- Title: Acceptance
- Emitter: Skielstregar
- Characters: Skielstregar, Vaera
- Place: Camp just outside Mictlan
- Time: July 16th 2022
- Summary: Skielstregar and Vaera have a little talk about some topics that were skirted around during trying times.
- Camp just outside Mictlan, Midday
The weather has yet to afford any sort of grand reprieve, for it is foggy and grey. Though the recent rain was a pleasant change of pace from the oppressive heat for most.
Horse hooves clatter and slop against wet mud on the approach to a well maintained and developed camp for two, some lumber walls fortifying a natural hill to make a small stead. Entering the camp is a pitch-black horse with crimson eyes, and atop it, a shiny yet tired looking silverscaled makari. He pats the horse atop the head before waving a dismissive hand, the mare whinnying and melting into a pool of black ink at its feet.
The massive silverscale drops his bags down, takes two steps over towards the lean-to, and flops down to the ground on their back with a large, "Uggggggggggggggggggggggggh..........."
The sound of finally being home after having been vacant for so long.
And so the journey home had gone with a blessed lack of any altercations or dangers, even if it still took time to get back to the camp. Vaera walked in afterwards, taking a quick stop around the perimeter of the camp to check the state of the walls and everything else.
With everything seeming in order, the red makari finally made herself at home in the camp. She stopped to crouch down and rub Skielstregar on the back, before turning to getting a fire going with their ample supply of firewood. Once she was able to get a steady flame going, she sat down with her back against Skielstregar, working on taking her dented and battered leg off.
"You've earned some rest, Skielstregar. We all have." She chuffs.
Skiel rumbles happily at the back rub, tail flicking lazily to and fro. "Mmmm... yes. We all have. How are you feeling after... all of that?" he inquires as she sits down against him. He fiddles with some straps and belts, letting the weapons fall off before he pushes them aside into the lean-to.
The inky halberd continues to drip. It leans against a support beam.
The half-dead makari turns to wrap his arms around Vaera, hands settling on the metal leg to help hold it in place as he rests his head on her shoulder. The man was frigid cold, as usual.
"How am I feeling? Don't worry about me, Skielstregar, I am quite fine." Vaera chuffs, working on the remaining straps until she could pull the artifice off her leg. The inside and part of her leg crusted with old blood.
"But, I am a bit sore. There is a limit to what healing magic is capable of, and my leg was not in the best shape afterwards for making such a journey." She admits, leaning into the arm. "I was more concerned about making sure you and the others were safe."
Skielstregar grunts, a plume of frozen air rolling out in front of them. "This one will worry about you. Especially after seeing how you were after those elementals nearly got to you," he mumbles, resting his head against her neck.
"This one was... getting a bit tired in there, yes. But thankfully they were healed after all that... acid." He shudders, glancing over to the halberd for a brief moment. "You did very well though. Your leg, does it need cleaning?" he offers.
"Well, worry is natural, but so is relying on others.There was nothing to do but trust in the others to see things through." Vaera chuffs, leaning her head against skielstregar's with another puff of air. "That being said, this one should invest in one of those healing wands. It would be wise to keep one on hand, yes?"
She looks to her leg, and chuckles quietly. "It is just a bit of blood, and this one likely needs to be clean entirely, with all the rock dust in that cavern. So, it is alright. Not that this one would dislike it, though."
Skielstregar nudges his snout against Vaera's before he pulls away. "Yes, this one would think that one of those wands would help immensely."
A hand brushes over the top of her head carefully. "Let this one take care of you this time around," he intones, rising to his feet as he takes off the last of his armor. The shirt goes too. Sparkle sparkle as he rounds up a rag and a bucket of water. He plops down in front of her, dunks the rag in water, and reaches out to get to cleaning the half-leg. "This one wanted to ask you about something," he starts.
"Good to have, and, this one would like to have something for if you are ever injured again as well. This one is supposed to keep you safe, you know, and you are worth much more than any gold for that purpose." Vaera chuffs, letting her tail sway happily behind her, and only picking up pace as she watched the silver sith-makar. "Is the lack of a shirt part of the cleaning, or simply for this one's enjoyment?" The red makari teases, taking off their long jacket so he could wash the leg properly. It was bloody and bruised, but not too badly.
"Ask this one about something? Of course, ask away Skielstregar, you do not need to ask for permission, you know."
Skielstregar can't help but laugh in a deep rumble. "Yes," he answers smartly, winking a dead eye at her. "Give you something to watch while they work."
His long claws are careful to not scrape against the bruises, but he dips the rag in water and lightly breathes on it, chilling it to help with swelling before he puts the cold rag against it. Gently wiping away the blood, resuming his inquiry.
"This one was..." a pause. "... when this one was... indisposed in the temple. Their memory was... hazy."
Careful wipes. "... did you say something to this one? They recall something but not the... topic."
"And there is quite a lot this one appreciates watching. But even more so, this one is happy to see you so comfortable." Vaera chuffs, leaning forward till she could bump her snout against Skielstregar's for a moment, before she pulled off her undershirt and leaned back to relax. She sighs once when the cold compress was applied, and takes some time to think about the question, before she answers.
"Yes, you were quite injured when you came in. This one is glad you made such a full recovery after what happened. We spoke some, but, this one could imagine why you have been thinking about what was said. This one merely stated how important you are to this one, as if that was not already made abundantly obvious. And, there was other things, best saved to be spoken of properly."
"This one is comfortable with you," Skielstregar chuckles in a rumble, returning the bump with one of his own as he works on cleaning off the other side of the-
A glance up. A pause and a drinking stare before he shakes his head and returns to the task at hand.
He wraps the cold rag around the stump and holds it there, watching her speak. "Ah. This one... does remember something like that. And they blurbled something or another, they're certain."
He tilts his head to the side, casts his attention about the camp before settling on the redscale. "Other things? We are here, speaking properly. What words do you wish to share?"
"It is not fair for things to only go one way." Vaera teases quietly before he continued. "And yes, you were so delirious that you wished for me to dump a bucket of water on your head."
"Again, this one is glad you are better." The red makari sighs, looking for words, before she simply shakes her head and nods. "Yes, you are right. This one needs no ceremony, it is not important. What is important, is you, Skielstregar, and what you mean to this one."
Vaera sits up properly, and focuses on the silver makari for a long moment. She chuffs, and thumps her tail once against the ground. "Skielstregar, if you will accept this one, they would be happy to call themselves your cihuaa. They already have, in a moment of worry over you, and it feels right."
Skielstregar snorts. "This one knows we do well with going back and forth," he winks, continuing the tease. "Oh, did this one? That sounds right, they probably were too hot."
His attention to her light wounds peter out as the redscale's attention becomes undivided. Dead silver rests on yellow. His brows pinch. There's a half formed 'What is it?' on his maw, but then she's speaking again.
The wind rustles the tree.
The fire crackles idly behind them."My..." he starts to repeat, the weight of it all having not drilled through his absolutely dense skull. "... cihuaa..?"
His eyes widen to saucers. A clear film washes over them, and little frozen pools collect on lower lids. "M-My... ci-... ci-cihuaa?" His maw clatters.
Skiel's head drops to look at his taloned hands, unnatural. And slowly it rises to the redscale's face. "V... Vaermiir... I... I..."
Plainly put, the big man bursts into tears.
"This is true." Vaera chuffs, with just a hint of embarassment in the way they rubbed their snout. "Though this one thinks you are hot all the time, even when you are so pleasantly cool to the touch."
Then she was left to the silence, waiting for a response, patiently, and curiously at the same time.
When Skielstregar burst into tears, the red makari chuffs once. "This one does not imagine you are crying due to having to turn this one down and leave love unrequited. No, it was this one who had troubles with their feelings, and a worry to admit them. A worry that you soundly allayed, I might add."
She hobbles to her foot, swaying for just a moment. Long enough so she could fall to a knee and rest her head on one of Skielstregar's shoulders, wiping away the frozen tears with one hand. "Still, you need only call this one cihuaa if you wish to. It is just a name, this one already has you, and is beyond happy."
Skielstregar's crying sounds more like rolling rumbles that suddenly cease to sharply inhale. His hands are pressed against the sides of his face.
It ceases only briefly as frozen tears are brushed away, and the redscale is all but engulfed in a crushing hug. "I... I know you have always s-said that you accept me as I am. B-But to be your cihuaa..."
He pulls away some so that he could look at her properly. Dead silver shedding just a hint of their mortis to be gleaming and bright. "... I whole heartedly accept your love, Vaermiir. M-My... my cihuaa."
He starts bawling again.
Vaera was always easy to hug, with how thing they were. Even after putting on some weight to their thin frame from living so much better in Mictlan and Alexandria. It also helped when Vaera draped her arms over Skielstregar's back, where she nuzzled gently against the side of his face. "This one always said it because it was true, Skielstregar. This one is able to see so much good and care in you, that they are lucky to be able to share such a large part of it." The red makari continues. Her usually monotone, emotionless voice threatening to crack, as even if she did not admit it, it was a weight of relief off her shoulders.
Vaera meets Skielstregar's gaze, and she blinks once, before flashing the largest smile she was capable of. "And this one will share any and all love they have with you Skielstregar, for now and for the rest of days, this is a promise. They are honored to be worthy of your love, Skielstregar, my Cihuaa."
She leans back in to nuzzle the side of his face, while brushing the tears away on the other side with her hand.
Skielstregar is a bit too busy being a big cry baby to have any sort of words to share, instead the reassurance just redoubling his sobbing as he nuzzles into the crook of her neck. He's so cold, yet so full of warmth at the same time.
He's got nothing to add. There's nothing /to/ add.
Eventually, his tears slow. His breathing evened out. And he just rests against Vaera. A massive sigh of relief leaves him.
... he perks up. "A-Ah, your leg," he sniffles, pulling away to refreeze the rag and wrap it around the stump. "T-This one is... gods above... I'm so happy..." he murmurs to himself, stealing bashful looks to Vaera as he tends to her.
Vaera was happy to just hold Skielstregar when there was nothing more to be said. It was true, there didn't need to be anything else. And Vaera was just happy with the silence.
Though, she did give an appreciate sigh as her leg was re frozen. "Don't worry about it, you are just going to sweep me off it again." Vaera chuckles. "I am beyond happy too, Skielstregar. And the best part is being able to share it with you. And you are just simply so adorable when you are emotional, Skielstregar." She adds, gently bumping his snout again. "It does nothing but make me want to put more joy in your life."
Skielstregar gives another glance, this time the mist in the air clinging to his cheeks and making little icicles form. He blinks at the bump, him tapping the tips of his index fingers together. "T-This one just... *sniffle* ... finds it easier to not bottle it up," he rumbles shyly. "... but you already do that a lot."
He rubs at his face, getting rid of the ice as he slides around to wrap an arm around Vaera. "... this one remembers back in their tribe there would be a festival on full moons for... joinings," he murmurs. "... was... there anything like that in your tribe?"
"You are honest and sincere. And it is endearing, Skielstregar." Vaera chuffs. "It inspires this one to be more open themselves. Do not ever think that this one thinks less of you for it."
Vaera lets her tail wrap around Skielstregar's, and she slides into his lap and arm.
"Ah, this one has heard of that. The celestial mother and the dragonfather are both important. It's said that the full moon was when he had the most warmth and energy to share with her, which is why it means so much."
"Back in my tribe, this one remembers it fondly." Vaera begins, letting her tail sway behind her. "Cihuaa painted each other in runes of each other's families, tribe, and caste. And gifts were exchanged, meaningful things made with one's own hands, before the celebrations began."
Skielstregar shakes his head. "This one never thought it made them less for it."
He's about to say more, but his lap is occupied and his tail is wrapped up. Frost gathers on his cheeks once more, but he clears his throat. "Y-Yes," he murmurs, resting his head on her shoulder. "It was similar with us for the same reasons. Though the tribe wears their own paintings, unique to each person and they show up to the celebration painted. The... cihuaa would accept gifts to help with their nest, and they in turn would give a gift of theirs to the other tribe. Once the gifts were exchanged, the Chiuaa then-"
He giggles. "-then they embrace to mix the paints together. And then the celebration starts."
"Ah, that is nice. Helps with all the soreness, and all this one needs to do is make you blush. It is a win in all accounts." The red makari chuckles, pressing her back into the cool silver scales.
"It sounds like a wonderful event, Skielstregar. It seems that the paints are common across tribes, so that is good this one would be able to assist."
"And this one thinks your silver scales would make an excellent canvas, Skielstregar. Perhaps we could try some today for practice? This one has had some paints for sometime, and promised they would show you."
Skielstregar clears his throat. "... this one is glad they can... provide..." he murmurs, it trailing off as more of Vaera is against him. He wraps his arms around her.
He ponders the thought. "... this one would like that," he sheepishly admits, squeezing her lightly. "That is, if we even get through all the painting." He teases.
Vaera just chuckles and nestles more into the arms. Enjoying the moment as long as she could. "And this one would love to do that for you, provide something in return." The red makari rumbles. "And, do not worry. This one can contain themselves long enough. They will not stop until all of your scales are a beautiful swathe of colors."
"Though, this one did make many promises in the cave, before returning to camp." She chuckles.
Skielstregar shifts a bit, which didn't help his case. "... this is more concerned about themselves being contained," he mumbles. "... what kinds of promises? This one, ah, doesn't remember well. There was lots of rumblings and near death falls and turning into a Forgotten and tiredness..." he lists off, non-exhaustive.
"Ah, I see." Vaera chuckles, patting Skielstregar on the side once. "Then you will need to be patient, and this one will hold you to that. This one will not have my work ruined no matter what, is this clear?" She adds, turning to Skielstregar and fixing him with one eye. Then she chuckled, and bumped her snout against his again. "It was a few passing comments. But this one did promise, that they would take your rear back in camp. And this one alway makes good on their promises."
Skielstregar blinks as Vaera was facing him, him gulping and giving a slow nod as he returns the bump with one of his one. "... this one understands," he nods slowly, breaking into a warm chuckle.
He pauses. His eyes widen slightly. "... This one isn't... walking tomorrow. Aren't they." Spoken flatly, like it was factual.
"That is good. Well now then, shall we?" Vaera asks with a low chuckle, with the most reluctant of shoves she pushed away the arms around her so she could stand up. The red makari looks back, thumps her tail once, and holds out a hand to Skielstregar. "No, you are not, if this one has any say in it." She chuckles again. "So come, this one has left the paints in our tent."
Skielstregar chuckles , shaking his head as he carefully takes her hand and rises. "... y... yes. Let us," he stammers.
After a moment of thought, he reaches down, scoops Vaera up, giggles with fervor as he runs into their tent with her.
The halberd against the lean-to has stopped dripping ichor as a grey glint moves across it's bladed surface.