Xeth's Xebec Cavern
Gently eastward-sloping ceilings give this cavern an odd sort of perspective, almost presuming that the floor slopes as well. The area along the eastern wall has been set aside for living space and has been decorated accordingly: worn velvet drapes (someone else's toss-outs) in an odd jumble of patterns and colors soften the wall. Brazers giving off warmth and light are settled around a thick carpet and its large wooly cushions. Along the western wall stretches the worn length of the dragoncouch, perfectly fitting the narrow shape of a certain green.
On the perch is Abacab.
E'ren is here.

E'ren can be found nestled deep in a chair, a glass of wine (half-full, but evidently not his first) dangling precariously from his fingertips. Xeth's curled up on the dragoncouch, dozing, wanting to keep her lifemate in closer physical proximity tonight. The greenrider hums softly into the general darkness of the chamber (a soft sound... someone would have to stop and listen to notice it), a wistful, gather dance tune that hasn't been played much for several Turns.

Reiko slips in from the ledge, stopping uncertainly just inside the entrance as her eyes adjust to the dimmer light after the bright afternoon sunshine. She spots Xeth on the couch first and relaxes by several degrees -- having not seen the green on the ledge, she almost hadn't bothered landing to visit. Now as to whether she ought to search the weyr for E'ren again... she takes a few more tentative steps into the darkened chamber, nearly walking by the chair completely before she notices the quiet humming... and a soft smile lights her face as she steals up behind him. For a few moments she just listens and watches, almost reluctant to disturb him, then she reaches with gentle fingers to stroke his cheek.

E'ren is drunk and sedated enough not to notice as Reiko slips in, and he doesn't even jump when he touches his cheek. He does pause in his humming and look up, though. "Wha? Oh, Reiko." He smiles faintly, though there's something not-quite-sincere about it. "Nice to see you. Where have you been keeping yourself?" There's a matching chair nearby if she wants to have a seat too.

"Around." Reiko is characteristically vague, but more because she's not really thinking about herself just now than from any desire to hide. She comes around the chair then, settling herself on the floor at his feet, emerald gaze searching his face. This is an E'ren she's never seen... not that she knows the greenrider all that well, she begins to realize. "You know," she continues quietly. "Drills. Exercises."

E'ren hums and takes a breath like he's going to say something, but he doesn't quite manage to get anything out. He smiles faintly down at Reiko, then takes another good drink from his glass. "There's wine if you'd like some. I know you favor it. There was Benden earlier, but someone drank it." So this is E'ren's second wineskin? Oh dear, he has been at this a while, evidently.

Reiko arches a brow. "Someone?" She glances around the weyr and does a quick mental calculation. "I think I can guess who," she remarks wryly, scooting back from his chair a bit and leaning back on her hands. "I'll pass, thanks." She stretches her legs out in front of her, crossing her ankles.

E'ren's own legs are stretched out in front of him, feet set far apart in the same lazy pose that he was in when Reiko entered. "Hey, your loss. It's good stuff." Even if he's so drunk now he can't taste it anymore. "So, what are you doing here? Or... did you tell me already and I forgot?" His tone isn't harsh, but he's unusually tactless tonight.

Reiko regards him evenly, carefully. "Same as usual. I came to see you. If you'd rather I left, I could do that... since it looks like my timing could have been better." Likely it could have been worse as well. She shifts a little, drawing her knees up to her chest and wrapping her arms loosely around them.

E'ren hums again and gives a lazy shrug, the gesture looking like it might've been more if he wasn't feeling so... numb. "Nah, don't bother. Though I don't know if I'm much to look at tonight. I guess I didn't expect anyone to stop by, since you weren't around last night." There's nothing accusitory in his voice, but it does sound rather flat.

Reiko's lips twitch slightly as she remembers the previous night, her eyes unreadable when she looks back up at E'ren... not that the greenrider is in any shape to read expressions particularly well. "I was busy," she says simply, but she's unable to completely hide her surprise that he'd evidently been looking for her. "I didn't know you'd miss me," she adds softly, resting a tentative hand on his leg.

E'ren makes no reaction... he doesn't seem to notice Reiko's touch at all. As she talks, he pours another glass of wine and downs half of it in a couple gulps. "Of course I miss you. My bed gets cold at night, you know." The answer is quick but apparently heartfelt, since the greenrider grins suddenly as he says it... and he doesn't mean the temperature of the bed.

Emerald gaze remains locked on E'ren as he pours, drinks, speaks, smiles. "That's it?" Reiko's voice is softly ironic, with a bit of a catch breaking the words. "You've been using me as a bedwarmer?" A twisted halfsmile quivers at the corners of her lips as she gives his words back to him, somehow now knowing how he must have felt when he'd said them.

E'ren hums, a giggle escaping at the end. Yup, the greenrider is pretty far gone by now. "Okay, I admit you're pretty good at warming other things too," he teases, apparently unaffected by her 'display of emotion', either because he recognizes it as teasing or he is too dense to see it as a problem.

Reiko smiles at that, almost relieved that he didn't notice anything unusually emotional in her words. "Thanks," she says lightly, pushing herself up off the floor. "But I think you're probably warm enough for tonight, don't you?" She stands indolently in the space between his feet, holding out a hand to take his wineglass.

E'ren's wineglass is still dangling from his fingertips, looking like he's just barely keeping a hold of it. Even if she reaches for it, she'll have to work it from his fingers. "Warm? No... not tonight. But all the same, I probably won't be any use to you." Even being as drunk as he is doesn't put him in the mood for clumsy fumbling. A cloud passes over his features again... clearly he's bothered by something, but he isn't advertising what it is.

Reiko frowns deeply as his meaning becomes clear to her. Not wine to keep him warm. And the bedwarming comment starts to sound a little different to her ears. "Is that all you think of me?" Suddenly she doesn't care whether he gives her the wineglass or not -- she's busy trying to figure out when she started caring what he thought of her.

E'ren isn't really in the best frame of mind to have a serious conversation--the words just sort of spill out of him, without much thought to how they sound. "I... er...." He breaks off, his brow furrowing momentarily in confusion. "Well, you were the one who came to visit me. I just meant, I won't be warm at all tonight." Just try getting a coherant explanation out of him, I dare ya.

Reiko sets her jaw defiantly, perversely determined to discuss what she's been hiding from for months. After all, how can she be afraid of someone who probably can't even stand up? "No, you likely won't," she says quietly. "Or anytime soon, if you really think the only reason I visit you is to have sex with you." She doesn't need a coherent explanation. Just a simple yes or no. Even as drunk as he is, E'ren ought to be able to manage that.

E'ren blinks up at her, the look in his eyes childlike and hopelessly naive. "It... is? I guess... I thought that, maybe. It's different to hear you say it, though. I guess it doesn't matter, though. If that's what you want me for... maybe that's what I'm good for." He apparently isn't really understanding what she's asking, or telling him, even.

Reiko just stares at E'ren for a long moment, unable to turn away from that look in his eyes even though every instinct is telling her to bolt. "Why are you doing this?" she whispers, suddenly changing the subject. "Sitting in the dark, drinking yourself sick?" If there's something she wanted to tell him, she lets it wait.

E'ren shrugs, but he actually provides an answer. "A friend of mine was killed in Threadfall over Lemos this afternoon. He was a Telgar rider... you probably didn't know him, but I guess you felt it when he went." A pause, and the greenrider wipes at his eyes with the heel of his palm. "His blue caught Xeth a couple times." Another pause, which E'ren ends only by taking another gulp of his wine.

Reiko winces visibly, hit unexpectedly on several levels by this news. The cold feeling she'd had in her gut at the keening dragons for one she hadn't even known suddenly returns, coupled with an ache for passion lost -- passion she can really only imagine until Cerdith rises to chase. "E'ren, I'm so sorry," she whispers, reaching uncertainly for him. As if it were never said, she lets herself forget his assumption about why she visits, only oddly glad to be present now.

E'ren reponds to Reiko reaching for him by pulling her into his lap, pulling her close against him. Something in him wants to talk about it, though, as much as it hurts. "It was a few Turns ago. We spent a few months... sort of in a romance. We went to a couple gathers together. Shells, he was a great dancer. He came to see me less and less as the sevendays went on, though, and then I found out he was weyrmated to some 16-Turn-old blonde girl." Half a shrug. "That's the way these things go, though."

Reiko curls into E'ren's lap and wraps her arms around him, hopefully comfortingly, closing her eyes tightly as she listens. "I never knew anyone who died," she says at last, her voice very quiet. It's easy to distance yourself from something you've never experienced -- particularly for someone who's so practiced in distancing herself from just about every conceivable emotion. Right now, though, everything seems very close and frightening.

E'ren is somewhat comforted, cuddling Reiko close. He really doesn't want to completely break down in front of her, so he won't say anything more about his former lover. "Sorry... I didn't want to bother you. I know you have a lot on your mind right now." She isn't the only one who keeps things to herself.

Reiko lifts a gentle hand to stroke his unruly curls. "Don't be sorry... I don't mind." Her voice is soft and gentle as well, and she's as close as she's ever come to outright saying that she cares about his feelings. About him. "I can stay... if you want," she offers tentatively. "Just... stay. You know." She clarifies quickly, half afraid he'll take her offer the wrong way.

E'ren looks oddly grateful, his smile muzzy and just a bit drunk. "I'm afraid you'll have to put me to bed, if you do. I doubt I can get out of this chair even now. Just before you got here, I was thinking about drinking just enough so I'd pass out and not worry about anything until morning."

Reiko kisses his forehead tenderly, slipping off his lap and offering her hand. "Don't drink any more," she whispers, a twisted halfsmile lighting her eyes. "You're not much of a burden, but I doubt I could manage you passed out." If he'll let her, she's pretty sure she can get him safely to bed.

E'ren shrugs then, but his smile seems a bit trusting. "Okay... I'll do my best." He takes her hand and lets her pull him up, leaning on her rather heavily, unsteady on his feet. "Ow. Tell the weyr to stop moving." Sounds like it'll be a rough night for E'ren... and an even worse morning.

Reiko is a little surprised at just how much he's depending on her, but manages to brace herself under his arm and walk him more or less steadily to the bed. Letting him drop rather heavily to the furs, she tugs off his boots, then comes around to make him as comfortable as she can, finally kicking off her own boots and crawling up to lie close beside him. Maybe he won't need a bucket. She hopes. "It'll be fine," she tells him, pretty sure she's right. "I'll be right here."

E'ren lets Reiko have her way with him (so to speak), snuggling into the furs and against her, barely conscious now. "Reiko... thanks--" he murmurs, and drops off to sleep.