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 My Other Half, Ben + Vyktore
Analysts · 201 Posts
Posted on: Dec 29 2017, 12:54 AM
Played by Opal · 21 years · Drakonrhedi · Apprentice
[he/him] · on six beta blockers and a large iced coffee
Vyktore didn't know how much longer they'd be able to get Holly into either of their rooms. She was utterly determined, of course, but there was only so much squishing she could do before it just became entirely impractical. He was glad to see she was growing, at least, because it meant that she was well-fed and stable finally.

It was bittersweet for him, because Holly growing also meant that Ben was... well... approaching the irrevocable fate which Vyktore dreaded most of all. You should tell him, Cedric had said. It'll go over better the sooner you get it done with.

Vyktore was trying not to think of it.

Right now, he was curled against his boyfriend, with his legs draped over Ben's lap as they sat in his chair. They were watching Project Runway again, and were several seasons in.

Vyk was knitting another sweater for Ben as they cuddled. It helped with his anxiety, but also, he was utterly determined at this point to make Ben enough sweaters that he could steal the worn ones (which smelled like Ben) and wear them himself until the smell disappeared and rotate them back in. He hadn't really mentioned that the sweater was for Ben, but it was a deep ruby color and not nearly the right size for Holly. Ben might not be able to tell, though, since he didn't know much about knitting.

He finished a row and glanced over at Holly, sighing a little. He'd made her another sweater that fit better, but she was already outgrowing it. With a sigh, he murmured, "I'm going to have to make one for you next, honey. You're getting so much bigger." She'd be full grown soon. He patted Ben's wrist lightly with one hand. "Your baby's growing up, my dear."


@Benjamin South
Novices · 264 Posts
Posted on: Jan 12 2018, 10:07 PM
Played by Cranberry · 20 years · Drakonrhedi · Novice
he/him • Hi my name is Ben and welcome to dumbasse
Holly lay in a tight ball with her head tucked beneath her wing, snoring softly, and across the room Ben fought a losing battle against contented sleepiness. The soft snick of Vyktore's knitting needles provided a steady metronome for his heart to match to, and the added weight of Vyk across his lap was a securing pressure. Life could not get better, and he meant that. This was nirvana.

Vyktore sighed, and Ben glanced up to check his face. He didn't look malcontent.

"I'm going to have to make one for you next, honey. You're getting so much bigger." Ah. Her sweaters. Ben looked at his dragon too. It was a new sweater--the lack of wear along the ridges of scales along her sides was testament enough to that--but it's stitches were already straining to hold all of her in.

Vyktore was so, so good, making sweaters for them both. He wanted to give him so much. Ben felt a swell of affection overwhelm every bit of him, and turned back to Vyktore with a little smile on his mouth and warm eyes. But there was still that voice in his head that cautioned him. Vyktore was almost too perfect, and there had to be a catch somewhere. He'd never even met his dragon. Holly was Ben's heart and soul, his vulnerability. Did Vyktore not trust him? The thought was intolerable.

"Your baby's growing up, my dear." Ben hummed in agreement, testing out different queries on his tongue.

"I think I'll have to leave her in the roosts soon... Your dragon lives in the roost, right?" Stupid question. Ben winced and, realizing anew what an idiot he was, plowed on in a desperate attempt to bury it. "It might be good for Holly to have a friend--not that I'm saying they'd get along. If your dragon wants space that's good." Was it hot in here? He hadn't realized he was so nervous about this, but he was sweaty. His eyes fell on the incomprehensible tangle of yarn. "Is that for your dragon? Do they wear sweaters?"

@Vyktore Delaroche
Analysts · 201 Posts
Posted on: Jan 12 2018, 10:30 PM
Played by Opal · 21 years · Drakonrhedi · Apprentice
[he/him] · on six beta blockers and a large iced coffee
Ben stirred beneath him, and Vyk glanced over, noting with an apologetic smile that Ben seemed to be blinking sleepily. "Oh, sorry, hon," he said. "I didn't mean to wake you."

It didn't seem to bother Ben, however. He turned to Holly, and Vyk followed his gaze. "I think I'll have to leave her in the roosts soon... Your dragon lives in the roost, right?"

"Mmhmm," Vyk noised in confirmation. "One of the roosts on the side of the Ocular, far away from company." He chuckled. His dragon was very solitary. Much like him.

"It might be good for Holly to have a friend--not that I'm saying they'd get along. If your dragon wants space that's good."

Vyk paused, thinking for a moment. He wasn't sure how to answer that without... lying to Ben, or omitting some of the truth. And he didn't want to do that. Sure, he had his secrets, but he didn't want Ben to feel like he didn't trust him. That's why he hadn't breached the subject of Ljotr before--the dragon was pretty central to a lot of his secrets.

"Is that for your dragon? Do they wear sweaters?"

Ben's question pulled him from his thoughts. He blinked a little, slightly off-balance, and turned to Ben, taking a minute to rewind and process what Ben had said. "Hmm? Oh, no." He laughed softly, not meaning to be harmful at all. "No, Ljotr is much too large for that. He'd require more yarn than he's worth."

He paused, licking his lips, and finally responded to Ben's earlier statements. "And... I mean, Ljotr wouldn't mind. I mean--he'd like it, for sure. He needs more interaction, anyway, it's just that he's... well, he's very particular. He'll like Holly--he knows enough of her through me for me to know that for certain, it's just..." Vyk trailed off again, grimacing. How the hell did he phrase this? "He's... He's practically me. Maybe a little worse? He's very aloof, not very good with socialization, and he's only nice when he wants to be." Another pause. "I--I'm sure he'll like you and Holly, since he knows you through me, he's just a very peculiar beast. He's a good dragon, don't get me wrong, but I don't bring him out often because he's very picky about the people he tolerates and isn't afraid to let them know."

Vyk didn't notice, but he'd gotten a little tenser, which Ben might be able to feel since Vyk was draped across him. He'd stopped knitting, and was clutching his needles a little tighter.


@Benjamin South
Novices · 264 Posts
Posted on: Jan 13 2018, 12:04 AM
Played by Cranberry · 20 years · Drakonrhedi · Novice
he/him • Hi my name is Ben and welcome to dumbasse
"Mmhmm. One of the roosts on the side of the Ocular, far away from company." That answered Ben's question, didn't it, but his mouth went on without him and made a mess of things.

Vyktore quieted down. It was terrible. Ben was going to stress him out, or get chased off, or-or. Ben didn't know. Vyktore never responded the way he expected him too, and it was a blessing because he was so gentle all the time, but it was also a curse because Ben never knew what the right thing to do for him was. The times he had made Vyk cry still stuck in his mind like glue. He hadn't meant to step on any toes. He'd just wanted to meet his dragon, wanted Holly to meet them too.

He waited, watchful, as Vyktore blinked at his question.

"Hmm? Oh, no. No, Ljotr is much too large for that. He'd require more yarn than he's worth." Ben nodded even as a frown tugged at the corner of his mouth. For someone who loved dragons so much, that was dismissive. Ben never really saw Vyktore leave to visit his dragon. Did they not get along? What if Ben had hit a nerve?

"Ljotr," Ben said, trying it out in the hopes that he'd get to use it on the dragon. "That's a..." He searched for the proper word. "Gorgeous name."

"And... I mean, Ljotr wouldn't mind. I mean--he'd like it, for sure. He needs more interaction, anyway, it's just that he's... well, he's very particular. He'll like Holly--he knows enough of her through me for me to know that for certain, it's just..."

Ben slowly wilted. Would Ljotr like Ben, though? Would Vyktore's other half be near as... Ben didn't dare to let himself think loving, but the feeling was there even if the word was absent. Was it selfish to worry about that?

"He's... He's practically me. Maybe a little worse? He's very aloof, not very good with socialization, and he's only nice when he wants to be." Ben, already sporting a worrying similarity to a plant that had gone weeks without being watered, wilted further. Vyktore was being very tactful, but the no was very clear. He didn't want Ben to meet his dragon. "I--I'm sure he'll like you and Holly, since he knows you through me, he's just a very peculiar beast. He's a good dragon, don't get me wrong, but I don't bring him out often because he's very picky about the people he tolerates and isn't afraid to let them know."

Despite Vyktore's assurances, Ben knew that he meant that they wouldn't get along. He forced himself to nod. Vyktore was coiled up in his lap and it was all his fault. He'd ruined the peaceful evening they'd been having, all because of a stupid worry.

"Of course," he said, gently, and brought his arms up to wrap Vyktore in a brief, apologetic hug. "Sorry I said anything," he added. He looked, and felt, crushed.

@Vyktore Delaroche
Analysts · 201 Posts
Posted on: Jan 13 2018, 12:26 AM
Played by Opal · 21 years · Drakonrhedi · Apprentice
[he/him] · on six beta blockers and a large iced coffee
"Ljotr. That's a... gorgeous name."

Vyk blinked, stumbled, giggled nervously, and blushed. "It, uh, means 'light.' It's--It's my middle name, actually. I... I named him after myself, because I'm, well, I'm a prick like that, you know?" That was the excuse he always used, anyway. Shit, he was definitely blushing badly. Ben made him feel so good about himself that sometimes he forgot how shitty he was. He felt so bad that Ben had to deal with such a bitch as his boyfriend.

He managed to stumble through some excuses, each one followed by a hurried reassurance that Ljotr would certainly love Ben just as much as he did as Vyk realized with alarm that Ben was getting more and more crestfallen. How did he fix this? He tried his best, but he really had no idea.

The fatal blow was when Ben just nodded sadly and wrapped his arms around Vyk gently. "Of course. Sorry I said anything," he said, looking like someone had just shot a puppy. His puppy. Holly, he looked like Vyk had just shot Holly. Vyk's heart couldn't stand this, it crumbled into dust the instant Ben's face fell. Vyk stared at him in blatant alarm and confusion, mouth hanging open as he tried to compute how to un-fuck this fuck up.

Shit, Ben really did have his heart set on meeting Ljotr, didn't he? Well, that made sense, given that Vyk was constantly hanging out with Holly and they were... boyfriends? Yes. He was almost entirely certain they were boyfriends. If Vyk had family he valued, he would've probably brought Ben to them at around this point. However, Ben had already met the closest thing he had to family, Cedric. So Vyk supposed this was a logical next step.

He was just... well, he was terrified. Ben would hate him forever, he was sure, if he ever figured out Vyk's secrets.

Vyk took a deep breath through his still-open mouth. "Sorry, I... Would you... like to meet him?" he offered. He couldn't keep the fear out of his voice, but to his surprise, there was a strange hope there. If Ben wanted to meet Ljotr, it was like he wanted to take that next step with Vyk. It meant that he wanted to be more involved in Vyk's life. And that was a terribly, terribly precious feeling. He wasn't sure whether he was more scared that Ben would say yes or no.

When Ben said yes, Vyk nodded and gathered up his knitting, putting it on his sewing desk. He was obviously a bit nervous about this, but he stood up, going over to his science desk and grabbing a sphere of purified gold. He slipped one of his hands into Ben's, and with the other held out the gold for Ben to take, then lead the way down to the Roosts.

As he'd mentioned, Ljotr nested in one of the furthest roosts, but it was on the same side of the Ocular as Vyk's room. An elevator ride and a few hallways filled with mostly vacant roosts later, they arrived at the large door leading into Ljotr's home. A sign at the side of the door indicated his name, species, and rider contact info. Cedric was listed as secondary contact info.

Vyk lifted up his hand to the fingerprint scanner and hesitated. Then, after a moment, he scanned his finger and, on the menu that popped up, selected the option for 'add new key.' Lifting up Ben's hand, without letting go of it, he pressed Ben's thumb to the scanner. The screen brightened, beeped, and Ben was granted access to the roost--whenever he wanted.

This was terrifying. Vyk took another deep breath. "Are you... sure about this?" he asked. It sounded more like he was asking himself, really.


@Benjamin South
Novices · 264 Posts
Posted on: Jan 13 2018, 09:46 PM
Played by Cranberry · 20 years · Drakonrhedi · Novice
he/him • Hi my name is Ben and welcome to dumbasse
"It, uh, means 'light.' It's--It's my middle name, actually. I... I named him after myself, because I'm, well, I'm a prick like that, you know?" Ben smiled. Light. Cheesy things stampeded through his head, including "you're the light of my life." Ben was a hopelessly romantic gay at heart, and he was firmly in love on top of that.

"Yeah?" This was familiar, positive, this game of drawing that blush up on Vyktore's cheeks. He tipped closer, and Vyktore had only to look in his eyes to see the absolute adoration there. "Then he must be as regal as you are." Vyktore didn't think highly of himself, this Ben had come to realize, and he could push away his rising anxiety for a moment to attempt to rectify that. Vyktore was marvelous. It was thrilling to be around him, to know that Ben was the one he preferred to spend his time with.

But any amount of affection couldn't distract Ben from his growing fears forever. He wanted desperately to meet Vyktore's dragon, but he couldn't bare to push the issue, not with Vyktore looking on the edge of a panic attack. It didn't matter what he wanted, and really, it was insignificant. He shouldn't have mentioned anything. He'd just thought... That it would be alright.

"Sorry, I... Would you... like to meet him?"

Ben's mouth dropped open. "Wha-really?" He'd already made his peace with a refusal, and now Vyktore was rescinding it and-- "I-yes, yes. But only if it's alright. I don't want to overstep." Vyktore sounded terrified, and even though Ben's heart leapt at the thought of finally meeting Ljotr, he didn't want to risk hurting his boyfriend. There was a lot Vyktore hadn't told him, a lot he harbored in his heart that Ben couldn't guess at, and Ben didn't begrudge him that.

But Vyktore just nodded, shuffled his knitting to the side, and stood up. Ben chased after him, catching his hand. His heart knocked at his teeth, blocking any attempts to confirm that Vyktore didn't mind. He fumbled with the gold when Vyktore handed it to him. His palms were sweaty.

He was afraid to say anything, all through the walk, torn between convincing Vyktore that he didn't want to see Ljotr after all and his own desperate desire to see more of Vyktore's life. He was so clingy but, but Vyktore was letting him be clingy.

Ljotr
Gold
Vyktore Delaroche

tap to contact
Cedric Ruishi
tap to contact

Please place thumb on scanner to add a new key

Vyktore lifted his hand and pressed his thumb on the scanner. Blue light slid across his thumb. It flared, beeped.

Key added

Holy shit. Holy shit. Ben couldn't move. He clutched Vyktore's hand. Vyktore was entrusting him with access to his dragon. Ben was faint. So faint, he wasn't sure how his legs were holding him up.

"Are you... sure about this?"

If Ben spoke too loud, he'd break... Everything.

"Are-" He had to swallow. "Are you?" Vyktore had to have the option to change his mind, to drop Ben's hand and delete his permissions and draw the line in the sand. He squeezed his hand with trembling fingers. "Because I am."

@Vyktore Delaroche
Analysts · 201 Posts
Posted on: Jan 13 2018, 10:27 PM
Played by Opal · 21 years · Drakonrhedi · Apprentice
[he/him] · on six beta blockers and a large iced coffee
"Yeah? Then he must be as regal as you are."

Vyk didn't know how to handle that. He stammered, flushed, and looked away, towards his yarn-entwined hands, which suddenly trembled for no discernible reason whatsoever. He didn't know how to deal with this soft, seemingly unending sweetness, and especially not from someone he liked so damn much. What the hell had he done to deserve this? He managed to mumble a few nonsense syllables that were a general attempt at the "shush" sound but didn't really make it even close. Instead of trying to compute compliments, he turned to something more familiar: dodging questions.

"Wha-really? I-yes, yes. But only if it's alright. I don't want to overstep."

"No, you're fine," Vyk murmured. "I promise, you're fine." He honestly should've introduced Ben to Ljotr sooner, rather than let Ben become so anxious about it. Dammit, Vyk, you're such a shitty boyfriend--never thoughtful enough. In the future, he needed to be much more thoughtful about Ben's anxiety, to try and minimize it, just like Ben had done for him. Besides, it wasn't like Vyk didn't want Ben in more of his life. He was just also absolutely terrified of what Ben might think of him, once he actually knew Vyk.

Those thoughts preoccupied Vyk as he (very nervously) lead the way down to Ljotr's roost. He paused in front of the door, one final check, more with himself than with Ben.

"Are-Are you?" Ben squeezed his hand, and Vyk squeezed it in response. "Because I am."

Vyk licked his lips, then nodded. "Yeah," he replied, quietly, but still with certainty. Shit, Ben would probably think that Vyk was just psyching him up for something that would end up being a breeze, because Vyk had zero doubts whatsoever that Ljotr would be anything less than wonderful for Ben. It wouldn't be that big of a deal. Probably, right? He was overthinking this. Overthinking was a chronic problem for him, he really ought to be more careful about it, he didn't want his worries becoming a bother for Ben. "Sorry," he said, after a moment. "Yeah." He waved a hand at the lock, and the doors slid open.

The roost beyond was a fairly typical one--medium sized, and on the far side an opening to the skies below covered only by a holoshield. It could hold the weight of a dragon, but also was easily turned off for exiting the roost. On a raised, padded dais beside the shielded entrance, to the right of the door for humans, was Ljotr.

He stirred as they entered, raising his head to sniff at them. Full grown, he was average in size for his kind, his proportions were different; he was thinner and longer, giving him a willowy appearance not unlike that of his rider. And, in the same fashion as Vyktore, he was utterly colorless, with pure white scales as a base and different grays for his markings. He was nestled on a collection of blankets, furs, and other fluffy things familiar from Vyk's room, and smelled faintly of cherry blossoms as well--Vyk had gotten him matching soap.

Vyktore approached him and raised a hand, patting his nose twice before stepping back to let Ben introduce himself. "Ben, this is Ljotr." Ljotr's nostrils flared as he sniffed at Ben in a manner that managed to be both prim and curious. His fins were down, meaning that he was feeling relaxed.

Once Ben had introduced himself, Ljotr shuffled again, pulling his head back a little and sitting up. Two diaphanous wings unfurled from his back, their membranes shimmering through the rainbow like a crystal, and one massive, clawed paw moved forward, curling over the edge of the dais. (It appeared to have glitter nail polish on it--apparently Vyk did spend some time tending to his dragon, or at least, blinging him up.) The fin that ran the length of Ljotr's body along his back also flared up, shining in the same way as his wings. Although this display could be a threat, in this case, Ljotr had his chin up proudly and his paws crossed primly, and was exuding a distinct air of "look at how pretty I am."

"Oh, someone's showboating," Vyk muttered.


@Benjamin South
Novices · 264 Posts
Posted on: Jan 13 2018, 11:54 PM
Played by Cranberry · 20 years · Drakonrhedi · Novice
he/him • Hi my name is Ben and welcome to dumbasse
"Yeah, sorry. Yeah," Vyktore said, and opened the door.

"Don't be sorry," Ben murmured. He hesitated on the threshold. What if Ljotr hated him? What if Vyktore was hiding that he couldn't really stand him at all, and had just been pretending? What if Ben trespassed on Ljotr's space and Vyktore got mad? What if Ben wouldn't fit in Vyktore's life, in with the dragons and people around him, as few in number as they were? He shoved all those worries down, forced his brain to take control of his legs, and let himself be towed into the roost by the gentle tug of their interlaced fingers.

There was Ljotr, Vyktore's equal in countenance, character and colour.

"Ben, this is Ljotr."

Ben held out a hand while Ljotr examined him, hovering an inch from the dragon's pale scales. He wasn't brave enough to initiate touch, but he hoped that Ljotr might accidentally bump against his hand and then he could use it as an excuse to stroke him. If he didn't shy away, that was good, right? Since he was so selective and aloof.

"Hi Ljotr," Ben said. "You might be familiar with me. I'm dating your rider."

Ben stepped back to give Ljotr space as he shuffled. His heart was going wild. He'd finally met Vyktore's dragon, and he hadn't gotten eaten, or done something wrong (yet). Ljotr spread his wings wide and puffed up his chest. His scales refracted and transformed the light. His claws glittered with nail polish, and in the nest of assorted blankets from Vyktore's room, he looked perfectly suited to his other half. A perfect, beautiful creature for a perfect, beautiful man.

Ben wondered if the genetic splicing from the bond, that Vyktore had mentioned all that time ago, was responsible for the shared leucistic trait. It had to be. There was no other explanation.

"Oh, someone's showboating."

Ben laughed and glanced over his shoulder at Vyktore. "Why wouldn't he?" He turned back to Ljotr. "You're so gorgeous, yes you are, just like your rider," he crooned. "You're an elegant, magnificent dragon." He inched forward again and held up his hands, inviting Ljotr to drop his head to them.

@Vyktore Delaroche
Analysts · 201 Posts
Posted on: Jan 14 2018, 12:20 AM
Played by Opal · 21 years · Drakonrhedi · Apprentice
[he/him] · on six beta blockers and a large iced coffee
"Hi Ljotr. You might be familiar with me. I'm dating your rider."

Ljotr let out a snort of air, maybe a show of amusement, bumping his nose into Ben's hand in a friendly manner before he pulled away to do some good, old-fashioned preening.

"Why wouldn't he? You're so gorgeous, yes you are, just like your rider. You're an elegant, magnificent dragon."

Vyktore choked on air, falling into a coughing fit and needing a moment to recover himself. This was not how he'd expected this to go. It wasn't his fault he that he wasn't used to having such a wonderful, supportive boyfriend. In hindsight, maybe this was pretty predictable, but damn, he was not prepared for this in the slightest. Revealing his secrets and getting dumped by the one person he'd had real feelings for? Yes. Ben crooning over his dragon half? No.

Finally, Vyk managed to regain his dignity. "He'd better be gorgeous," he said. "I bought a fucking droid to polish his scales and buff his wings." He paused, and then added, a little pretentiously, "I do his nails, though."

Ben reached his hands up into the air to invite his dragon down and Vyktore froze. This.... this was a logical next step, yes, but it felt like such a violation. Ben didn't know what he was doing, and Vyk couldn't tell him. And just because Ben hadn't minded stuff before didn't mean that Vyk had his complete consent.

Vyk and Ljotr blinked once in unison, and then Vyk gave in to his shameful urges.

Ljotr tumbled forward, nudging at Ben's hands and gently pressing into his chest. He slumped to the ground in front of Ben like a housepet asking for attention, his entire sinuous body following and flopping in an arc around Ben, his tail trembling like a pleased cat's--a sign that the dragon was emphatically pleased. Of course it'd be that emphatic, Vyk realized belatedly. He was getting to touch Ben, and Vyk had a lot of feelings for Ben, and... he felt so dirty.

And so embarrassed. These were the worst of his urges, the ones he kept under lock and key, the ones that told him to just drape himself across Ben and flutter his eyelashes. Ljotr was shamelessly showing Ben all of the love and adoration and physical neediness that Vyk still, sometimes, was too scared to touch. It was making him anxious, since Ben didn't know the whole story and the extent of Vyk and Ljotr's bond. He could feel his heart beginning to beat faster, as if he were about to head towards a panic attack.

What made it worse was how much he liked it. It was so shameful. So manipulative.

"I-" Vyk tried to protest, but he couldn't manage to find a good excuse. "You don't--you don't have to feed into his preening, if you don't want to. He's--he's terribly self-absorbed. Just like me," he added, hurriedly.

Whatever Ben did, Ljotr unabashedly approved of it, starting with happy snorts and nudges for more attention and evolving to a deep, pleased, thrumming purr--especially if Ben got a good spot, like along his fin or beneath his cheekbones. His glitter claws scrabbled on the ground eagerly, but carefully away from Ben's fleshy, easy-to-damage bits. Interacting with Ljotr was probably like interacting with Vyk, if he were drunk, and in a particularly snuggly mood.


@Benjamin South
Novices · 264 Posts
Posted on: Jan 14 2018, 01:45 AM
Played by Cranberry · 20 years · Drakonrhedi · Novice
he/him • Hi my name is Ben and welcome to dumbasse
Vyktore fell into a coughing fit, and Ben glanced back to check on him. He seemed alright. Embarrassed, maybe, but nothing terrible. He must not be used to people meeting his dragon, Ben thought, or maybe it was the complement. He hoped it was the latter. "He'd better be gorgeous. I bought a fucking droid to polish his scales and buff his wings." Ben shared a private smile with Ljotr. "I do his nails, though."

"I like his nails," Ben said, then slipped back into that soft croon he usually used on dragons when there wasn't an audience around. Vyktore wasn't the typical audience, though, because he could trust Vyktore. "He takes good care of you, doesn't he? He always makes sure Holly is pretty too." A part of Ben was well aware he was making a fool of himself, but if Holly liked attention like this, then Ljotr might appreciate it too. Every dragon deserved to be pampered, and besides, he wanted to make a good impression on Vyktore's dragon.

He reached his arms up and waited, hoping Ljotr would give him a chance to give a good scratching.

There was a pause. Ljotr blinked at him.

Then Ljotr flopped down before him, settling his head against his chest. Ben smiled and rubbed along the scales of his neck and chin, relief flooding his chest. Vyktore's dragon liked him.

For all Ben's worrying, it didn't occur to him that the reverse of his fears might be true. The fact that Ljotr was affectionate with him did not equate to affections Vyktore might feel, even if, had Ljotr disliked him, he would have assumed it was influence from the human side. All he felt was a settled satisfaction, a worry that Vyktore secretly loathed him assuaged.

He hugged Ljotr close and let his hands range, searching for a preferred scratching spot.

"I-You don't--you don't have to feed into his preening, if you don't want to. He's--he's terribly self-absorbed. Just like me."

Ben glanced at Vyktore, who sounded half-choked, and his scratching slowed. The tone gave him pause, opened a door for uncertainty to creep in. It held no concrete form. For all Ben's curiosity and classes, he understood little about the convergence. He didn't realize how closely some dragons grew to their riders, so close it was almost as if they were one being. If he had, he wouldn't have been near as bold.

"I think he deserves a little attention." He turned his eyes back on the white and grey dragon to hide from Vyktore's eyes when he added, "Just like you do. I like giving you attention, too." Certainly a different brand of attention, but the warmth that underlaid them both was the same.

The dragon snorted and nudged at him, burrowing his snout against his chest. It was a clear request for more attention, and Ben was all too happy to oblige. He quickened his petting, unease shaken in the face of an adorable, eager dragon. He enveloped the beast in a more complete hug, draping his arms around his neck and pressing his cheek against the cool, smooth scales. He combed his fingers along each of Ljotr's fins, gentle and thorough, and as he did a purr began to grow.

"You're so sweet," Ben told the dragon. It was easier to say things like that to a dragon. With people, you ran the risk of offending them or stifling them or embarrassing them, but a dragon would let you cuddle them if they wanted affection, and would shake you off if they didn't. "You needed some cuddling today, didn't you?"

He leaned back and plopped a light kiss on the tip of Ljotr's nose.

@Vyktore Delaroche
Analysts · 201 Posts
Posted on: Jan 14 2018, 02:36 PM
Played by Opal · 21 years · Drakonrhedi · Apprentice
[he/him] · on six beta blockers and a large iced coffee
"I like his nails. He takes good care of you, doesn't he? He always makes sure Holly is pretty too."

No, Vyktore was shit at taking care of himself and Ljotr, but... but Ben couldn't know that. Guilt twisted a knife in his stomach, and his heart raced even faster.

But he couldn't stop himself from asking for attention from Ben, either as himself or in the thin guise of his dragon, and despite all of his guilt he still gave in to what he knew to be a violation of Ben, letting Ben pet Ljotr. He was such a shitty boyfriend, and a shitty person. And the worst part was how happy and eager Ben looked. The anxiety was only adding further fuel to his heart's rapid pace, and he was starting to breathe very heavily. Oh god. Was he about to have a panic attack? Shit.

There was soft tickling on his cheeks as Ben began to pet Ljotr. Vyk twitched a little, as if trying to shake off a fly. He could feel Ben's arms wrapped around Ljotr's face, and now he was blushing, too, on top of everything else.

"I think he deserves a little attention."

If it were anything but Vyk's dragon specifically, he would've agreed. But Ben didn't know what was going on, and Vyk was so terrified of telling him. God, he probably looked like a food, overreacting for some tiny thing--but Ben didn't understand, and despite all of his guilt and anxiety Vyk was still too terrified to tell him all of his secrets.

"Just like you do. I like giving you attention, too."

What? Vyk's racing thought processes paralyzed themselves as he stood there, stunned and trying to understand what had just happened as the anxiety still boiled up in him, buzzing around his brain and jittering through his veins. Instinctively, he nudged Ben for physical reassurance, unaware that he'd done it through Ljotr instead of his own body.

Ben moved and embraced Ljotr fully, and Vyk could feel the corresponding warmth on his own body, along with the soft touch of a cheek against his. No, no, no, this was wrong. He shouldn't have let this happen. Vyk didn't even know how to feel at this point, his mind was such a combination of guilt and anxiety and shameful delight and the warmth that suffused him whenever Ben complimented him. The compliments weren't helping his state--he appreciated them, in fact, he loved them, but while they confused him normally, now he was utterly baffled on top of everything else.

His boyfriend reached up and scratched at Ljotr's fins, and Vyk could feel Ben's nails, first at the nape of his neck and then moving down his spine. Shit, of course he and his dragon had the same sensitive spots. That made so much fucking sense. Why hadn't he figured it out beforehand? Then maybe he could've stopped this.

"You're so sweet." Vyk held his breath to keep Ben from noticing his... state. This was fine. This was fine. He had to be fine, or else Ben might figure out something was up, and start to realize what it was that Vyk wasn't telling him. God, he was such a horrible boyfriend. "You needed some cuddling today, didn't you?"

Unfortunately, Vyk had never been particularly good at handling his emotions. The light kiss that Ben pressed onto Ljotr's nose was one of the sweetest, purest things he'd ever experienced, and he could feel the contact mirrored on his own body with a soft peck. This was how he died, he was certain.

Ljotr withdrew from Ben with a soft snort of warning as Vyk's blood pressure rose up over the limit and his brain instinctively shut down. He was nearby Ben and Ljotr, so it was perfectly possible for Ben to catch him. If Ben wasn't paying attention, Ljotr's tail snaked over and provided his rider with a cushy landing, lowering him to the ground softly.

Either way, Ljotr sniffed once at the unconscious Vyktore and, satisfied with his continued life and wellbeing, lightly nudged at Ben for more pets. After all, his human half was just being dumb, there was no reason for the boyfriend-human to not pay him more attention! This was fine. If rebuffed, however, he gave Ben a hurt look and then settled down to watch Ben's ministrations to the unconscious Vyktore, wiggling himself so that he surrounded Ben and Vyktore in one coil of glittering dragon and resting his head on his paws.

Vyk slowly returned to the waking world--blurry, but warm, and smelling of safety. Where was he? Colors swam above him, and he shut his eyes. Why was his head so foggy? He felt exhausted, like his body was made out of lead. He needed a minute to just clear these cobwebs from his mind.

What had happened? He delved into Ljotr's mind, trying to figure out the lost time. Memories flashed past him. Ben, worried. Ben, holding him. Ben, holding Ljotr.

Slowly, he blinked his eyes open again. His vision was still clearing, but he could identify a face above him. Ben. A small spark of warmth blossomed inside of him, alongside a larger seed of guilt. Poor Ben. He looked so worried.

"What... happened?" he managed. Even with what he'd gathered from Ljotr, he was still a little fuzzy.


@Benjamin South
Novices · 264 Posts
Posted on: Jan 14 2018, 05:04 PM
Played by Cranberry · 20 years · Drakonrhedi · Novice
he/him • Hi my name is Ben and welcome to dumbasse
Ljotr was perfectly content beneath his hands, nestled close and purring deep in his chest. Vyktore was staying quiet--Ben was afraid to glance his way, to see his face and what he was thinking. He was happy to be meeting Vyktore's dragon, ecstatic that Ljotr liked him, but Vyktore had been nervous. So nervous Ben had been able to pick up on it, when he was normally caught off guard by Vyktore's panic.

He'd won Ljotr over so easily, perhaps Vyk just needed a moment to grow accustomed to Ben knowing his dragon. Ben hoped he wouldn't regret introducing them.

Ljotr withdrew and snorted, eyes flicking over Ben's shoulder. He turned just in time so see Vyktore's eyes roll up in his head and his body go lax. He leapt to catch him, easily supporting his weight. What was wrong? What was happening?

"Holy shit, Vyktore, Vyktore."

Ben sank to the ground, arranging the unconscious Vyktore on his lap and cradling him close against his chest. He checked for a pulse--erratic, but strong--and checked his breathing too--stuttering, but substantial. His own body had caught up a fine trembling, struggling to confine the fallout from the sudden scare.

Ljotr was unconcerned in the face of his rider collapsing. He simply sniffed Vyktore before nudging at Ben's shoulder. "I-your rider," Ben said, meeting Ljotr's hurt look with a horrified one of his own. Vyktore had just went down, without warning. Ben didn't know what could have caused it.

He curled over Vyktore and lay a hand on his cheek, watching his eyes as they fluttered open, squinted, and fell shut again.

"Baby, are you alright?" he asked, eyes wide. He combed his hand through Vyktore's hair and ran his thumb gently along his temple. It was as if every ounce of energy had been sucked from Vyktore all at once. He'd give him a moment of quiet, even though he wanted to crush him against his body and babble out questions and reassurances and apologies.

Vyktore blinked his eyes open a second time, and Ben let out a breath of relief even as his eyebrows knitted tightly together.

"What... happened?"

"Fuck, love, you just collapsed. Did you-did you have a panic attack? Are you alright?" It had to be a panic attack, but why, how? Had he been having a silent breakdown in the background that entire damn time? "I'm so fucking sorry darling, I'm so sorry, whatever I did." He ran his hand down the side of Vyktore's face, down to catch his hand.

@Vyktore Delaroche
Analysts · 201 Posts
Posted on: Jan 14 2018, 05:49 PM
Played by Opal · 21 years · Drakonrhedi · Apprentice
[he/him] · on six beta blockers and a large iced coffee
"I--your rider."

Ljotr gave a little sniff. He knew what was going on, even if he couldn't convey it to Ben: Vyktore was fine, he was just dumb and overworked about some very simple things. He settled himself around them both in a vaguely protective manner, watching Ben continue to freak out.

"Baby, are you alright?"

Vyk heard the words but didn't comprehend them, not yet, anyway. It was another few moments before he could open his eyes and ask what was going on.

"Fuck, love, you just collapsed." Vyk didn't really get the last bit of that sentence, he was too busy mouthing the word 'love' and smiling like the brain-addled gay idiot he was. "Did you--did you have a panic attack? Are you alright?"

"I'm fine," Vyk murmured, obviously still a little woozy. He paused, brow furrowing slightly. What did happen? Panic attack, yes, but why?

"I'm so fucking sorry darling, I'm so sorry, whatever I did."

"It's not your fault," Vyk replied immediately, trying to keep his voice from wavering as his heart tripped over itself at the word 'darling.' Whatever had happened, he knew it wouldn't have been Ben's fault. Probably his own. "Don't apologize. I probably did something, worked myself up. That's what I usually do." Too sleepy to be fully cautious with his words, Vyk didn't realize the implications of his words--that this sort of thing, passing out from hyperventilating, had happened in the past. As a matter of fact, it had, but he didn't want Ben to know that.

But what had caused it this time?

Slowly, his memories trickled back to him. Oh god. Oh god. Vyk began to flush violently, reaching up and covering his face with the hand that wasn't holding Ben's, trying to hide himself against Ben's chest. "Oh my god," he whispered. "I am so sorry. This is--this is so dumb of me. I'm so sorry, Ben, I-" He broke off. Just because it was dumb didn't mean it wasn't wrong, and that he wasn't a shitty person for still cuddling with Ben now.

If pressed, he took a deep sigh and explained with his face still buried into Ben. "I... there's a lot that I haven't told you about my past so this may not make the most sense yet. But Ljotr and I have a very... particular bond. I can... experience nearly everything that he experiences, as if it were my own body. And--normally it's not an issue--but I was dumb and I didn't tell you because I didn't want you to be weirded out because that's not normal for apprentices and so instead I let you go into this blind without getting your consent and I'm so sorry Ben, I'm the worst boyfriend ever."


@Benjamin South
Novices · 264 Posts
Posted on: Jan 14 2018, 09:35 PM
Played by Cranberry · 20 years · Drakonrhedi · Novice
he/him • Hi my name is Ben and welcome to dumbasse
Vyktore cracked a dopey smile and mouthed the word love. Ben flushed a deep red, but instead of letting the pleased embarrassment subdue his tongue, he searched for other pet names he had swallowed down in the past. Something was wrong, and he had to let Vyktore know how much he cared about him.

"I'm fine." Ben gave Vyktore a look, but didn't comment. Instead he asked, "Do you want to sit up?" He didn't know how comfortable it was for Vyktore to be draped across his lap, if he needed to sit up and take back his space.

"It's not your fault. Don't apologize. I probably did something, worked myself up. That's what I usually do." A pronounced stitch worked itself together between Ben's eyebrows. He hated this. Vyktore treated every one of his breakdowns and worries with the same gentle, thorough care; he made Ben feel endlessly wanted and appreciated. But when he needed that same support, he withdrew, tried to laugh it off. Ben didn't know how to help, not really, but he was desperate to offer whatever he could. He squeezed Vyktore's hand.

"I'm sorry," he said again, anyway. Even if it wasn't his fault, he still felt terrible. "You-you know how, when I panic, you want... Me to let you know? That goes both ways." Vyktore hid his face, and Ben lent his support to the gesture, adjusting his arm so it was more comfortable. He didn't like to be looked at when he was feeling vulnerable either.

"Oh my god. I am so sorry. This is--this is so dumb of me. I'm so sorry, Ben, I-"

Ben hummed, hoping it would be at least a little soothing. After a beat of thought, he shifted them. He leaned back against Ljotr and pulled Vyktore more completely into his lap, wrapping his free arm all the way around his shoulders and burying his fingers in his hair. He began a slow, rhythmic combing.

"You don't need to apologize." He tipped his nose into Vyktore's hairline, then, more timidly than the last several times, continued, "Love." Getting called honey and the like by Vyktore was heady, but using them was exhilarating too. "You don't have to tell me anything, I understand if you don't, but... But I'd like to know."

"I... there's a lot that I haven't told you about my past so this may not make the most sense yet. But Ljotr and I have a very... particular bond. I can... experience nearly everything that he experiences, as if it were my own body."

"Oh." Oh no. He'd cuddled Ljotr with complete abandon. Vyktore had... Vyktore had been feeling that? No wonder he'd fainted. Ben was always so careful to respect Vyktore's personal bubble, and then he'd gone and violated it through his dragon.

"And--normally it's not an issue--but I was dumb and I didn't tell you because I didn't want you to be weirded out because that's not normal for apprentices-" Ben wished he could know everything, but there was a lot about Vyktore he might never know. He was tangled in things far beyond Ben's scope. So, he would admire how extravagant his boyfriend was instead. "-and so instead I let you go into this blind without getting your consent and I'm so sorry Ben, I'm the worst boyfriend ever."

"I..." Words couldn't adequately express how horrible he felt for what he'd done. Vyktore always talked about consent, and he was spinning it as if he was the one who had trespassed, but that wasn't true. Ben should have been more careful with Ljotr. Words couldn't express the gratefulness he felt for the fact that Vyktore had confided in him either, but he tried anyway. "Thank you for telling me. I'm sorry I-I touched Ljotr like I did."

He sucked in a deep breath and brought their entwined hands up. He settled his fingers under Vyktore's chin and titled his face up, bowed his head, and kissed the tip of his nose.

@Vyktore Delaroche
Analysts · 201 Posts
Posted on: Jan 14 2018, 10:02 PM
Played by Opal · 21 years · Drakonrhedi · Apprentice
[he/him] · on six beta blockers and a large iced coffee
"Do you want to sit up?"

Vyk managed a shake of his head. "Not yet," he whispered. The world was still a little fuzzy, and his head didn't seem entirely settled. He wanted just a minute to relax in Ben's arms and not have to worry about sudden altitude changes. After a few moments, he was recovered enough to hold a conversation, at least.

"I'm sorry. You-you know how, when I panic, you want... Me to let you know? That goes both ways."

"Don't be sorry," Vyk replied, yet again, still a little woozy but nonetheless very sincere. "I-" He... he appreciated that. A lot. More than Ben knew, maybe. It'd been a long time since he'd had someone else who was willing to let him rely on them. Cedric was the only other person like that he knew. "I... appreciate that a lot. Thank you, Ben." He tried to convey his authenticity as well as he could.

He helped as much as he could with the shift, appreciating the snuggling, with Ben sandwiched between Ljotr and himself. It was like double cuddling, from his perspective. He loved it, even though it was terribly, terribly wrong of him.

"You don't need to apologize." But he did. Ben didn't get it, Vyk was the one in the wrong here. He did need to apologize, for all of the shit that he was hiding, for all of the bad things he'd done. "Love." He felt like dying. His heart leaped and shattered all at once. Ben was so sweet, and being so openly loving, and he'd just horribly violated him. He didn't deserve this. "You don't have to apologize, I understand if you don't, but... But I'd like to know."

That was more than enough to spur his guilty conscience into action. He quickly spilled what secrets he could to Ben. Maybe... maybe he should tell Ben. Just get it over with.

"I... Thank you for telling me. I'm sorry I-I touched Ljotr like I did."

"No, Ben, you're fine. Honestly. It was very sweet of you to treat Ljotr so well. It was my fault for not telling you. And I'm sorry I'm... I'm not telling you more, I..." He trailed off. I'm selfish, he couldn't finish.

Just then, Ben moved his hands up, and Vyk watched him in curious silence. A finger tickled at his chin, turning his face upwards, and then Ben leaned in and kissed him lightly on the nose, just like he had Ljotr. Vyk felt like he was about to swoon all over again. He stared at Ben with blatant adoration in his eyes, absolutely and utterly lovestruck.

He couldn't tell Ben. He was too selfish for that. He loved this so much, he was so terrified to lose it.

Vyk flushed brightly, burying his face into Ben's neck with a small smile. "You're going to make me pass out again," he mumbled, but his voice was a touch more playful now, covering the regret and guilt that he felt. He didn't want to think about this anymore.



@Benjamin South
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