A ‘Sleepover’

Who: Echo, Emily, Kahotaith, Hanath
Where: Echo’s Weyr, Southern Weyr
What: It was innocent. Intended to be. Except it isn’t.

It would seem that Echo keeps a tidy home out of a matter of habit, rather than there being any evidence of her having raced around her weyr in a desperate attempt to clean up before Emily arrives. There remains evidence that there’s a child in residence, Melody’s toys lined up along shelves and pictures stuck to cabinets, but the rest is quite a Spartan affair made softer with pillows and cushions scattered here and there in addition to the standard furniture. Even Echo’s nightwear looks simple, her vest and shorts in pastel colours, the former stitched with little firelizards at its hem. Yet, in this, the kitchen table and its array of biscuits and cookies stands out, half of what must have been an iced flower rapidly vanishing into Echo’s mouth. Kahotaith has settled himself in his wallow, at a seemingly innocuous angle that lets him keep the weyr of the friend that Melody is spending the night with idly in view.

There is a considerable length of time that passes before Hanath arrives near Kahotaith’s wallow. She is full of good humor, her voice sparkling with little flames of orange and blue. << Apparently getting ready to spend the night is very stressful for Emily. She changed into many outfits and packed way too many clothes. >> Emily takes her bags off of Hanath and removes her straps, which she neatly tucks into a special case that she carries into the little cottage and sets near the door. She pauses for a moment and then announces herself as she stands near the doorway. “We’re here. If Kahotaith didn’t tell you. Or you didn’t hear us.” She’s dressed in her flight jacket and warm sweat pants. Her hair is pulled back in two small buns at the base of her head. “I haven’t had a sleepover since I was a child,” she confesses with a small, nervous, laugh.

“Or see you,” Echo teases around her mouthful of cookie. She offers a hand towards her and says, “Let me hang your coat up,” after she’s brushed the stray crumbs from her fingers. “All I can promise you is that I don’t think I snore, and I won’t tell you if you do,” she swears. “Grab a cookie,” she invites, gesturing back towards the kitchen table. “If we have any left by morning, Melody will quite happily make sure the rest of them vanish by tomorrow evening.” Kahotaith’s quiet laughter is a dry thing, the sound of steel scrapped against stone. << I am not sure that Echo is anticipating any changes of clothes, but it would seem she stands to be outdone if they become necessary, >> he tells Hanath. << You are very welcome to sleep in my wallow, if you wish. It is my intention to remain here until Melody returns home. >>

Emily shrugs out of her coat and hands it to Echo. She’s got a large sweater on underneath it. “I think I forgot to dress for southern weather,” she admits ruefully as she rolls up her sweaters’ sleeves. “We should make sure to leave some cookies for Melody,” she agrees as she takes off her boots and neatly tucks them near the door before she pads towards the kitchen. She admires the cookies even though she doesn’t reach for one. “I brought a book that I read recently. About a woman who wields silver magic. Magic! What a novelty,” she shakes her head and turns to smile at Echo. “It could solve many problems if it took only a snap,” she snaps her fingers, “to fight an enemy.” She finds a chair to perch on and looks towards Emily for direction. Hanath looks behind her and upwards, considering those who may be about to witness her arrival and fuss at it. When she seems to find no eyes that she dislikes, she makes her way into the wallow to curl herself against Kahotaith. << Is she safe? Should we perhaps go and sleep where Melody is resting? I know Emily is protected by yours. >>

“You can borrow something of mine, if you like, or go ahead and change if you’ve brought anything else?” Echo suggests, heading across the room to hang Emily’s coat on the series of hooks near the door. “I think a lot of things would be easier if we had something like magic to help us. Between is very useful for a lot of things, but it’s not really going to protect us or defend us, or get things done.” She pauses at one of the kitchen units to set the kettle on to boil. “I’d quite like to be able to do as the dragons do and talk mind to mind. I know there’re stories about people who can hear all dragons, but it’s not quite the same as being able to speak to people like that.” As she passes the table again, she reaches for one of Emily’s hands. “Come on. I sort of just threw a lot of blankets and pillows down by the hearth.” Still alert in the darkness, Kahotaith decides, << She is not one to think quietly. If there is any trouble, I find it highly unlikely that it will go unnoticed. >>

“I have clothing to change in to later,” Emily tells Echo as she takes a moment to shuck off the sweater to reveal a v-neck tank shirt. She adjusts her straps and then curls the sweater in her lap. “It would be loads easier for me if I could speak mind to mind with people sometimes. Then I won’t get flustered as easily. Or,” she laughs, brushing her fingers to straighten some of the fly-away hairs from her face. “Make it loads worse!” She rises at Echo’s prompting and makes her way towards the blankets and pillows. “How fun,” she adds as she folds herself down onto the pillows. “A true sleepover arrangement. All we need now are lanterns and to duck under the blankets to whisper secrets to each other.” She grins up at Echo. Hanath considers Kahotaith’s words with a flicker of flame. << Yes, she is rather strong of mind. You know best. >> Hanath settles herself closer to him and angles her head to view the stars.
<< Your home is very beautiful, Kahotaith. >>

“I guess it could get rather embarrassing if everyone were to think exactly what they thought of people right at them, with no filter,” Echo supposes, gathering up a couple of plates and bringing them with her to set down before the hearth. She swiftly makes another trip and checks on the progress of the tea before gathering up some more plates and bringing them back with her. “Though, that said, I’m not really sure I have all that many secrets, so I might be safe. Awful in terms of sleepover secret sharing, but potentially safe from insulting anyone’s Weyrleader.” She flops down onto the blankets and pillows, lying right back to look up at Emily. “I figure my only real kind of secret is the cute girl I’m sort of seeing. Hanath’s rider. Maybe you know her.” Smirking, she picks up a cookie and takes a bite. Kahotaith casts a wing over Hanath and follows her gaze to the skies. << It is much more beautiful in company, >> he dares, quite as if he means to make nothing of it at all.

“This is a feast,” Emily states as she beholds all the various plates that are laid before her. She waits until Echo has made her way back to the blanekts before she reaches to take a sample of one of the sweets on display. She’s mid-mouthful when Echo teases her and she covers her mouth with her hand and blushes. “You’re bound to make me apologize at this point,” she confesses once she’s swallowed her bite. She reaches forward to give Echo’s leg a playful shove. “You sure your Weyrleaders’ aren’t going to be bothered by the very obvious Hanath and Kahotaith snuggling out there?” she queries, tilting her head and then she looks towards the door before she gazes back at Echo. “Your hair has a really pretty shine to it against the fire.” Hanath is too good natured to fuss at Kahotaith’s boldness of the wing. She takes it a step further by rubbing her cheek along his neck before she once more focuses on the skies above them. << You must be someone who always has the greens and golds around you with your fine words >>

“If you apologise, I’m going to keep tally. Just so you know.” Echo nibbles at the edge of the cookie and grins over it at Emily. “Do try not to be so taken with my in the firelight as to threaten my virtue,” she utters dryly, reaching a hand up to grab for one of hers. “In all seriousness, if my Weyrleaders notice – which I’m sure they will, if only because someone else will probably inform them – and they want to talk to me about it, then they can. You’re a well respected queenrider. Everyone knows you’re not cruel or vindictive, and that it’s you who primarily trained Honshu’s new Weyrwoman. If I were to deliberately choose a goldrider, I don’t really think I could find one that they’d approve of more. Besides, Fort and Southern are more or less on the same side, aren’t they?” She shrugs, her smile still lingering. “Not all dragons who get that close have mated riders, besides, if you want to deflect it that way. You know, buy me more time to learn how to best bribe or fight off C’aol.” Kahotaith takes the time to consider Hanath’s statement, rather than immediately provide some shallow pleasantry. << I believe it is best to speak the truth and not flinch from that which ought to be said, >> he decides on. << If others appreciate how it is put or agree with it, then so be it, but it is not necessary. >>

“Maybe you can place some bets on your tally,” Emily teases her in return, sliding her way closer towards Echo. “Your very kind when you speak of me. I would say the same of you and the approval of my Weyrleaders. You are an accomplished Wingleader and clearly take pride in your work. Kahotaith is a very disciplined brown as well. I think Hanath could learn some focus from him.” She moves her fingers to drift along Echo’s jawline, her gaze kind. “We’ve done an awful lot of supposing, you and me. Though I can’t say I’m a threat to your virtue by any means,” she shakes her head, smiling more boldly. “One would have to know how to make the first move, wouldn’t they?” Hanath seems absolutely delighted by the seriousness of Kahotaith’s answer. << Tell me some more things of the how’s and why’s. I love to listen to you speak. You have a philosophy to it. It is the seriousness that you bring to things that likely help others grow up strong when in your Wing. >>

“With the exception that Daeserath hates everyone, especially males, and Hanath is his favourite daughter,” Echo interjects, not without humour, as she reaches to set what she hasn’t eaten of the cookie back on the edge of the plate. As Emily’s fingers graze her jaw, she leans in to claim a kiss, this one a little more intense than the others they’ve shared, yet she draws back enough to watch her as she murmurs, “I’m afraid the first move is yours by right.” This said, she sits back against the foot of the couch and lets her hands drift to Emily’s waist, tugging her a little towards her as if she’d draw her into her lap. “You won’t mess anything up by doing what you want, but you will if you go too fast and do what you don’t want to because you think it has to happen.” She settles her arms around her middle. “Though if you do want to divest me of what virtue may remain, I won’t fuss about it,” she says gently, pressing another kiss to her jaw. Kahotaith settles himself a little more securely around Hanath and lays his head down on the edge of the wallow as he sets to telling her what she wishes, staying on the broader side of polite affection while he has her so near.

Emily loses much of her senses to that more intense kiss she shares with Echo, so much so that when they part she’s blinking in a daze at the rest of the words Echo shares. She moves herself closer to Echo, settling her knees on either side of Echo’s lap as she leans closer towards her. “I don’t know how to be with a woman,” she confesses as she lets her hands brush against Echo’s chest. “I barely know how to be with a man.” She leans closer to Echo, claiming a gentle kiss. “Please tell me what to do, so I make sure you enjoy your time with me. I don’t want to mess it up.” She leans in and kisses Echo once more, this time her lips part and she deepens the kiss with a probing tongue.

When she has to surface for air, Echo can’t help but smile, saying, “If I tell you what to do, I think it’s going to feel rather like following instructions. And besides, if you think I’m going to go anywhere because you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, that’s not at all what’s going to happen.” Her fingers find the hem of Emily’s shirt and start to slowly lift it, giving her plenty of time to keep her from pulling it carefully over her head and casting it away. “I’ll enjoy it if you enjoy it, and I think you’ve got some catching up to do in the enjoying it department.” She steals another kiss, then begins to edge her lips along her jaw, pausing to quite obviously grin into the crook of her neck before kissing her way between her breasts to let her tongue flick out and her mouth close over one, her fingers grazing the curve of the other. She takes her time, toying to see Emily’s reaction, until she lifts her head and tells her, “Lie down,” in a murmur. “Good thing I brought half the blankets out here.”

“Maybe following instructions would be fun,” Emily says as she watches Echo reach for her shirt and help ease it over her head. She’s wearing a light pink, lacey, bra which looks new enough to have been purchased recently. She reaches behind her back to undo the bra and slip it free to be dropped wherever her shirt went. She shivers in delight at Echo’s kissing along her body and a tiny gasp escapes her as her breasts are fondled in the way that Echo has. She moves to lie down when told to and glances up at Echo with a mixture of longing and a touch of insecurity flashing across her features before she moves a hand out to reach for her. “Your blankets are comfortable,” she says with a smile as she wriggles her shoulders against them briefly. “And the fire is warm.”

Echo pulls her vest off as she slowly makes her way to lounge down beside Emily, throwing it somewhere that she’ll have to collect it from later, and while she makes to gather her against her, she also reaches for the waist of her pants to tug them down and free, not bothering with her own shorts before she reaches to cast the blankets over the pair of them and press herself to Emily’s back. Her lips find the curve of her neck, lingering there, only for her to quietly insist, “If you don’t want me to, tell me to stop.” Stop what isn’t entirely clear, until she trails a hand over Emily’s hip, drawing her back more firmly against her as she gently slides her fingers between her legs, arm snugly across her middle. She hesitates, waiting to see if she’s gone too far, then resumes her nipping along her neck while her fingers work with the intention of making sure that Emily finds pleasure in it, eventually propping herself on an elbow so that she lean over her and claim a proper kiss with any sense of trepidation long gone.

Any nerves that Emily has about the intimacy of Echo’s next steps are shown in small displays of tensing of her muscles and then a brief gasp as Echo’s fingers find their way between her thighs. Her breathing becomes ragged as Echo draws her towards a pleasure she has never encountered before. She takes Echo’s kiss and then reaches to grasp tightly against the blankets as her body is racked with convulsions and her hips buck against Echo as release finds her quickly. She opens her eyes to turn and look up at Echo and then chooses to avoid words as she moves to kiss Echo. Her kisses are quick and demanding as her hands move towards Echo’s thighs so she can let her fingers tease and play in the way that she found pleasure.

Echo’s hands briefly make a play for Emily’s own, as if she’d deny that she need do anything for her, yet she crumbles beneath her demands and only hooks a hand into the band of her shorts to draw them down enough that they don’t impede. She finds no shame in moving against her fingers, tangling a hand in Emily’s hair to keep her close as she kisses her, though she ducks her head to smother her cries against her shoulder, and more so when she arches and her hold on her hair becomes tighter than she means it to. When she can breathe again, she lifts her head, her flushed features lending her an all the more rueful air. “I really did mean sleep and read books, you know,” she deadpans, dissolving into quiet laughter not a moment later.

Echo’s demands and pulls do nothing but earn Emily’s further giving over of herself to the moment. She’s far too lost to pleasing Echo to quite know when or how to proceed but Echo’s eagerness to the pleasure is enough to earn a breathless smile from Emily as they part. She brushes her hands briefly against her hair to try and smooth it into some order. “I know you meant to,” she doesn’t quite catch that Echo’s teasing until she’s laughing. Emily is already flushed from their love-making and her blush does nothing more than add to the rosy hues of her cheeks. “That… was the most.., I just,” she bites her lip and shakes her head as she offers her a shy smile. “I’m glad I was able to feel this way with you.”

Echo settles an arm around Emily’s middle and presses a kiss to the line of her jaw. “I hope we can feel that way again and again and again in the near future,” she murmurs, smile claiming a corner of her lips. “You are beautiful and clever and kind,” she says, adding more kisses after each. She pauses, lifting her head as a faintly more devious smirk settles across her features. “And I’ve just realised that this is the perfect opportunity to introduce you to how fun bathing together can be.” Before that, however, she shifts to capture Emily’s wrists and pin her beneath her so that she can kiss her until they’re both breathless again. “The books and the cookies and the tea will keep, I’m sure.” More laughter, then she gets her feet beneath her and holds out a hand to help Emily up after her, to lead her off towards the bathing room.

Emily does nothing but fall willingly back when Echo pins her wrists as she claims more kisses. Rendered completely speechless, and for once not having a single thought to offer an apology for anything, she follows after Echo with girlish laughter easily drawn from her. Once they settle into the warm bath, Emily moves herself behind Echo so she can wrap her arms warmly about the brownrider to prop her chin on Echo’s shoulder. “You are strong, kind and immensely fun to be around. You have given me more than I can ever give you.” She kisses her cheek and snuggles in closer as the warm waters move around them. “A wish answered in full.”

“You underestimate yourself,” are all the murmured words Echo offers for some time, content with quiet and Emily’s arms around her in the warmth of the water. When the bath at last threatens to go cold, she makes sure the both of them have fluffy towels to wrap themselves in before dressing and retrieving more blankets to set before the hearth, when she finally remembers to get to making the tea to go with the plates of treats and the books she’s stashed beneath the couch. There is some reading done, yet she chooses her moments to distract Emily too, until she takes her to bed and sets to seeing what sounds she might draw from her before curling around her to finally get some sleep.

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