you because I’m overwhelmed, because it’s not your fault, and I’m not mad at you, I just can’t...I’m sorry, R’dal,” F’drel said, catching his breath again after the rush of words. Halomirth hummed, pleased her rider was actually talking. It would be good for him and R’dal, she was sure of it.

RE: 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - R'dal - 03.Oct.19

Not showing emotions was something R'dal didn't really understand. Sure, maybe sometimes he hid them away so others wouldn't worry or he shoved them aside so he could focus on his friends' needs but it wasn't healthy to always do it. Which F'drel was currently doing a bang up job of demonstrating. R'dal couldn't quite wrap his head around the idea of always hiding everything and never showing how he truly felt to anyone. What purpose would that serve? Why would it be a bad thing to show even strangers that he was happy and enjoying himself at a Gather? What had happened to F'drel to make him fear ever showing emotions?

R'dal felt a little surge of warmth spread through him when he clued in to what had been said in the flurry of words that came at him. F'drel trusted him enough to let down his guard and speak freely. It also added to his guilt about snapping at his friend. It was clear now that F'drel didn't know how to share what was on his mind and that he was worried and maybe scared as well and it came out with more force than was meant. And there he was being a complete and utterly selfish jerk by only hearing the tone and not the meaning of the words.

"It's okay, Fen," R'dal whispered, not trusting his voice for much more since he still wanted to cry but this time because he caused his friend so much pain. Again. It was like nearly drowning F'drel all over again. He even used the nickname he knew F'drel's siblings used, but he barely used it himself, never knowing if it was okay or not. F'drel had yet to say anything when he did so he used it then, feeling it worked better than the formal honorific in the moment.

He continued to hold F'drel, debating if he should say more when he figured he'd just be contradicting everything he had just been thinking if he didn't share what was on his mind and how he was feeling. But that didn't mean he wanted to look his friend in the eyes when he did so and continued to cling to F'drel, needing the hug as much as it seemed to be needed on the other end. "You can talk to me any time you want. Whenever something is on your mind or bothering you. Let me share some of your burden because friends help each other and I don't want to keep accidentally adding to your stress and hurting you."

RE: 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - F'drel - 03.Oct.19

It was a little surreal to F’drel, that R’dal had come back and was hugging him and was apparently not mad anymore and maybe didn’t totally hate him? Because he really didn’t want R’dal to hate him or be mad. F’drel pressed his face more firmly against R’dal’s shoulder, trying not to cry in relief and exhaustion. He failed, and a distant part of him felt bad for getting R’dal’s shirt damp, but for once more of him just didn’t care.

He let R’dal’s words wash over him, trying to just listen to his friend and accept that he meant what he said and not overthink everything and send himself into another anxiety spiral. F’drel opened his mouth to say something, but couldn’t figure out what, so he closed his mouth again, furrowing his face in concentration as he tried to think. Eventually, he gave up.

“I don’t know how,” he admitted quietly, “I don’t know where to start.”

RE: 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - R'dal - 04.Oct.19

R'dal wasn't quite sure either. He knew that saying 'start from the beginning' was annoying, and really, what even counted as the beginning? The beginning of the day? The interactions with someone? His life? No, it was definitely best to avoid saying that. He then wondered if he should have been doing more than just holding his friend. Hugs made him feel better and they were his go-to for helping others that looked sad or were crying and while it seemed to have helped F'drel, should he have done more? Maybe got him water? Take him outside for fresh air? He was very much in over his head and made a note to find L'gan or Eb'zer to get pointers on what to do.

Maybe a nap would help!

No...that kind of got in the way of talking, though they would be a lot more comfortable. So he was left with the actual talking thing that he himself had encouraged but F'drel didn't know how to do it. That also made R'dal want to cry. How awful it must be to keep everything locked away and not have anyone to share with and then be unsure of what to say when given a chance. That reminded him of the Gather and how he told F'drel he didn't have to give any reasons there in the open but they were alone now and maybe that would be a good place to start?

First, getting more comfortable seemed important, and R'dal said as much as he got them to their feet and guided F'drel over to the nest chair where he plopped his friend down into it and curled up beside him. He noticed his shirt had a damp spot from tears but R'dal didn't point it out or care. He was honestly happy in a twisted way that F'drel really was okay with showing some emotions with him now. He took F'drel's hand in his, needing more contact despite being squished into the chair together since it made him feel better and he hoped it worked the other way as well. It was possibly also done a bit as support as R'dal attempted that talking thing.

"Will you..." R'dal hesitated, afraid to ask anything after all. It went against his promise to not ask F'drel about his life before the Weyr but breaking it in order to help his friend was okay, right? He hoped so. "Will you tell me why you know so much about Lords using people and taking advantage of someone like me? I'm staying away from them regardless, and D'hys too because you told me to but it'll help me understand more."

RE: 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - F'drel - 04.Oct.19

F’drel nodded tiredly in agreement to moving somewhere more comfortable than a bare stone floor and let R’dal help him up. He sunk into the nest chair when R’dal brought him over to it, letting R’dal arrange the both of them however he liked. The chair really was soft, a far cry from the floor, though honestly F’drel didn’t care that much where in his weyr he was sitting just then. A soft chair didn’t make talking about things he’d hidden for turns any easier. Didn’t make it worse, certainly, and F’drel nestled in closer to his friend, twining their fingers together when R’dal took his hand.

“I can try,” he whispered, almost too tired to be afraid of talking anymore. “It’s still…a big question, but I’ll try to…” F’drel paused, attempting to organize his thoughts. There were a lot of parts to that question, lots of factors, multiple answers. Part of him wanted to scoff and ask R’dal if he couldn’t guess, but that was mean to R’dal, and F’drel already knew that R’dal always thought the best of people. Instead he took a couple minutes to settle on how he wanted to start before speaking.

“There are, I guess, two main experiences that are...foundational to how I think about Lords and other people in power, I suppose.” F’drel started slowly, stumbling a bit on how to word everything. “Or, two people, maybe. The first was the Lord of Nabol. Not the current one, his father, Lord Janderian. He was lord when I was born, so he was in charge of the household for most of my childhood, and he was...not very tolerant, I guess. We - the drudges, and even the servants - he didn’t care about us beyond what we could do for him. So he didn’t like, starve us, or anything, but he only gave us enough food and such that we could still do our jobs efficiently. It was like, a business thing for him. Get the most productivity for the least amount of investment on his part, and he didn’t really... think of us as people who mattered, I don’t think. I started working full time when I was eight…” He trailed off for a moment. It was hard for him to figure out how much of this was relevant, so F’drel was just saying a lot and hoping some of it, any of it, would help answer R’dal’s question.

“If he felt we weren’t performing our duties up to his standards, we’d be punished. More work, mostly. He considered having us hit as beneath him and his station. One of his sons sometimes did, but it was rare and all the others followed their father’s lead. So I think... having him in charge, when I was real young, it sort of established this idea that Lords only cared about you for as much as you could give them.” F’drel paused again, licking his lips that had gone dry. Janderian was the easy part of his two points.

“And then when I was twelve, Lord Janderian died, and the current Lord, Jimeridan, took over. He was always less strict than his father, less demanding, so that changed a little, I guess, but I didn’t really notice because my mom died a few months after the Lord, not long after I turned thirteen.” His voice caught a little there. F’drel didn’t talk about his mother often, even with his siblings. He loved her, though as time went on he realized she wasn’t really the best mother. She loved them a lot, no doubt, she thought of them as the most important part of her life, but… well, F’drel’s thoughts on his mother didn’t really have any bearing on R’dal’s question.

“It was… it was hard, after that. I felt even more responsible for my siblings, because Lord Janderian taught us that we were the only ones that cared about each other, and if I didn’t look out for them, no one would. And I was the oldest brother, so I had to. I didn’t... I didn’t realize at the time, but, looking back, I was... in order to protect them, I felt like I had to be a proper adult for them, and sort of… withdrew from them, a little. I don’t know, it wasn’t intentional, I just… I wasn’t as open with them as I used to be, after that. A-and I…” F’drel stumbled, heart pounding again, the shaking returning a little. “I was lonely and got more withdrawn, and... and one of the Lord’s sons noticed. Lord’s brother, he was Janderian’s son, Jimeridan’s brother, not important, really, but… Anyway, he started paying attention to me, and he was kind, and he would sometimes pull me from my assigned duties to do something for him, easy stuff like running a message or fetching something from his room. And at some point he got me permanently reassigned, so I cleaned his room, made his bed, that sort of thing, instead of working in the laundry or cleaning in general. It was less work than I was used to, and sometimes he just wanted me to be around while he wrote at his desk, or something. It was weird, but I didn’t think...”

At that point F’drel needed to pause, closing his eyes and taking several long breaths. He realized he’d started gripping R’dal’s hand tighter as he spoke, and very intentionally loosed his hold. His hand had gotten a little stiff from how tense it had been and F’drel focused on that instead of the next part of the explanation.

RE: 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - R'dal - 05.Oct.19

R'dal didn't push F'drel to speak or urge him on any time he paused. He could tell this was hard for his friend and F'drel had never really been big on talking to begin with when it was just idle chit chat or a random conversation. He rarely gave out any personal information and now he was talking about things that made R'dal's eyes water again and he bit his lip to keep from saying anything. In Katila they were usually expected to help out or stay out of the way, which was helping in its own way. But they had never been ordered to start cooking or cleaning when they were eight! Was that a normal thing for Holders? F'drel had specifically said he was a drudge at that time and R'dal admittedly had never paid much attention to social statuses and treated everyone as equal--except Weyrleaders and Weyrwomen since they ran everything!--but he supposed being born into that life meant starting early as well.

Still, as much as that bothered him, R'dal soon found out that wasn't to be the worst part, even if it did show some of why F'drel didn't trust Lords. He probably wouldn't either if he had only ever known them to barely feed him and except him to work endlessly while he enjoyed the benefits of it all! R'dal scowled, knowing that it wouldn't be seen from the way they were curled up and nodded in satisfaction when the evil Lord died. He didn't get to enjoy that moment for long as F'drel's mother soon died after that and R'dal snuggled in a bit closer when it became obvious F'drel was getting emotional at that memory. His own mom was still alive and he hated thinking about the fact that one day she wouldn't be and he was already older than when F'drel lost his mom.

R'dal was starting to regret his question--and not because he was losing feeling in his hand from an ever tightening hold. F'drel had already been through so much and he was only thirteen! He wanted to believe the new Lord's brother was going to be a good guy but that squeezing hand as F'drel talked about him led R'dal to believe it wasn't going to get any better. When the explanation faded away and the shaking started again, R'dal used his free hand to gently rub the bit of back that he could reach from how they sat, trying to soothe F'drel.

"He's why you didn't trust even me at first, isn't he? Too good to be true." F'drel had never come right out and said anything but R'dal had noticed early on that sometimes his friend seemed be waiting for something bad to happen, like he couldn't quite believe the weird bluerider just wanted to be friends. It sometimes bothered him but never enough to make him stop trying to befriend the man that was genuinely interesting and seemed to be in need of a companion.

R'dal wasn't sure how the story would end but F'drel's comment at the Gather swam around his head. Lords used the naive and a heartbroken boy that lost his mom and had pushed his family away sounded like a perfect target. But other than his question, R'dal didn't do or say anything else to rush F'drel into talking. He'd sit there silently holding his friend all day if he had to if that helped more than talking.

RE: 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - F'drel - 06.Oct.19

“Yeah,” F’drel admitted, voice cracking a little. “At least partially.” Just because someone acted nice didn’t mean they were or that their main goal in getting to know someone was solely for their own benefit and possibly to the other person’s detriment. Some of that way of thinking was just because F’drel generally assumed people, especially of a higher rank, cared only about what people could provide them. And some was definitely due directly to Rinderian.

There was a long moment of silence as F’drel tried to gather his thoughts again, trying to press even closer to R’dal. It was hard to say these things out loud, but he wanted to tell R’dal, wanted his friend to understand why he was… well, the way he was. Paranoid and pretty fucked up.

“He... he just kept giving me attention, and it was a little strange but I didn’t mind that much, at first, and since I was now working mostly for him I spent a lot of time with him, and not nearly as much time with my siblings, which made me even a little more distant from them, but I thought maybe it would ultimately be better for them too, because maybe I could influence things so they could get better positions in the household too, eventually. Or something like that, I don’t know. Doesn’t matter. Point is I tried my best to impress him, you know? Do my job really well so maybe... maybe something, It’s not important, I guess. Didn’t ever matter, because that wasn’t what he cared about, not really. Me being good at cleaning and making beds and shit was a bonus, but not the point.” He took a sharp breath, not sure how to say the next part. With someone else F’drel would try to say as little as possible and let the person read between the lines and figure out what he meant, but he wasn’t sure R’dal would pick up on the unsaid parts.

“He - I - he… after a while of that, he just… he kissed me, one day, and I-I let him, because I didn’t, I didn’t know what else to do? And after that he kept doing it, and I kept letting him, and I… My mother, she was pretty, beautiful, even, and because she was a drudge, men thought they could do whatever they wanted with her. To her, no matter what she wanted. And she always let it happen, because once when she’d told a man no, a visiting Lord, he’d accused her of stealing from him, and she’d gotten in trouble, a lot of trouble, and after that, especially once she had us, she was afraid if she got in trouble it would hurt us, so she never did, never tried to stop them. It was like that for a lot of the female drudges, they were just expected to... as if it was part of being a drudge. Or I guess it is part of being a drudge, even if it wasn’t an official role. An additional, unspoken job you had. So I thought… if I said anything, I’d get in trouble, I’d get my siblings in trouble. Holds don’t like two men being together at all, and if I brought it to someone I’d be… He wouldn’t get in any trouble, not really, but I would. For trying to corrupt him, or something. As if he wasn’t the one who… And I didn’t really mind, at first, I guess. Like, I wasn’t into him, really, but he treated me like I was special, and I was lonely and I wanted to… I don’t know. I don’t know.”

F’drel paused again, momentarily burying his face into R’dal’s shoulder. He hated talking about this, he was so stupid then, maybe if he’d been smarter he could have avoided the worst of it. That thought just made him angry again, because ultimately, what the fuck could he even have done? He was fourteen and had no power, he could have done nothing, it was all on Rinderian, all on lords and their stupid, entitled superiority and belief they could do whatever they wanted to anyone less important then them because other people didn’t matter. Fuck them.

“He got less nice over time. Didn’t have to entice my closer anymore, I was already there and couldn’t leave. He didn’t have to bother with being kind. Sometimes he’d remind me what he might do if I tried to deny him. ‘Your sister, Ferra, right? She’s gotten rather pretty, hasn’t she. Almost as pretty as you are, Fendrel. If you keep being so sullen, maybe I’ll move on, start paying attention to her. But you like me too much to let that happen, don’t you?’” F’drel said, twisting his voice into a mockery of Rinderian’s, repeating one of the various ways the Lord tried to ‘convince’ him to keep being his favorite toy. “She was twelve when he said that,” he spat, grip tightening on R’dal’s hand again. “Bastard. I hated him by then, but I couldn’t… I couldn’t let him hurt my family, so I just… tolerated it. For turns. Until I was Searched.” There was… well, there was more he could say, but F’drel was shaking again and his throat was dry and if R’dal had more to ask, he’d answer, give more detail, but he’d given the outline, the summary. He’d answered R’dal’s question, and F’drel hoped it helped. Helped R’dal understand why he was so afraid of people, so afraid for his siblings, some of why he felt he couldn’t share how he felt. F’drel pressed his face back into R’dal’s shoulder, not ready to look at his face but wanting the comfort from his friend.

RE: 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - R'dal - 06.Oct.19

R’dal felt his stomach tightening with every word. He really wasn’t the quickest at reading between the lines and needed the bit more detail he got but once he clued in, anger started to settle in. For the first time ever, R’dal felt hatred toward someone enough to want to exact revenge for the pain that was caused. How could anyone treat another human like that? He sort of sucked with boundaries, always throwing himself at people for hugs but if any of them seemed to not like it, he wouldn’t do it again. This was a lot more than a hug and went on for years! How had F’drel stayed sane? Well, he really hadn’t, had he? That was part of the problem they were dealing with now because he had pushed it all aside and found a way to continue on. For his siblings, not for himself.

He needed to stop wondering how people went about destroying Lords. He really had no idea how to do that other than to tell the world this one--that he didn't even have a name of-- was mean and horrible. If F’drel was so worried about D’hys and favours, what exactly did the older bluerider do in his free time? Could he help…no! He promised not to go near D’hys again and seeking him out for… what? What would he even do? R’dal hated this man but he didn’t think he could ask to have him killed even with a name!

Okay, he was processing all of this news in odd ways, he decided, and it was time to focus on his friend and the positive things. “You’re a lot braver and stronger than me. I wouldn’t have survived that long, not even for my siblings.” Probably because his heart would have been broken at finding out someone he thought might be a friend or at least treated him kindly was anything but. F’drel was right; he really didn’t know when danger was lurking around the corner and he trusted too easily.

He didn’t know what else to say. Apologising was stupid since he didn’t cause the pain and he couldn’t have stopped it since he was still in Katila. Telling F’drel it was all in the past and he could move on was horrible as well, so was saying it made him who he was today. “No one should have to go through anything like that and I’m glad you were Searched so Halomirth and I could find you.” He returned the tight grip their hands were locked in, silently conveying he would always be there—minus the hissy fit attempt to leave—for F’drel any time he needed him because he didn’t know how else to say it. He just hoped F’drel believed him.

RE: 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - F'drel - 06.Oct.19

Brave? Strong? F’drel scoffed at that, shaking his head in disagreement. If he were brave or strong he should have been able to do something, even if he couldn’t stop Rinderian entirely. Just, something more. Anything. But he’d been terrified, and he’d done nothing.

“I’m glad I was Searched too,” he said, then hesitated before continuing. “I wasn’t, at first. Not until Halomirth, at least. I thought… The day I was Searched, my- the lord, he was out of the house for something, so when the Searching party asked if they could bring me to the Weyr - they were worried they’d be told no, but the Search dragon was insisting on me, and they figured they’d at least try, since Nabol is pretty friendly to the Weyrs overall - Lord Jimeridan has a cousin who’s a dragonrider, I’ve learned - and I was a drudge, not anyone of importance, and Lord Jimeridan said of course, as you can tell, I guess, and they wanted to leave right away because that’s how Searching goes and I think they were worried Lord Jimeridan would change his mind. I had time to grab a few things and say goodbye to my siblings and that was it. He… he was still out of the house, so I never - I didn’t see him before I left, I didn’t see how he reacted. I was… I was so afraid he’d be upset and take it out on my family. Terrified. I didn’t want to go to the Weyr because of it. Thought I’d be leaving them to… But I didn’t say anything, because Lord Nabol had decided, and I didn’t have any say in where I went.”

F’drel stared blankly ahead for a minute, remembering. He’d hated the four months he’d been a Candidate - the entire time he’d been waiting to hear news that Nabol had changed their mind and he had to go back, to get a letter or something from Rinderian implying that he was hurting one or more of his siblings. Kelikki had actually told him, after they had reunited a couple turns later, that Rinderian had seemed to blame his brother for taking away his favorite toy, and while he was petulant around Jimeridan he mostly left Kikki and the others alone. F’drel didn’t want to question that good luck, but he couldn’t wrap his head around Rinderian leaving them all alone, not with how often he’d threatened them. Not that he wanted to track the man down to ask him.

“He didn’t do anything to them, I found out later, but at the time I was terrified. It was awful, until Miri hatched and then… then it was better.” There was no way to describe Impressing a dragon, and R’dal knew, F’drel didn’t have to explain. He smiled softly in the direction of the ledge where the dragons rested, and Miri purred back at him, enveloping him in love and warmth and how happy she was he was talking to someone about these things.

“And now they’re all away from Nabol - Kikki and Kit still in Fort for now, and my younger sisters here, though it started when they all moved to Fort - so at least I’m not constantly worried about that, I guess. But I still… everytime I go to a Hold, or a Gather, and especially they very few times I had to go back to Nabol to help my family move to Fort, I’m just. Just waiting for him to show up, see me, and I... I don’t think I could handle that. I’d freeze, I think, and let him do whatever he wanted, because I couldn’t…” F’drel trailed off again, the shaking having resumed. He didn’t like to think about it. It made Gathers very difficult to enjoy, with the threat of Rinderian around every corner. It didn’t help that part of him missed the Lord, as much as he hated the man. Rinderian had been kind sometimes, even later on, and even while he hated and feared him, F’drel still clung to those moments - and hated himself a little for doing so.

“Thank you, R’dal,” he whispered, forcibly breaking the train of thought that led to his inevitable reunion with someone he had way too many complicated emotions about, “For... for listening, and being my friend, and… thank you.”

RE: 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - R'dal - 07.Oct.19

R’dal was relieved to hear that Ferra and the others had escaped the attentions of the evil lord but that relief was short lived when F’drel thanked him. R’dal wasn’t feeling like much of a friend. He was thinking about how much stress he had likely added to F’drel in the brief time they’d known each other. There was the boat incident, and how M’ris kept picking on F’drel about dating his son—and R’dal was always more amused by it and never thought about how much the entire thing would bother F’drel. Weyrleaders were their version of Lords, weren’t they? F’drel had to constantly deal with one checking in on him and his reaction to R’nya on the first outing to try to be a Searchrider made more sense now as well. He couldn’t do much about R’nya but R’dal was definitely going to talk with his dad to make sure he knew F’drel was only a friend and he needed to leave him alone.

Then there was the Gather. Of course he wasn’t entirely responsible for getting F’drel to go since Lord Jalazmar had requested him for shuttling people from Hold to Gather but R’dal still felt like he played a part in it by talking about how excited he was to go and how they should do things together while there. And then F’drel had to rescue him from a Lord that probably wasn’t as nice as he seemed to be. And then they went looking for his siblings, worried about what they were getting into.

And then he Searched Ferra behind F’drel’s back which was bad enough but now F’drel would have extra anxiety over whether or not she actually Impressed and how she would be treated. He had really messed everything up but he was determined to help make it all better and he’d even transfer to Ista if he had to in order to keep an eye on the girls as well. No one was going to hurt them with him around!

“I’m sorry I haven’t been the greatest of friends. I’ll work on that but you gotta tell me when I’m screwing things up again or annoying you, okay? I want to help, not hinder, so you have to keep talking to me any time it starts to feel like the world is piling on your shoulders again.” What else was there to say? It kind of felt like F’drel had worn himself out from sharing so much and R’dal didn’t want to keep pushing him. Maybe it was time for that nap now?

“Did you want to go lie down for a bit? I’ll get you some water or food if you prefer.” He was fine to stay where they were and cuddle forever as well. R’dal was really pleased with himself for buying the chair and needed to get one for himself.

RE: 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - F'drel - 08.Oct.19

“You have been a good friend, R’dal. Don’t say you haven’t. It’s not on you that you can’t read my mind, I’m the one who didn’t talk about things.” F’drel said emphatically, though some of the force behind it was lost in how tired he sounded. There was no way R’dal should feel bad about having had a life that didn’t suck, that was a good thing! F’drel was glad R’dal hadn’t ever dealt with the shit he had! Stressed him the fuck out sometimes, and he would definitely be doing more to help R’dal get better at assessing dangers, but he could never wish that R’dal were able to understand fully, because he would never wish any of it on R’dal.

“Lying down sounds nice,” F’drel admitted, but instead of moving to get up he only tightened his grip on R’dal. “Getting up feels like a lot of effort though.” Falling asleep in a bed would almost certainly be better, less likely to wake up with an aching neck or something, but the extra steps needed to get to the bed seemed overly complicated.

With a sigh F’drel gave up trying to debate whether they should move to the bed or not. He’d used up all his brainpower for the day, and even a simple decision like where to fall asleep felt like a struggle. “You can decide, R’dal, I could fall asleep on the floor right now,” he said lowly, closing his eyes and curling closer to his friend, already half passed out from exhaustion.

RE: 740.08.24 | Another Lesson in Sensing Danger - R'dal - 08.Oct.19

R'dal still wasn't entirely convinced about his level of amazingness at being a friend since he could have tried to get F'drel to talk sooner instead of deciding avoiding the past was better. But he didn't say anything, figuring they wouldn't see eye to eye on this issue, not until R'dal had started to fix things he had done. Besides, the idea of a nap right then really was one of his better ideas lately. He could tell F'drel was exhausted and he wasn't doing much better thanks to crying, trying not to cry, and getting angry at the evil lord that deserved his foot getting stomped on at the very least.

"Here's good," since F'drel seemed to be half asleep already and possibly still feeling vulnerable from sharing so much of his dark past. R'dal was usually the clingy one when it came to cuddles and naps and F'drel seemed to tolerate it and return it, but never this much. His heart ached at what his friend had gone through but R'dal knew there wasn't anything he could do to change that, only help give F'drel a better future with friends and laughter. For the first time since before he Impressed, R'dal wished he was a bronzerider. Not only to make his dad extra proud but then he'd have more power to give F'drel that better life and keep him away from lords and horrible people.

But then he'd be a bronzerider and have power and F'drel didn't trust people like that! No, he was fine as a useless bluerider. At least this way he could offer his friendship and be a comfy pillow when needed. A pillow that needed a little fluffing as R'dal shifted just enough to find a good position so they could both be comfortable.He probably should have moved them to the bed but they were already in the chair and cozy so a bit of stiffness upon waking would be worth it.

"I hope you have sweeter dreams now, F'drel," R'dal whispered and shut his eyes, knowing sleep would soon be upon him as well.