Post-Flight Debrief (V'rex/Bl'by)

Laura Walker

It had been an interesting flight. It left Bl’by with a nagging need to talk to someone. He ran through the options while he was getting himself clean afterwards.

Traynth? Bad idea after Eilid. The blue was unlikely to be rational on the subject. T’baran? Bl’by fancied that Eilid might cause a similar result there; he could probably anticipate what T’baran would say and wasn’t sure he wanted that talk. And Cuylar was probably working, because Cuylar was always working.

Well, hopefully soon Bl’by would be too. In the mean time-- who did that leave? He stretched, considering, relaxing pleasantly sore muscles in the warm water. V’rex? And hadn’t he seen Muikoth there as well before he hadn’ been aware of much beyond the green they were chasing? He smiled to himself, standing to reach for a towel.

((Muikoth?)) Traynth relayed dutifully. ((Is your rider free?)) Despite the flight, or maybe because of it, the blue sounded a little out of sorts, not quite his usual self.

((Hmm? Oh, yes.)) Muikoth responded, the blue brightening further at being bespoken. ((I’m taking him back up to our weyr right now.)) A pause. ((He says you’re welcome to come visit!))

((Can he bring the puppy? He’s been in all morning,)) Traynth explained politely. He paused. ((Mine says is your weyr accessible by foot? His breathing feels better and he wants to walk places.))

((He can.)) Muikoth responded, after a few moments, and then a pause. ((Yes. Mine managed to find one, but it is easier to fly up, I think.)) 

A deep mental sigh from the other dragon. ((I’ll fly up and wait for him. He may need yours to rescue him if this goes wrong but he’s on his way.))

Muikoth hummed, encouraging. ((Sometimes Ours need to do things we cannot. Like fit inside the tunnels.)) 

((He’s in an odd mood,)) Traynth said in explanation, sounding a little helpless as he winged his way up to Muikoth’s ledge. ((Did you chase well?))

((I chased very well.)) Muikoth responded. ((Mine is in a very good mood right now, too.)) he added, moving aside to make more room for Traynth. 

((He always is after flights I know,)) Traynth admitted, still sounding disgruntled as he settled down. ((But-- I wish he would put his thinking back on.))

Muikoth reached over, nosed Traynth. ((Mine thinks too much, I think. Flights are a good way to not think.)) 

((I don’t like it.)) Traynth curled up against Muikoth’s side. ((We’ll get into trouble again. I don’t like it.))

But the knock on the door suggested Bl’by had at least successfully navigated the stairs.

((You won’t get into trouble.)) Muikoth soothed, nuzzled Traynth again. 

“Come in!” V’rex called, seated on one of the chairs, going over Reli carefully with an oiled cloth, the brown flit sprawled in his lap and crooning contentedly. 

Bl’by was looking a little breathless as he came through the door, Tiddler bouncing along next to him but he was not -- and this was important -- wheezing.

He did however immediately take the opportunity to collapse onto V’rex’s couch with a sigh of relief. “I can do stairs again,” he announced triumphantly. “I may never move again, but stairs!

“You made it.” V’rex grinned at him, and Reli whistled a greeting as well, the brown lifting his head and warbling. “Not bad.” 

Bl’by punched the air tiredly, and leaned his head back against the couch, pushing Tiddler away as the dog came to lick his face. “My legs feel like jelly,” he admitted. “How was your flight?”

“Um... “ And here V’rex fidgeted, just a bit. “It was.. Good. It did get kind of alarming, for a bit, but… it ended good.” he responded, and Muikoth snorted, addressing both Traynth and Bl’by. ((He caught the Weyrleader.)) 

“Wait, what?” That roused Bl’by enough for him to sit up a little. “Which Weyrleader?”

“Muikoth!” V’rex actually stopped scrubbing at Reli’s hide, looking up, scandalized. “That’s-” 

((It’s not a big deal.)) Muikoth pointed out, privately. To Traynth, he added, ((It was Talith’s.)) 

“It was… R’tal.” V’rex mumbled, at the same time. 

“R’tal who you’re terrified of? That R’tal?” Bl’by was grinning broadly now. “Well, good. If it had been N’shen I might have gotten jealous.” Even if he was still sometimes a little shy of N’shen, time had passed enough for him to be very firmly his Weyrleader and Wingleader. “Get over here, I need details.”

“I’m oiling Reli!” V’rex protested, but the firelizard chirped at Tiddler, and wriggled out of his hands. The brown flew over to the shelf, deliberately nudging his ball off the shelf to let it hit the ground.

V’rex sighed but rose, and moved over to sit next to Bl’by. “I guess oiling time’s over.” he commented. 

A pause. “I… I don’t think I’m scared of him. Anymore.” 

“Oiling time’s over,” Bl’by confirmed as Tiddler yapped delightedly and chased after the ball. “Chaos time begins if those two have anything to say about it.” He flung an easy arm around the other man’s shoulder, pulling him closer. Personal space was always a forgettable concept for him to start with but particularly after a flight. “Tell me everything.”

V’rex, obliging, snuggled in closer, watching in amusement as Reli swooped in at the last moment, grabbed the ball, and then flew up out of range to drop it again. “...I don’t know who taught him that.” he commented. “But it’s entertaining, watching them play.” 

A pause. “Well… I woke up next to him, and kind of panicked.” he added. 

“Understandably,” Bl’by said. “And then..?”

Well. If they were sharing. ((Mine got caught by a bronze,)) Traynth confided very quietly to Muikoth.

((Is Yours okay with that?)) Muikoth wanted to know.

“He told me that… I didn’t have to go rushing off. We got dressed, and talked, some.” V’rex responded. 

((He’s not sure. He liked him.)) Traynth was quiet for a minute. ((But he needs to stay away from him! This is how we get into trouble!))

That had been private but the spike of distress made Bl’by glance over. “You absolutely need to tell me everything -- in one minute,” he told V’rex, holding up a finger to mark his place. “You all right, love?”

Muikoth crooned, softly, and a flick of thought had Reli dropping the ball and circling back around to land, gently, on Bl’by’s lap and peer up at him, the flit crooning softly. 

That meant Tiddler followed, so now Bl’by had two pairs of appealing eyes staring up at him. “I’m feeling ganged up on here,” he grumbled. “No, I don’t have any treats, the pair of you.” It was sufficient distraction for him to accept Traynth’s wordless reassurance that yes, everything was fine, turning back to V’rex.

Reli chirped, softly, and continued to watch him a moment longer, before he blinked *Between* and reappeared over the ball to continue their game. 

“I think he was trying to help with something.” V’rex told him, watching the flit. “He’s done that to me a few times, if I feel like I’m going to panic.” 

“I’m not panicking. It’s fine,” Bl’by reassured the firelizard. Outside, Traynth’s tail was twitching, resisting the urge to stuff it into his mouth

Muikoth leaned a bit more against Traynth. ((Do you want to go swimming?)) he asked. ((The Lake is nice.))

Traynth hesitated. ((He doesn’t think well after flights. Yours will stop him if he tries to do something stupid?))

((Mine will protect him.)) Muikoth promised, firmly. ((So will Reli, and Tiddler.)) 

A rumble and Traynth peered in to reassure himself that Bl’by was not on the verge either of running a marathon or trying to tear V’rex’s clothes off before conceding that slumped on a couch was indeed probably fairly safe. ((We can swim,)) he conceded finally. 

Muikoth crooned again, and then took wing, gliding down toward the Lake. ((We will come back when they are done visiting.)) he assured Traynth. 

“..And there they go.” V’rex commented, his sense of his blue moving away. 

Bl’by shook his head. “Traynth’s in a jumpy mood. Muikoth will be good for him,” he admitted. “So. Details?”

“There’s not much to say.” V’rex responded. “We got dressed, we talked a little, and he told me that.. That I could come to him, if something spooked me. That he wouldn’t hold this flight against me.” 

“No, no. I mean that’s good, sure, but-- I mean-- details!” Bl’by protested. “Was he good? Was he..?” he held his hands apart to indicate size.

“He was good.” V’rex responded, ducked his head a bit. “I don’t kiss and tell.” 

“Spoilsport,” Bl’by said mildly, and prodded him lightly in the side with a finger. “So.” He raised his eyebrows. “Going to be trying to get caught again?”

“... I.. don’t know.” V’rex responded, after a long moment. “I mean, I don’t think I’m scared of him, anymore, and… he is handsome.” 

The other bluerider’s grin was gleeful now. “You like him!” he accused, sounding quite delighted about it.

“...I do.” V’rex admitted, and then immediately leveled Bl’by with a semi alarmed look. “You’re not allowed to tell him!” A pause. “...Besides. He’s weyrmated.” 

“Course he is. I’d be warning you off if he wasn’t. You don’t want to get seriously involved with a ranker; it’s a whole heap of trouble you don’t need,” Bl’by said cheerfully. “Now getting laid now and then, that’s different.”

“Can blame it on a flight, if it happens again.” V’rex agreed, with a nod, then made a face. “I don’t want trouble, for me or Muikoth. Had more than enough of that.” 

“No good getting yourself attached to a ranker, even the nice ones,” Bl’by said agreeably, and paused a moment thinking over those words. “...Remind me of that if I look like I’m about to make any stupid decisions, please.”

“I will.” V’rex promised, and then poked Bl’by in return. “...N’shen?” 

“Ha! No, he’s fairly attached to his pregnant weyrmate. Not that I wouldn’t happily warm his furs if a flight came up, but… unlikely, particularly while Truenoth is grounded,” Bl’by waved that idea away and settled a little more comfortably next to V’rex, arm tucked around the other man’s waist. “No. Fell into bed with a bronzerider after a flight, you know how it is.”

“At least you weren’t immediately tossed out of there?” V’rex suggested, leaning a bit more against Bl’by. “Known some to do that, though I can’t say it’s happened to me personally, here at least.” he added. 

Reli made one more loop of the room, and then returned to his human’s lap, curling up there.

Bl’by laughed, and rubbed his chin on the top of V’rex’s head, a quick affectionate gesture. Just touching, any kind of touching felt good to him after a flight, even when the initial urge to tumble people had worn off. “Didn’t just not toss me out, stayed for a second round,” he admitted. “Got all the best kinds of sore going on already.” Despite his insistence that V’rex should hold him to being sensible there was a thoughtful note in his voice.

“Don’t.” V’rex advised him, as asked. “We don’t mix with them.” 

“He wanted breakfast,” Bl’by confessed. “I made an excuse to duck out.” Which was exactly what he would have advised V’rex to do, so he shouldn’t still be sounding thoughtful.

“Next time you can have Muikoth tell Traynth to get you out of there, if you like. Or Muikoth could step in.” V’rex offered, uncertainly. “You don’t want to go down that road. First you’re in their berth, then you’re having a meal with them, and then you’re being accused of fraternization, or it turns out they just wanted a minion.” 

Bl’by sighed. “He seemed like a decent one,” he admitted. “I mean-- I was the one who initiated the second go-round. I’m not saying I want-- he was sharding good in bed though.”

“There’s a lot of riders who’re good in bed.” V’rex responded, attempting tact. “And half of them aren’t rankers, at least not bronze and brown ones.” A pause. “Like… T’baran. And… me.” He liked to think he was, at least. 

“Oh, feck, don’t tell T’baran.” It was Bl’by’s turn to sound a little alarmed. “He’d kill me even for thinking it.” After the..incident with Eilid Bl’by was not going to test the greenrider’s patience with another ranker crush.

“I meant that you like him. ...Don’t you?” V’rex asked uncertainly. 

“Of course I like him, he’s one of my oldest friends,” Bl’by sounded surprised by the question. 

“I mean… you’d fly him, wouldn’t you? Or let him fly you?” 

“Well. Yeah. Fairly frequently.” Bl’by grinned. “It’s not a lack of sex that’s an issue, V’rex. Just-- don’t you sometimes want to scratch an itch a slightly different way?”

“... I wouldn’t be averse to settling down someday. If Muikoth and I both found someone we liked.” V’rex responded. “But… no. I like not getting involved with rankers more than I need to. Let Thread be the only danger I face.” 

“I mean. It’s safer here.” Bl’by sounded like he was testing the idea for size. “People don’t care, or definitely not as much anyway.”

“There’s riders sleeping with whoever they please.” V’rex agreed, cautiously. “Weyrleader R’tal’s mate is a brownrider.” 

“And I don’t-- shells, I don’t even want breakfast really,” Bl’by admitted. “Breakfast is-- people look at you and assume things. But--” He hesitated a minute. “I mean. If it was just sex.” He was far far more comfortable with the idea of a quick lay in private than a nice meal and potentially more out in public, which maybe said something about Bl’by’s ideas on relative safety.

“....Bl’by…” V’rex sighed. “...You realize how risky that is, don’t you? Yes, even here.” 

Bl’by groaned quietly and rested his chin again on V’rex’s head. “Oh, I know,” he said ruefully. “Believe me.”

“...Let’s save the risky ideas for another day.” V’rex suggested. 

“..Right.” Bl’by sighed into his hair. “...Another day.”

V’rex nuzzled a bit closer. “...We can just cuddle right now.” he mumbled into Bl’by’s chest. “If you want.” 

“Hey, I’m always up for cuddling.” Bl’by consented to that easily enough. “Though I warn you in advance that more than that right now might kill me. I don’t think I’ve exercised as much in the last three months as today.”

“I don’t want more than that.” V’rex responded. “Not right now, at least.” 


Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.