All of You

Who: Nala and Rori
Where: Rori’s Weyr, Honshu Weyrhold
What: Rori tries to make up for her ill-feeling about a recent marriage.

It only takes a day for Rori to begin to feel truly awful for the words she shared with Nala and the weight of what the bluerider reminded her drawing her back to the ground. She doesn’t often seek for time off since returning to Honshu, never having much of a reason to leave the Weyrhold other than a few day trips here and there. She’s in the process of finishing up packing her bags and a bag for Nala when she lets Inaskashath reach out to Jynth. << We have been planning something fun >> she tells the blue with a surge of warmth and excitement. << Can Nala come and see? >> She doesn’t care if Rori gets upset – she shares a glimpse of the cabin tucked into the northern woods with Jynth, the crispness of the air bright in her mind from their visit there.

For once, Jynth hesitates, his mental touch flickering in and out with a shower of sapphire sparks as two minds make different requests and he finds himself stuck in the middle. << I will tell her, >> he eventually promises – and so he must, for Nala appears a few minutes later and somewhat slowly makes her way up the steps to Rori’s weyr, uncertainty delaying her until she all but literally tries to shrug it off, squaring her shoulders as she crosses the ledge and moves inside. “Jynth tells me that there is something that you wish me to see?” she enquires, foregoing any other thoughts or explanations in favour of getting straight to the point.

Rori turns, sending her skirts flipping in the movement as she brightens at the appearance of Nala. “I’ve arranged for us to take a solid seven days off! And I’ve found the most beautiful cabin in the North. Cinder will //love// exploring the woods.” She moves quickly to Nala’s side and reaches for her hands to squeeze. “We’ll have time to ourselves uninterrupted. No one to bother us. We can do whatever we want.” She smiles brightly and looks to Nala to gauge her reaction. “So few people vacation in the North the owner of the cottage was delighted to have a goldrider want to use the property. It comes fully stocked and –,” she cuts herself off. “And I wanted to do something nice for you, Nala. You’re my choice. My love. I wouldn’t want it any other way.” She looks hopeful at her, then hesitates, nervousness drawing more words from her. “I realize this is heavy handed and maybe I should’ve asked you…”

Nala’s reaction is contained to watching Rori closely and not pulling her hands from hers, her features schooled to a careful and safe neutrality. “…I did not speak as I did to you to suggest that I was upset with your behaviour,” she says slowly, once she can find the words to put together. “I was only trying to make you consider how you felt. Feel. I do not take your being so distressed at her marriage as affront to me, but I still believe that you should examine why you begrudge her any happiness. It is not my place to judge, nor do I expect you to demonstrate how you feel for me. If Aislara chooses to marry one day, I will undoubtedly be upset, even though I know being with her is not right for either of us. I only…” She looks down at her feet and back up again. “Rori, you feel how you feel. I expect no promises of longevity.”

“You do that a lot with me,” Rori tells Nala, frowning as she keeps hold of Nala’s hands. “I can’t quite decide if it’s what I do or say — or your fears of what may happen. You close off.” She draws one hand back to slowly pull over her face, letting all trace of emotion disappear in its wake and go flat. It doesn’t (and couldn’t) last long as she puckers her brows in thought again as she mulls over the rest of what Nala has said. “It was never that serious between Arlet and myself,” she tells Nala, moving to hug the bluerider briefly before she pulls back. “Not to the extent that you and Aislara were close.” She lifts her gaze towards the ceiling and shakes her shoulders briefly like she was rearranging her wings – which Inaskashath does beside Jynth. “You know what angers me, truly? O’rlen and Aerishani have never come here to acknowledge our love. They have not come here to thank you for being brave – or to even consider what struggles you face since we’ve returned. I’ve a mind to seek a transfer because you deserve more.” Her lips thin into a firm line. “I’m comparing again,” she realizes and then sighs, shaking her head as she moves to press herself against Nala once more. “If you wanted to marry,” she pulls back to look up at her face, “to prove the longevity of our love, I would do it.” Her smile grows wistful. “If I could take the target from you for our love and for Jynth and Inaskashath’s love, I would do anything.”

“…It is not anything that you do,” Nala says slowly, her focus finding a point on the far wall. “When…” She swallows hard and takes a deep breath, straightening her shoulders almost imperceptivity. “What Aislara told me after High Reaches’ Weyrleader attacked me, it… How she reacted… Something broke and I have yet to manage to fix it. I cannot… be that vulnerable again until I do. My feelings have to matter less.” Settling her arms around Rori’s waist, she rests her head on her shoulder. “O’rlen and Aerishani likely believe we are being foolish – or at least that I am. It is not my place to court a goldrider, nor Jynth’s to fly a queen. Defending me puts them in an even worse position than they already are and more people at risk. To encourage me is to risk the Council’s wrath.” She lifts her head, drawing back enough for her hands to curve to Rori’s hips and tighten there. “You have nothing to prove,” she murmurs. “And I could not ask you to marry me as I am now. I love you too much to let you do that.”

“I love you enough to say I would marry you as you are now because I am not interested in a perfect Nala,” Rori quips, kissing the bluerider’s cheek before pulling back. “I’m interested in all of you.” She turns then, gesturing towards the bags. “Is it alright I packed for you?” she questions, looking over her shoulder. “You can review what I chose and make sure I didn’t miss anything.” She moves to pull the bags holding Nala’s things forward for her to review. “I thought it might be fun to let the dragons hunt for us,” her eyes brighten at the idea, “and we can pretend we’re renegades on the run,” she teases, moving to put the last folded clothes in her own bag. “Cinder’s alright with moving Between?” she wonders, looking to Nala. “Or should we arrange for someone to babysit her while we’re gone?” She closes her bag and picks it up to go and place near the doorway. Her voice proceeds her as she walks back into the bedroom. “Should I pack us snacks?” she asks, “or should we eat before we go?”

For a little while, Nala can only listen and watch Rori, waiting for the words she wants to present themselves, and when they do it’s to answer about Cinder and not a work of great eloquence. “She has her carrier,” she says eventually. “She does not enjoy Between, but she seems to quickly forget.” She crouches down a little automatically to examine the bags at her feet, rummaging through without disturbing or unsettling much, whether she actually notes the contents a matter for conjecture, yet she confirms, “You chose well,” as she stands up again and lets her gaze trace along the path that Rori has followed, her feet soon taking up the trail to pursue her. It could be to check on something, but when she reaches the bedroom she closes the door and reaches for the goldrider’s wrist to first tug her to her, then back her up against that door. “You chose when and where we are going,” she utters lowly, pinning her there. “You chose what we are taking with us.” She lowers her lips to her neck, one hand catching at the fabric of Rori’s skirts. “And now I choose this.” No opportunity is presented to argue, for she claims her mouth with her own and lets her fingers slide to where she might best present a distraction. “Because wife or weyrmate or Council or none, you are mine.” She smirks just the tiniest bit. “And this room echoes better than the woods.” Which she is determined to test before she lets Rori take her anywhere, simply by taking her first.

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