Once Again, Our Paths Meet (JP) N'yx and Bl'by

Jerzy Tobin

The one thing that he had come prepared for, when moving to Arolos,
was the heat. He’d grown up in Igen, for Faranth’s sake; even if he’d
spent the past 15 turns in High Reaches, N’yx still remembered what
oppressive heat felt like. What he hadn’t counted on was the
humidity. Even in the loosely woven shirt and trousers, N’yx was
sweating like crazy, and he was regretting his choice to walk to the
Infirmary instead of just having Ostibeth carry him over.

But the brown had already gotten himself comfortable during N’yx’s
interview with the Weyrleader - he’d definitely have to ask someone
why there were supposedly 2 of them here - and N’yx had elected not to
bother the brown. After all, it wasn’t like it was one of his legs
that he’d lost. So when he did finally reach the Infirmary doors, the
man was thoroughly soaked, and definitely looked like he needed a
glass of water. Who would have ever thought that he’d miss High
Reaches cold winds?

The Infirmary was buzzing with activity, too, even though it wasn’t
yet too late into the day. N’yx had timed his arrival to be as early
in the morning as was feasible, remembering from his childhood that a
lot of work in climates like this took place in the early morning and
later in the evenings. He was looking around, trying to spot a healer
not too busy to find out where and who he was to check in with when
N’yx spotted a face he knew, and knew very well.

“Hey! Bl’by! Long time no see!”

Bl’by had been mostly staring into space in a world of his own, truth
be told. It was hot, waiting to be called was dull, and it was easier
to dive into talking to Traynth (outside, quite happy by the Lake
thanks, rather enjoying the sun as it happened) than to think about
how miserably warm and sticky the waiting room felt.

It took a moment for his ears to process that they’d heard his name
while his head had been occupied talking to the blue and he startled
belatedly and glanced around, not quite sure it he’d been called for
his appointment. Not expecting to see N’yx, his gaze first skipped
right over him.

The lack of response and lack of recognition gave N’yx pause for a
moment. It hadn’t been *that* long since the two of them had last
seen each other. Surely N’yx wasn’t that forgettable, was he? And,
well sure, it was hard to get his signature braids back into his hair
with one hand, but still… They had been in the same Wing! Taking a
few steps further into the waiting room, N’yx waved his good hand in
front of Bl’by’s face, to make sure he was noticed this time.

“Ah, c’mon, I can’t have changed all that much,” N’yx pouted.

This time Bl’by focused on him, his face splitting into a grin despite
the heat. “You’re at Arolos!” he said, in a surprised statement of the
obvious, because N’yx was part of High Reaches life and while him
popping up here was welcome it certainly wasn’t expected.

“Yeah!” The brownrider returned the grin with one of his own, almost
laughing in spite of himself. There was the recognition! “Apparently
the Powers that Be up north thought I needed to sweat to death.
Faranth, is it always this humid here?”

“You too?” Bl’by shifted up obligingly to make room for him to sit
down, still looking surprised but also quite delighted by this turn of
events. “And -- mostly not quite this bad. But fairly bad. Sorry.” He
was still grinning despite that bad news because shells, he’d been
quite ready for everything and everyone at High Reaches to be gone
forever. “So, you’re staying then?” he checked.

“I am,” N’yx confirmed as he took the seat that had been opened up to
him. “Apparently I got one infection to many related to the cold, and
it was ‘shoo, off to where its warm!’ Only, Igen was apparently full
up, so that left Arolos.”

Going back to the place he’d originally come from would have been
nice, and all, especially for being closer to his family. But there
wasn’t really anyone he knew very well at Igen Weyr. At least he had
known that Bl’by would be here at Arolos when he’d been handed his
transfer papers, so he would have at least one close friend here.
There was definitely something to be said for that.

“Ugh. Well, might as well get used to it now, then. Never thought
I’d come to miss the snow.”

“I miss the snow,” Bl’by said wistfully. “And sledging. And ice
skating. And being allowed to do absolutely anything energetic without
Healers frowning at me.” He made a face at himself, quickly shaking
off the moment of self-pity. “And apparently the heat cures just about
everything, except sunburn. And dehydration. And probably a few other

“Heat rashes, can’t forget those,” N’yx added with a wink. “And yeah,
I can imagine they’d frown a bit at you running around. Not like they
can just chop off the bad bit and be done with it, getting hit in the

Bit of morbid humor, to be sure. N’yx was still learning to cope with
his own injury. At least, when all was said and done, he’d be able to
return to an active lifestyle. Who knew if Bl’by ever would.

“But hey, its not like we can’t still go do those things, right? We
still have dragons. We’ll just have to make sure not to overdo
anything, right?” This was asked with a wink.

Bit of a sore spot that one. Bl’by grimaced. “At least for now, I’ve
been told that while we are of course free to go wherever we want in
our free time-- they’d rather prefer that didn’t involve anywhere
cold.” He rubbed his chest lightly as he spoke, a quick unconscious
movement as though checking yes, scar was still there.

He nodded towards N’yx’s arm - or his stump. “Might find they give you
similar order-advice,” he warned. “Cooler though, cooler is fine. But
don’t go planning on visits home.”

N’yx grimaced. Of course, he pretty much expected to hear that sort
of thing - was planning on it, even, but that didn’t mean he had to
like it.

“Probably will,” he agreed, lightly rubbing the edge of his stump. It
was sore, always was, and half the time he could swear he still felt
the part of the arm that was no longer there. He was hoping that was
something that would go away with time.

“Do they still let you fly Fall?”

This time there was no disguising that hungry look. Fall to Bl’by had
been so much a part of what made him himself, any self-worth he had
built solidly into his belief that this was what he and Traynth were
made for, that it was hard for non-riders to even start to understand
the loss that came from not having it.

“They reckon if I behave myself and stop pushing it..” He shrugged a
little “I’d ask how the arm is but.. You’re here so, probably not

N’yx flinched a little, but that look of hunger was something he
understood all too well. He’d spent half his life fighting Thread -
he and Ostibeth were *good* at it! But flying Fall when you were down
an arm? It was hard enough just getting riding straps onto his dragon
on a normal day, let alone trying to manage things like firestone when
you were bouncing around dodging Thread and fighting with the wind and
whatever else at the same time.

“Yeah, not really. I’m still...adjusting, I guess.” To a lot of
things. He’d taken it for granted just how much he needed two hands
for. “Its hard.”

Easier perhaps to say that to someone else struggling with his own
Fall injury, who knew the fight between taking it easy enough not to
cause more damage and putting a brave face on it because admitting
things had actually changed was hard. Bl’by patted the other man’s leg
lightly, easier expressing sympathy that way than hunting for the
words. “Yeah.”

At least Bl’by understood. N’yx smiled at him with gratitude - it
helped to have someone who actually knew how it felt to be sidelined,
maybe permanently, from what had been his own livelihood. Maybe
something could be worked out, but a lot of that would depend on the
Healers, the Weyrleaders and Wingleaders. For now, though...who knew?

“Thanks. Didn’t mean to get mopey on you like that.”

Bl’by shrugged a little. Mopey happened sometimes. You dealt with it;
either by locking yourself away to sulk a bit or trying to turn the
music in your brain up loud enough to drown it out. Dancing helped.
Sex helped. Things that mostly felt like they were all on the banned
list right now definitely helped.

“One Fall’s got a lot to answer for,” he commented. “So, you just arrived?”

Yes, yes it did. Far too many injured horribly, some of them - too
many - dying from those injuries. Friends. Family. Maybe that pain
would go away, eventually, but not just yet. Hopefully, being in a
new Weyr where you didn’t expect to see them around the next corner
would also help.

“Ah, yeah. Just finished my initial meeting with the Weyrleader,
R’tal. Is it true that there’s really two Weyrleaders here? Or is
that just another wild rumor floating around?”

Bl’by nodded. “I’m in the other Weyrleader’s wing -- N’shen -- not
that I’m much used to it at the minute. Mostly I help sort out his
admin and suchlike.”

That had N’yx raising his eyebrows for a long moment. Not at the idea
of Bl’by doing admin work, but at the confirmation that there were, in
fact, two Weyrleaders! ‘Why?’ was the foremost question is his mind,
but he decided not to ask. He wasn’t sure he really wanted to know,
at least, not yet.

“Huh. Well, that’s a thing, then. Do you like working with him? Is
he a good leader? Is he treating you well?”

Those, to N’yx, seemed far more important than the fact that the Weyr
two Weyrleaders. As long as they were treating his friend well, that
was good enough for N’yx.

“Good enough. Probably not making the best impression of ourselves at
the minute but, eh..” Bl’by made another face; this one one of
annoyance at himself. “That’s on us, not him. Traynth’s been-- you
know how Traynth gets.” And how Bl’by himself got too, though Traynth
had always been the handy conduit to blame anxiety and uneasiness on.
“And then I managed to screw my lungs up a bit more being stupid, and
that probably hasn’t endeared us to anyone just now.”

“Oh, Faranth. Is that why you’re in here, right now?” N’yx asked,
groaning lightly. “Well, if Traynth needs, or wants to, he’s always
welcome to cuddle up against Ostibeth. You know as well as I do that
he’s always happy to have Traynth around. You, too, if you ever

“Stern telling off by one of the Healers and checks every few days
until they’re sure I’m not making things worse,” Bl’by admitted.
“And-- I’ll be honest, I think Traynth’s busy meeting as many pretty
greens as he can right now.” He shifted in his chair slightly, just
enough for his leg to bump lightly against N’yx’s. “..Not that that
means I might not take up that offer.”

N’yx flashed Bl’by a cheeky grin, and bumped him back with his own leg.

“Just remember, cuddles are for people who actually listen to what the
healers tell them,” he added with a wink.

“Yes, sir!” But there was laughter in that agreement. “I listen. I
might sometimes then completely do what I was going to do anyway, but
I listen.”

He couldn’t help but laugh at that. Not that he wasn’t the same way
at times. “Fair enough, I guess.”

At that point they were interrupted by a somewhat young-looking
apprentice. “Excuse me, Sirs, I am looking for a rider named N’yx?
Is that either of you?”

“Right here,” N’yx said, standing up. “Looks like I finally get to
check in. We’ll have to meet up again later. Try not to cause those
healers of yours too much trouble, yeah?”

“I’ll behave myself.” It was an easily given promise; Bl’by was trying
to in any case. “Ask Ostibeth to tell Traynth when you know where your
weyr is.”

“Will do. Catch you later, Bl’by.”

N’yx gave a small wave with his good arm, and followed the apprentice
into another room to go meet with his own Healer.

"Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the goal of arriving safely
in a prettily preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a
shower of gravel and party shards, thoroughly used, utterly exhausted,
and loudly proclaiming: "F*** ME, that Rocked!!" -unknown

Whizzy: Jerzy
Aim: Yue146