Each Other

Who: Aerishani and O’rlen
Where: Caverns, Honshu Weyrhold
What: They try to repair what’s broken.

It has been some time since Aerishani has handed over her knot to Rori, leaving the daily operations to Honshu’s junior goldrider. None of Honshu’s people have issued any grumbles in the wake of the transfer, as they have found Rori’s leadership steady, in a quiet and non-intrusive way. Many who may not have clicked as well with Aerishani or O’rlen over the years are finding reprieve as O’rlen himself has allowed Weyrsecond S’ven to co-lead with Rori. Though both their duties have slackened, O’rlen has not quite been able to find ways to repair his marriage with Aerishani. Leesa has healed well enough to find herself a transfer to the perceived safety of the North, where she has changed her name and find work amongst another Weyr quietly with a lesser title than she had at Honshu. O’rlen has spent the majority of his day with his children, teaching them how to train and work with young terriers in the stable area of Honshu. The twin’s laughter is clear amongst the other children who have also joined in the melee of hiding treats and pretending to train canines more interested in food than knowledge to do “tricks”. O’rlen watches as the kids run off in squealing laughter, chasing the puppies who have stolen a jacket from one of the twins.

Aerishani has struggled with what time she’s ever spent alone with O’rlen since that fateful day, inevitably engineering ways for the twins to be present as a buffer of sorts during what daylight hours they’ve found themselves in each other’s company. The occasional nights have been easier, seeming not to need words, but what times she’s slept next to him have turned out to be little more than that, unable to let herself look to seeking anything else. For a short while now, she’s been watching at a distance the goings-on down at the stables, her presence on the fringes and as unobtrusive as she can possibly make it, Amorenth left to brood on human affairs and the state of //her// Weyrhold out of sight. As the children run off, she inches her way along the fence of the pen separating some of the adolescent runners and over towards her husband, to proffer a wrapped bundle and a flask. “I thought you might be hungry.”

O’rlen glances up at the whickering of the runners and offers a smile to Aerishani as she walks towards him. He takes the bundle and opens it to see the food within and steps towards her to kiss her cheek lightly. “Thank you,” he remarks as he goes to shovel some of the food in his mouth as quickly as possible to hold back the need to find a conversation. The children continue to squeal and chase the puppy, or as it turns out now, be chased by them. O’rlen smiles as he watches their play before he takes a gulp of the flask. “How’s your day been?” he asks once food and drink are past the point of being an excuse to keep himself quiet. “The twins have been enjoying the new puppies. If they don’t end up being riders, perhaps they’ll want to apprentice with the beastcraft.” He hasn’t had much interest in his former craft until the last few weeks, likely owing to his own children’s interest in it.

“I’d rather that than they be Harpers,” Aerishani replies, giving a loose shrug of her shoulders in place of any true explanation as to why. “The Hall has engaged me to sing for three evenings at Igen Hold,” is the extent of the news about her day. “And by that I do mean that they asked. They were in no position to tell, when…” Another shrug. When she was actively holding her rank. “It’s a pleasant enough programme. I leave for the Hold in a week and will be at the Hall in rehearsal most days until then.” She glances down at her feet, shuffling her toes together, then makes herself look back up again. “…Maybe you could… stay the night, before I go?” is little more than a murmur. “Attend one of the performances at Igen too?”

If O’rlen is surprised by Aerishani choosing to immerse herself in her craft again as well, he doesn’t show it. He smiles at her request and reaches to brush his fingers against her hand like he would hold it but then resists the urge as he pulls it back to his side. “I’ll stay the night,” he agrees, “that way we can each tuck the children to bed.” As to seeing the performance, he holds his smile and finally moves to reach for her hand. His hand is roughened by recent work and warm against hers. “I’ll come to every performance.” He looks up as he hears the children being called by a nanny. He lifts his free hand to wave to the woman. The kids drop their game of chase and run towards the nanny with laughter still bubbling around them. They are easily herded off back to the nursery, leaving Aerishani and O’rlen alone and in silence. “Well..,” he begins and trails off, looking to their joined hands.

Aerishani observes their joined hands with a curious distance to her gaze, her features schooled to a careful neutrality, only then she tightens her hold and abruptly turns to tug O’rlen after her and away from the pens and the hub of the stables, roaming further until she rounds a corner and slips through an archway that leads to a tiny room that must have been where visitors would wait for their runners to be switched out when Honshu was more Hold than Weyr. Having gained either momentum or the nerve (or both) along the way, she waits the half-step or so for him to catch up with her and turns to back him up against the nearest wall, crowding him until she has him pinned there and can slide her hands down between his backside and the wall to press him to her. Before she can think too much on what she’s doing and whether she should, or whether it will be unwelcome, she tips her chin up the slightest bit and claims his lips with hers just a little clumsily for all the time that’s passed when she’s done nothing of the sort.

O’rlen follows eagerly after Aerishani, her momentum giving him enough to be led towards that tiny room. He has no concern for the straw that litters the floor or the dust along the surfaces of the desk and chairs within it. He draws his own hands to her hips and holds them firmly as his lips find hers. It has been long enough that O’rlen’s lips are demanding, as are his fingers, as they dig into flesh and he groans against Aerishani’s lips when her body shifts against his. He loses himself to the touch and feel of her, his hands quick against her body as he holds her lips with his own. He likely should remain to the kisses they’re exchanging, or at least he should ask her, before he turns his hands to stripping her of enough clothing that his lips can press to her shoulder and breasts.

If Aerishani had any intention of stopping him, it doesn’t actually manifest, her fingers curling in the tail of O’rlen’s shirt as his lips work their way down her body. She makes a quiet, needy sound, her head tipping back as a hand lifts to tangle in his hair in a not so subtle attempt to keep him from stopping exactly what he’s doing. With her eyes closed, she murmurs, “Do you remember how it was when we first met? You even had me in the stands in the hatching cavern.” Her hands shift to unbutton his pants and roam beyond to stroke and tease in a deliberately leisurely fashion, just as she inches forward enough to press him back against the wall. “I had to be quiet then. I don’t think you will be now.” Especially when she sinks to her knees before him, skirts pooling around her, and tugs his pants to the floor to let her put her mouth to the task of what her fingers were so recently doing.

O’rlen’s laughter is a tickle of warm breath along Aerishani’s stomach as he works his way back upwards to kiss at her collarbone. “I remember being unable to resist you,” he tells her, lifting his gaze to hers as her hands roam. His eyes widen as she makes her way to her knees. His hand finds the top of her head to rest on as her lips claim him in a way he hasn’t had in a long time. His groan is loud as he tips his head back against the wall and lets his fingers clutch her hair. He lets her mouth take him close to the edge before his fingers in her hair are rough enough to pull her head back from him. “Enough,” his voice is hoarse and strained as he encourages her to stand. “I need //you//.” The rest is a blur of action as he pushes her back against the wall and hikes her legs over his hips. When he enters her, he’s rougher than he may intend before his strokes are firm and hard as he seeks completion.

Initially startled, Aerishani looks up at O’rlen through wide eyes and runs the back of her thumb along her lips in the moment before he means to bring her to her feet, doubt flickering through her dark gaze as if she’s gone too far. It doesn’t last, the breath stolen from her as her back finds the wall and he grips her legs, and if he needed confirmation that she’s not found solace in anyone else’s bed she provides it in the hitching gasp and involuntary cry of pain, her fingers digging hard into his back. Closing her eyes, she wills herself to relax and gives herself over to the motion of his hips with a low moan, a hand snaking into his hair to tip his head back enough that she can visit that pain upon him with the touch of her teeth. “Please,” is all she tells him, murmured over skin as she loosens her hold and drops her head back against the wall.

All the encouragement O’rlen needs is in that single word and he lets himself have his way with Aerishani’s body. It is impossible to be gentle with the positioning of both of their bodies. He has sought no other in his bed and it shows in the fast, hard, thrusting of his body into hers. He has no attention outside of the feel of her, the sounds she makes, and his own grasp on her body. He does not prolong their encounter as his groan signals his end, her name a murmur on his lips as he shoves her hard against the wall and shudders in his own release. He holds her there, pinned, between his body and the wall as he catches his breath. He eases her back from the wall and removes himself from her, waiting until he is sure she is steady on her feet before he pulls up his pants and takes a step back from her to allow her to gather himself. He looks back towards the door and then to Aerishani, conflicted between pleasure and contrition. “I’m sorry–, it’s been so long, and I had to have you…,” he hitches a breath as he shucks his hands through his sweat-soaked hair. “If I hurt you…”

Aerishani has to grab the front of her husband’s shirt as her feet find the ground, nails hooking a hole in what she’s already treated poorly enough to need mending. She stays like that for several moments, catching her breath and trying to make sure her legs understand to support her, only to lean back against the wall again and let him go rather than continue to rely on him to keep her upright. She’s in the process of both trying to smooth down her skirts and use them to make it a little less obvious what they’ve been doing when O’rlen speaks, her focus snapping to him with a wariness absent less than minutes ago. “…I can’t say ‘I’m sorry’ was exactly what I wanted to hear,” she confesses through a sigh, lingering on that thought for no longer than it takes for her to lunge for one of his hands and drag him across the room and between her knees as she backs herself up onto an old and rickety table. “I figure we have two options. You can come home with me and we can spend the rest of the day doing what we used to do best until we can’t remember our own names, or we can leave here feeling ashamed of ourselves. We aren’t going to take Honshu back. That much is obvious by now, no matter how it enrages Amorenth. So it falls to whether we want each other back.”

“I wasn’t apologizing for –,” O’rlen’s mid-sentence when Aerishani takes control of the situation and drags him towards the table. His hands brace either side of her body as he looks fully at her, letting her words trickle into his awareness. His answer comes by way of moving his hand to grab her chin, holding it firmly in place as he moves to silence her words with his lips. He holds her that way until he’s satisfied and his lips feel the sting of use as he pulls back from her. “Let us go home,” he tells her roughly, moving to grab her arm and hoist her to his side. “And there will be no more apologies from me. I want you. You want me. I want //us// to work.” He doesn’t bother to mention Honshu, it’s importance is that low to him as he sweeps her forward with him and out of the building. If any notice his clothing state – and hers – none will make mention of it as the two of them hurry past until they reach Aerishani’s – and what used to be his – weyr. Doors are locked as they are passed through until O’rlen finds their bed. This time he does not rush anything, the early pull of need replaced by the slow desire of wanting to connect with his wife.

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