The Time Will Come


Ahnika.jpg Max.jpg

Date: 8/31/10
Location: EW: Lakeshore
Synopsis: While Jhath is napping, Ahnika encounters Max by the new lakeshore. They talk about the trial ahead of them, and their future.
Rating: PG-13 - Adult Conversation
Logger: Ahnika

With the exception of the overcast morning turning into a warm drizzle by the time Jhath was having her bath, Ahnika was having a pretty good day. No sudden injustices that Jhath felt the need to right, and the rain made bathing her a little easier. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that great for the redhead herself, she thought, as she oiled her lifemate to a nice shine, careful to get in all the cracks and crevices that Randi spoke of before as usually being missed. Feeling less itchy and full of warm, bloody meat, Jhath dozed in an easy lounge under an overhang of rock by the lakeshore, contemplating flaming Thread while Ahni jogged around the lake with some of the other weyrlings … in the drizzle. So, when the redheaded green weyrling completed her exercise, she came and sat beside Jhath, out from under the rain, and tried to warm up and dry off, and for a change, having nothing to do with her hands. Having finished her musings on Thread and the strategies of flaming it, Jhath has fallen asleep and in that sleep she has sprawled out more, ending up inadvertently shoving Ahni out from under the overhang and back into the drizzle. Smirking at her green lifemate, Ahni stands up and sighs, looking for more shelter while Jhath naps. She starts strolling then, better to be walking actively in pursuit of shelter from the rain than just standing there out in it.

One would have thought he’d have learned his lesson about being out in the rain, especially only just having recovered from the mother of all colds. But then this is Max, and Max will do, what Max will do. And what he seems intent on doing this drizzly day, is getting the young palomino coloured stallion, Renegade, into the lake so that he can back him with the least possible resistance. Which might account for the odd attire the beast manager is currently wearing, that being little else aside from trousers and…his hat. No boots, no shirt, no belt, no knife, just that. Leading the runner around the lake at a jog in a bid to tire him out a little first, he’s passed several weyrlings along the way thus far but none of them Ahnika. Then again, the few times he’d had to fight Renegade when he tossed his head about and snorted at sight of the bigger dragons, he could well have jogged right passed the rocky overhang where Jhath is ensconced.

Ahnika’s gaze scoured the area for more shelter as she walked, but it seems that most everyone else already has the same idea as they wind down their exercise and their lifemates nap, finding and filling every nook and cranny they can around the lake. It was Renegade that caught her eye, first as Max approached with him, big and powerful palomino that he was. And where there was a runner, there usually was Max, so she grinned when her grey eyes settled on the man, only to have her breath suddenly sucked in at his lack of a shirt. Her mind quickly shutting that train of thought down with a glance back in the direction she had left Jhath and then the close of her eyes. She takes in a deep, calming breath and exhales. Jhath was asleep, sure, but it was just a nap, and there was no telling how lightly she slept or for how long. Reopening her eyes, Ahnika picked up the pace, jogging along toward Max, smile on her face to greet him until she gets within hearing range. And then it’s slightly Jhath-like, of all things, “You look plenty ready to give him whatfor, m’Heart,” slightly short of breath for the jog to close the distance.

From almost out of nowhere a dragon banks sharply and skims low over the lake surface breaking and lifting upward just a scant few metres before the shoreline. This sends Renegade into a frenzied display of bucking and snorting, his head tucking in tight against his broad chest and then flinging it up high as forelegs paw the air. “For the love of…” Max’s frustration is more for the dimwit aback the dragon than with the runner itself as he hangs on with both hands to the halter rope, “Sharding son of a watchwher!” the shout going after the dragon pair. All that earns him is a grin and one fingered ‘salute’ from the bluerider before they pop Between and are gone. As such Ahnika’s almost right on top of them before her words sink in and have the effect of the beast manager swinging an initially dark scowl onto the redhead while Renegade circles him tightly. That of course very quickly morphs into a lopsided grin once his eyes take her in over the beast’s back and he pulls the runner up short, “I’ll give him whatfor alright, cocky git.” That probably aimed at the bluerider rather than his four-legged charge currently trying the nodding tactic to get his rope loosened. Dark eyes roam slowly up and down the short of breath young woman and a sly smile flickers out and then is tightly reined in again, “Hey, baby.” Tone and smile grown warmer.

Ahnika draws to a stop, ducking her head a little in reflex as the blue and his rider come in close and then lift up. She scowls up at him, too, but then her expression evens out and she works to catch her breath, which doesn’t take long seeing as how she hadn’t been running long. But Renegade’s antics have her giving the runner and his master a bit more berth and so she doesn’t approach any closer. She glances up again to where the blue disappears, and says simply, “Sorry ‘bout that,” as if she is responsible, by association, for every rider in the weyr now. “I’d have Jhath bespeak them, but they’re gone and … she’s napping.” Pause. “And it usually takes a bit for her mind to unwind enough to be able to nap. She doesn’t see the point in napping quite as readily as she sees the point in eating.” Then she smiles, looking back down from the sky to Max, letting her hands rest at her hips casually as she nudges something in the dirt with the toe of her boot. That smile turns coy and a blush appears for the warmth in his tone, “Hey.” Then comes the clearing of her throat, “So, Brolan … ?” she asks cryptically.

When Ahnika apologizes for the blue’s tricks, Max sends a frown her way, some of his earlier irritation with the pair bleeding through, “You going to start apologizing for every idiot ‘rider with an ego bigger than his dragon’s di…” Ahem. Nevermind. Moving on. Now that it appears he’s not about to be eaten by a dragon, Renegade has calmed enough (as calmed as he’s ever likely to get) that the beast manager is able to play some rope out and be the one to close the distance by taking a few steps forward, that same warm smile back in place. “Aye, Brolan.” He replies just as cryptically as he dips his head forward in a nod and sends a stream of collected rain off of the brim of his hat. “Lad’s earning his keep, might consider taking him on as a ‘hand and training him up to help with the runners.” Scanning the area as if looking for the napping green, his dark gaze settles back onto the redhead and his mouth turns around crooked grin as he teases, “So move in with you, eh?” And here’s where he’d likely catch her up against him and murmur something truly outrageous against her ear but all things considered that impulse is reined in (if poorly done) and so it’s a chuckle of wicked edges that escapes instead. Giving the poor woman, and himself, some quarter he turns to a slightly safer topic next, “Got something you might like to see in a few months,” his expression turning cryptic as Renegade tries a testing yank to the rope and pulls him back a half step.

Ahnika bristles at the first statement from Max, scowling at him briefly and opening her mouth in defense when she suddenly gets a grip and pulls back. It’s been a couple sevens now since the hatching, maybe longer, so she’s gotten a lot of practice at having to smother that fiery-side of hers when she needs to keep Jhath asleep. The frown remains, though, for a few moments as she closes her eyes and takes a breath and swallows back that kneejerk reaction to grab Max by the ear and give him a piece of her mind, swallowing it back for the sake of Jhath napping, only. To be sure. So, when she exhales and reopens her eyes, he’s moved closer and she blinks a moment. The frown fades as he gets closer with that warm smile, but slowly, and the fire in her grey eyes starts to ebb with a less volatile topic. Brolan. “Right,” another exhale, “Brolan.” As he looks back for Jhath, she does too, gesturing to a distant overhang where the large green dragonet can sleep dry and warm and she gets to stand out in the drizzle. Ahni’s not complaining, though, not verbally. Then back to Max, “Stablehand … oh good. Yes, good boy. She wasn’t angry at him, but I suppose she may have looked it, and he didn’t bolt like a … scared filly. He’ll do well, I think.” Her voice trails off and her grey eyes drink in that mouth of his as it turns crooked and her breath catches in her throat a moment with his words. Her glance darts up to his eyes then, and she flushes a little, looking uncertain and embarrassed at his wicked chuckle for a fleeting moment before she stands straighter and lifts her chin challengingly to him, crossing her arms over her chest, “Yes, beast manager, I want you to move in. If you don’t have a problem with that … ‘Course, you don’t have to make up your mind now.” Then to the last, the safer topic, she blinks and unfolds her arms. “What?” Hello? She looks at Renegade a moment and then back to Max, wiping some of the rain away from her eyebrows as it drips close to her eyes, “What is it?” She grins then, looking eager, “A few months? Do I have to wait?” Because, Ahni’s Trial of Patience is a little hard to deal with right now as it is.

And as much as she bristles and does an admirable job of schooling it all back again, Max doesn’t look in the least bit apologetic. If anything he meets that frown of hers with a dead-on look that could be construed as challenging her to say something and then he’s shaking his head slightly and letting alone. It’s probably just as well Jhath’s asleep and that Ahnika’s trying to keep her that way, or else this could have gotten rather interesting. Finally after they’ve gotten through eyeballing each other, he allows a chuckle to escape over the topic of Brolan and notes, “You didn’t see him when he got back. Shaking like a leaf. But the boy’s got spine, I’ll give him that.” A backbone and a nose for discretion it seems. The chin up, crossed arms, pose of challenge that the redhead takes up only serves to further deepen his amusement, her challenge given a cocky lift of brow and dimpling grin, “Should I have a problem with that? Are there going to be rules and such? Like picking up my socks and no crumbs in the bed?” Yup, he’s going to draw this out and tease playfully a little longer before giving her any kind of real answer. He doesn’t have an umbrella, neither does he have a handy rock overhang nearby. What he does have, is a hat. And so when the green weyrling’s wiping the rain from her face, he removes it from his head and summarily plonks it onto her own. That’ll help some, right? A glance goes back to Renegade who has given up trying to get free and has instead taken to shifting from hoof to hoof impatiently. Waggling his brows now, low laughter catches in his chest only just makes it up his throat in an amused rumble of sound, “Patience, baby. You’ll see, some things are worth the wait.” Giving nothing further on whatever it might be. Tease!

“Yeah?” Ahnika asks briefly on Brolan possibly being shaken up a bit and she frowns for it, feeling a little bad. But any guilt she may have felt fades away with that dimpling grin he gives her and she grins back, smirking, then laughing softly, “I’ll probably be helping you to put those crumbs in the bed in the first place, so I’ll help you shake them out,” which could be accomplished a couple different ways, or so the brief heat in her eyes suggests as she looks at him, “As for your socks, yes, unless you think you can afford us a personal drudge to do it for you. I’ll be fightin’ Thread and will have my hands full,” so to speak. She refolds her arms across her chest then, shifting her weight on one foot and looking almost smug as she nods, “Yeah, you do that. You just think about it then.” With a smile that seems to say, ‘see how long you last before you’re crawling up to my weyr.’ … but that smug look fades as he deposits his hat on her head, which is too big, but not by much probably, considering the bun is able to catch it up a little. She flushes, grinning more naturally and warmly and murmuring, “Thanks,” with a reach for his hand, his fingers, just a brush, daring nothing more. His laughter only makes her grin broaden a little more, but she shakes her head somewhat ruefully and at the mention of some things being worth the wait, her grey eyes settle on his lips once more, briefly, and then she looks away. With a deep, short exhale, she says, “Fine. Fine. More waiting.” And then more softly, earnestly, she looks up into his eyes from under the brim of his hat on her head, murmuring, “I do miss you.”

There’s a comment formed on his mouth, the smirk already in place to methods of shaking crumbs out of bed sheets but then it drains away and becomes little more than a quick smile, giving no hint as to what might have been the cause. Instead with that short smile Max offers a nod to go with it, “Aye well, we’ll just have to see what your Jhath thinks about that,” and he leaves the matter there for the time being. His hand automatically reaches for Ahnika’s, meeting hers halfway with his fingers curling lightly about hers a moment and then naked once again as hers are gone from his. Dark eyes roaming across her face, a soft chuckle spills out and he’s speaking before he thinks (again), “Faranth help us when you’re pregnant.” That his rather ill thought out return to her impatience. On the heels of her last, the beast manager’s fingers tighten around the rope in hand, his jaw flexing slightly as he fights against natural impulses and puts out quietly, his eyes fastened to hers, “I miss you too, baby.” Not even bothering to try and hide the yearning to be able to put aside all the required dancing about that has now become necessary. On a rough sigh, some truth of his own frustrations leaks out, “Shards, I hate this. I hate having to be careful what we do, or say, or even think,” the last spoken on Ahnika’s behalf, “It’s like being in harper lessons all over again and being told ‘Eyes front. Don’t talk. Sit up straight.’” Mimicked in the tone of a strict tutor so that it comes over as amusing more than anything else.

“She’ll love it,” Ahnika says confidently, with a smile, though not really knowing, and letting the matter of moving in with her go on her part, at that point. Her eyes slide briefly to his hand as she releases it and lets her own fall back to her side with a small sigh, trying to suppress the thrill that mere little touch gives her for fear of waking Jhath. She exhales again, only for her breath to be caught in her throat as he mentions her being pregnant, and involuntarily, her hand goes to press against her abdomen. “Pregnant …“ she breathes the word, then quickly darts a look around to make sure no one else overheard or saw that because it sure would look and sound completely wrong and out of context, really. Then she lowers her hand, self-conscious all of a sudden, and looking up into his face, his eyes especially. The slow smile she forms is one of complete love for him, a sparkle of hope in those grey eyes. “Pregnant? Me?” A pause and she exhales deeply, “Max … you sure? You’d want that? A family with me? Weyrmated … the full thing? Everything?” She’s not questioning him in a doubtful or critical tone, it is one made light at the end, full of dreamy-eyed, girlish hope, but not without worry or fretting that maybe she misunderstood him and his intentions. It wouldn’t be the first time. That positive glow that erupted when he talked of her being pregnant one day diminishes when he brings up the last and she sighs, feeling guilty again, chewing her bottom lip a moment before she dares to reach a hand up to his cheek, cradling it with that one hand and wiping some of the rain from his face with her thumb. Her hand is cool and wet, being out in the rain as it is, but maybe it offers some little comfort, some sort of relief. “I know. I’m sorry,” and Ahni is, but only to a degree. She’d never give up Jhath, not for anything, not even for Max. “I only know that it will get easier as Jhath grows and she’s able to mentally wrap her little fiery mind around it all more.” She smiles a little more ruefully, keeping her hand right where it is, though she doesn’t come any closer or make any other kind of contact, “She’s getting used to me thinking about you a lot. She calls you my other Champion, or sometimes, my second Champion.” A small chuckle escapes, “So I think on some level, she knows. She knows you’re important to me, and she knows …” here she blushes and suddenly bursts into warm but soft laughter, lowering her hand as she covers her mouth with it. After a moment, she says, lowering her hand from her mouth, “I don’t really think it’s good to explain making love to her yet, so, she understands it as a Trial of Endurance that I’m to administer to you once I’ve completed my Trial of Patience.” Then her tone and her expression softens, looking up at him, into his dark eyes with her own of grey, “She’s getting used to it. She’s growing. It won’t get any harder, my Heart. It’ll just get easier. Little by little. Every day.” At least as far as their contact. The double-edge to that is that as Jhath grows and gets better able to understand intimacy, it also means that she is growing and getting better able to fight Thread, too. Which won’t be easier, likely, for these two.

By the way his face pales when she lays her hand against her stomach, it’s clear to see that Max’s mind has somehow leapfrogged to an already existing end result. So it’s a good few moments before he actually registers what Ahnika had actually intended and said. The exhaled breath of relief is probably not hard to miss as he drops his head and starts chuckling. “Jays, you nearly gave me heart failure, woman,” this as his gaze lifts, amusement at himself still at play. Renegade jerks his head to be given more slack on the rope and that has his grin widening with an enigmatic slant to it as he glances back at the palomino coloured runner. Once the amusement has passed its warmth and love that colours his expression and he takes another daring step in closer (defiant of any that may glance their way) so that little more than a hand’s breadth separates the two. With no hesitation, “Aye, one day, love. When all this is over,” and she’s graduated and they’ve hopefully weathered this trial they’re currently being put to. “But,” that amusement returns once again as he teases lightly a small margin of male pride at play, “I get to do the asking.” Low laughter erupts for her telling of simple explanations put to her green and he tries to affect a wounded look, “I am to be…endured?” Then he dips his head slightly and utters low through a roguish grin, “Can’t say I mind the endurance bit. It sounds…strenuous.” And with that he steps away putting a respectful distance between them once again.

Chuckling with that same blush, Ahnika shakes her head, then smirks a little at him, her grey eyes dancing with merriment, “No, not yet, but it’s good to know you’ll die of heart failure when the day comes and I give you that bit of news.” Her tone is definitely teasing, but there’s a flicker of something that crosses her grey eyes with sobriety a moment after, remembering something that happened a long time ago. And soon she is clearing her throat and looking at the ground, washing that memory away with the brightness of a future she wants, while Renegade is doing all that jerking around. When he confirms her suspicion of what he meant by that, and right there so close to her, she practically melts on that spot, under his gaze, her expression softening and growing warmer all the more. Then she grins, nodding slowly, thoughtfully, “Fine. I’ll let you have the askin’. Seems only right, and fair, of course, as I’m the one who gets to tell you when we’re expectin’ and I get to do that more often than you get to ask.” She looks a cross between teasing and smug with that one. Then that grin turns into a rueful look, “Nay, you’re the one enduring me in that scenario, assuming I haven’t forgotten how it all works.” Cue deep blush and clearing of throat followed by a chuckle, “Well, we also call it a Test of Stamina, sometimes, which I guess might sound better for you. But unfortunately, for now, I’m keeping a tight rein on those thoughts, even when she’s sleeping,” well, as much as possible when Jhath’s sleeping. Then she bites her lip, grinning and nodding at him once before saying, “Very strenuous.” Then a pause as the teasing look fades, but a genuine and warm smile remains, “I promise,” as he puts more distance between them. “You must have something more important to do now, though,” with a glance for the space between them, and she is taking his hat off and reaching a bit to put it back on his head, if he allows.

Max shrugs easily on being given such news at some point ahead, although the chances are good he won’t wear his cockiness with the kind of unruffled calm he’d like to think he will. As evidenced by the lift of brows, slight widening of eyes and swallow that ensues on such news being delivered more than once before he clears his throat and responds in amused tone, “You planning on putting your own wing together?” And then his expression is softening and his smile is anything but teasing as his eyes catch to the grey of hers, “Vixen for life,” uttered with a faint nod and all he’ll comment on with regards to talk of the likelihood of her forgetting anything. Low laughter lifts up, teeth catching to his lower lip in a wicked expression, “Test of Stamina, eh? Think I like that one.” That all falls away and all that the beast manager is able to give in response to the green weyrling keeping a tight lid on thoughts and the likes thereof, is a slightly tight smile as he takes a further step back once she returns his hat to his head, perhaps finding in those words further cue and purpose to maintain a distance from thereon in. “Her wellbeing must come first,” said in such a way as to make it nearly impossible to judge if there might be anything else at play behind those words. Renegade takes that movement from his master as prompt to start with the jiggling of head and testing of the man’s grip on the rope. “Aye, was going to take swim him in the lake but ain’t so sure I’m looking to turn blue from cold,” his attention falling for a moment to a pair of rain soaked children squealing in breathless fun as they dip their toes in the lake’s icy waters. “You should be getting back to her before she wakes up and wonders where you’ve gotten to,” again with that unreadable tone to voice and mirrored in his expression. “Later Ahni,” a last lingering gaze over the young woman and then he and the big palomino are moving passed her and back toward the beast caverns. He with head slightly down in a pose of contemplation and the runner with head held high and jinking in a sideways prance at his side.

Ahnika laughs at his response to getting the news more than once and then she grins and winks at him, “Well, not planning on it, but wouldn’t it be fun to try?” Because the trying is the fun part. The delivery, not so much. She chuckles and then that lapses into a wry grin with his ‘vixen for life’ comment, and she shakes her head, not so much in disagreement as in just wonder. That stops, however, at his laughter for the Test of Stamina euphemism. Grinning, Ahni just nods to his liking it. To his next statement, of ‘her wellbeing’ she agrees readily, “Yes, it does.” And then she is lapsing quiet to his talk of the runner with him, and the icy lake, her eyes traveling from him to the lake and then back again before nodding finally. She stands there and watches him and the runner move past, grey eyes settling on that bare back of his and thinking about the first time they met. “Bye, Max,” she says softly, with no more longing in her voice, but more than enough somber timbre in its stead, “Be well.” And then she turns and continues on, giving up on finding a dry spot and deciding to go back to her napping dragonet and sit beside her in the rain while pondering rainy thoughts.

Closing Credits Theme Song: Taylor Swift - "Change"

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