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Author Topic: Private Not a Gift, Exactly [ 12.5.2590; 6 PM ] || Domnitissa  (Read 865 times)

Offline Ophyonis

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Not a Gift, Exactly [ 12.5.2590; 6 PM ] || Domnitissa
« on: March 29, 2017, 11:12:49 PM »
Something to be said for the flying tunnel snakes, their eggs weren’t hard to track down. With how many of the damn things were winging about, both bonded and wild, sometimes it seemed like surely Pern would be overrun with them. But during the Pass, they and their eggs had been a valuable source of food for those who otherwise might not have a lot of access to protein, or even outright starve. As a kid, Ophy had gotten good at finding unattended Green nests and raiding them for food—one of the few even close to kind things he’d ever done for his younger siblings during their childhood, and later a talent that had been valuable among the other gangbrats.

Part of that, though, had come from knowing the tunnels. Knowing the quieter areas, the nooks and crannies that egg-heavy flits would find suitable to lay their clutch in. But the Hall and the beginning of the Hold were still new to him. Ophy didn’t find himself walking those tunnels in his dreams as he still did with the ones at Fort.

Ophysk, however, had an advantage that he didn’t—being able to smell them. And since they were one of the wher’s favorite treats, he was particularly motivated to find any untended nests.

And find them he did, when the pair of them were making their way out of some of the newer mine tunnels at the end of the work day. As much as both of them wanted to be walking the perimeter of the growing wall, someone needed to continue bringing materials out of the newly excavated areas. So he and the other ex-Peacekeepers traded duties so the actual Miners weren’t distracted from their other responsibilities.

With Ophysk a half pace behind him, Ophyonis didn’t notice at first when the wher pulled away. Not until a distinctive and familiar sensation bled between them through their bond.

Evidently, in one of the shadowy alcoves still common in the un-smoothed new tunnels, some female flit had laid her eggs. And Ophysk, with his keen nose, had noticed them.

“Move your fat fucking head.” Backtracking to where the Bronze had his snout stuffed into the hole, Ophy shoved him away. Already, Ophysk had bits of shell and sticky fluid around his mouth; the nest had been small, probably a Green’s, and the big wher had crushed almost the entire batch in one mouthful. Though he grumbled at being forced away from the snack, Ophysk watched his handler impassively, thick tongue cleaning the remains of the eggs from his snout.

“You’re a fucking monster, you know that?” Said with a certain fondness as Ophy pushed him further back.

A shame, how quickly he’d made a mess of the eggs. They’d have been a good thing to have for trade—other people seemed eager to get their hands on them, too, whether to eat or bond to the damn things. But as Ophyonis looked over the broken nest, he chewed absently on the inside of his cheek. Thoughtful.

He’d decided a month ago, after the riot, that Domni needed one. Finding her after she’d panicked and bolted had been a pain in the ass. And this might not be Fort, but all the same people that had been there were here. Just because some past client or opportunist hadn’t yet made a move on the ex-whore didn’t mean they were guaranteed to not in the future.

Most of the time, Domnitissa didn’t go anywhere without him. But shit happened. And having safeguards for something so valuable, which belonged to him, could only be a good idea.

So he picked through the crushed shells, absently tossing the destroyed bits to Ophysk, flicking the sticky fluid off his fingers. The wher gobbled up the broken pieces, in most cases even before they hit the dirt and stone floor.

Ophy’d more or less given up the nest as a complete loss when his fingers brushed the distinctive curve of something whole. A tiny egg, it had gotten shoved to the back of the hollow, all but wedged under a lip of stone. With unusual care, it took him a long moment to coax it out from under the rock. Inspecting it in the light of the glows, though, it appeared unharmed—neither cracked nor chipped. For all appearances, anything but the last egg from a clutch raided by a hungry watchwher.

The same watchwher which projected an unmistakable question at him:  the taste of raw flit egg and the crunch of shell under his teeth.

“This one ain’t for you.” Nudging Ophysk with his hip, his handler instead cupped the tiny, pale grey egg in one hand. “You already got the whole rest of ‘em. You can give one up.”

Ophysk grumbled again, but fell into step behind the ex-Peacekeeper as he resumed their path back to their living quarters.

When they arrived, Ophy pulled the curtained door aside with his free hand. Whenever he was away, it was a safe bet Domni would be in their rooms, either napping or making sure the space stayed clean. “Got something for you.”

@SanctifiedSavage @Domnitissa
« Last Edit: September 05, 2018, 01:37:17 PM by Ophyonis »

Offline Domnitissa

Re: Not a Gift, Exactly [ 12.5.2590; 6 PM ] || Domnitissa
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2017, 12:37:33 AM »
Domnitissa hadn’t really lingered on the idea that she’d be getting a fire lizard. It sounded great. Was an exciting concept, but after a day or so she’d started to believe that it’d been an idea of his to calm her down in the tunnel and she let it go. It wasn’t that she considered it lying, but rather, attempting to comfort someone who was being decidedly anxious.

Which had been her at the time.

Since Domnitissa wasn’t about to nag or ask about the fire lizard after the fact, she simply figured it was all said and done.

After dinner, Ophy had dropped Domnitissa off at their rooms and she’d taken the time alone to clean up their clothes and shake out the bedfurs. She’d already shed her ‘walking around clothes’ and was wearing naught but panties and his shirt when he returned.

When he announced he had something  for her, she thought maybe it’d be a sweet snagged from the kitchen. Domnitissa dropped the fur on the bed and turned to see what it might be. “Hm?”
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Re: Not a Gift, Exactly [ 12.5.2590; 6 PM ] || Domnitissa
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2017, 09:52:47 AM »
There was something he liked about seeing her in so little, especially since she was wearing one of his shirts. A further mark of his claim, and the fact that she depended on no one else. So he smirked at her when she turned to him, and his eyes swept her head to toe in obvious interest.

But there’d be time for that. With the egg still in one hand, the sight of it shielded from her by the curve of his fingers, he beckoned with the other. “C’mere.” Huffing some, Ophysk slid around his legs and fell with a low whump onto his sleeping couch. Since he wasn’t going to get to eat the egg, he had little interest in the proceedings. Though he did keep an idle eye on his handler in case Ophyonis changed his mind.

When Domnitissa had crossed the distance between them, Ophy smirked down at her again. “Cup your hands. And be gentle.” And once she’d done as he said, he set the egg very carefully in her palm. It was still hot, the warmth from its previous nest trapped inside the cage of his fingers until then. He trusted her to be careful; after all, he’d told her to be.

He busied himself at the trunk of his belongings then, dragging out a wad of rags made from previous garments. Mostly kept for bandages and things, but useful in this case too. “You’ll have to keep it warm, and high up where Ophysk won’t get it. He’ll eat it otherwise. I’ll get some coals and sand in a minute. But these’ll have to do for now so it don’t get cold.” At least, it seemed a fair assumption they’d work much like wher eggs did.

Offline Domnitissa

Re: Not a Gift, Exactly [ 12.5.2590; 6 PM ] || Domnitissa
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2017, 03:23:13 PM »
Domnitissa was terrified of wher. She’d seen them do monstrous things to people. Women too. While she’d had to accept that Ophysk was just part of her life and unlikely to attack her, she still wasn’t wildly thrilled that he was always around. But she also understood, in a twisted way, that the wher was also likely to protect her as an extension of Ophy. At least, that was her understanding of how wher worked.

She wasn’t an expert.

When the bronze wher huffed, she shot him a sidelong glance and gave him some space. She smiled at Ophy though, curious what it might be he had for her.  Domnitissa hid as instructed and then nearly dropped the precious egg out of surprise. An egg!

A fire lizard egg! For her!

The egg was the most precious thing she’d ever been gifted. Small, perfect, warm, and hers. Surprisingly, Domnitissa found that there were tears in her eyes. No one had ever thought to give her something so… so… meaningful. Not wanting to embarrass herself, Domnitissa kept her blurred vision on the delicate and beautiful egg as Ophy messed about in their trunk. She was afraid to move, to drop it, to upset the tiny creature growing inside of it.

She barely heard what he was saying. Keep it warm. Keep it high.

It was hers. She would have her own tiny dragon. Domnitissa didn’t know what to say.
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Re: Not a Gift, Exactly [ 12.5.2590; 6 PM ] || Domnitissa
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2017, 05:52:04 PM »
Rising from where he knelt in front of the trunk, Ophy let the lid fall closed again and moved back to Domni with the wadded rags. She was just staring at the egg, which he wasn’t sure meant she was pleased or just stunned. Whatever the case, he carefully lifted the egg, filling her cupped hands with a hollowed nest of cloth, and settled it back in her palms. “Here. Just hold it in those, and I’ll be right back.”

Ophysk looked up as his handler moved to leave, but Ophyonis sent the Bronze the image of him staying on his sleeping couch. Though he huffed faintly, the wher set his head on his paws and remained where he was. Idly, he watched Domnitissa and the egg she held. The weight of his gaze might be unsettling to her, but Ophysk showed little interest in bothering her or the flit egg now that he’d been told no.

With as close packed as things were in the Mine Hall, it didn’t take Ophy long to reach the kitchens. Thankfully, he only had to offer little by way of explanation in order to snag some coals in a small clay pot. His next stop was the small Hatching Sands meant for the wher that lived in the Mine Hall and what would eventually be the hold, if their own handlers didn’t have a place for them to lay their eggs. Scooping some of the sand into the pot, he closed the lid on it. He could scarcely feel the heat radiating from it, which he knew was a good sign—better insulation meant it’d take longer for the warmth to dissipate.

Slipping back into their quarters, he eyed Domni again. “The coals will need changed once they die, so you may have to go to the kitchens without me at some point if I’m working. If you let it stay cold too long, the flit inside will die.” Ophy knew that Domni disliked going anywhere without him, but hopefully she’d understand this was important.

Offline Domnitissa

Re: Not a Gift, Exactly [ 12.5.2590; 6 PM ] || Domnitissa
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2017, 02:04:27 AM »
Her vision was blurry but turns upon turns of schooling herself not to cry no matter the circumstance prevented the tears from falling. She was simply overwhelmed and that didn’t happen all too often. She held something beyond precious in her hands. Nothing, ever, in her life had ever meant so much to her than the tiny life that had yet to hatch. So sweet, so meaningful, and the tiny dragon would be her companion. While Domnitissa didn’t know, personally, the extent of that companionship, she knew that no one would ever, ever be able to take the fire lizard away from her once it bonded to her.

This was something that would always, wholly, be hers once it bound itself to her. A permanent gift. A forever companion. Someone that would adore her just because and she, in turn, could love without shame. It was the greatest of gifts and she had no words to express just how much it meant. Rather, she was afraid to express how much it meant. Important things could be used against someone, could be taken away. While Domnitissa didn’t think Ophy was that cruel, a terrified, fragile part of Domnitissa’s heart wanted to protect this little treasure. This tiny creature that would soon be hers.

When he told her to hold the egg, she did just that. The entire time he was gone, she cradled the egg in her hands and didn’t more. Barely breathed, afraid to upset it. So focused on the egg, Domnitissa didn’t even notice she was alone in the room with the wher or that he looked her way.

When Ophy returned, her eyes only moved to him when he transferred the egg to the small pot. His instructions were terrifying. Not because she would have to leave, to go somewhere alone, but because her tiny fire lizard could die. It took Domnitissa a moment to find her voice but she vowed, on her own life, that the tiny fire lizard would not. She would brave any manner of fears to ensure the fire lizard would always have heat. “I’ll make sure it stays warm,” she swore softly, solemnly. Domnitissa had never meant anything more in her life.
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Re: Not a Gift, Exactly [ 12.5.2590; 6 PM ] || Domnitissa
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2017, 08:56:44 PM »
“Good girl.” Despite her previously stunned silence, Ophy could tell Domni meant what she said. He’d never heard her say something with such conviction before, even if it was soft. The amount of seriousness in her voice was a good sign—she’d do whatever she needed to in order to keep the egg alive, which was good. If she proved negligent, that would be her one chance. In the event that Domnitissa’s egg didn’t hatch through some fault of hers, he’d not be getting her another. But Ophyonis didn’t imagine that would be the case.

He just hoped the thing didn’t turn out to be a dud.

“No idea when it’ll hatch,” he commented almost absently, tracing one finger down her jaw in something like an affectionate gesture. “Since I’ve got no fucking clue when it was laid. But it usually takes ‘bout two months from that to hatch, so you’ll have something less than that to wait.”

Stepping away from her then, he sat on the edge of the bed and set to pulling off his boots and socks. Now would be the time to relax, since work was done for the day.

A bit amused since she had yet to move, Ophy flicked his eyes to her. “It could hatch at any time, so it’ll prob’ly be best if you aren’t ever away from the room for long.” Not that she was as a general rule, unless they were eating or visiting the Bathing Springs. “Do you know how you’re supposed to bond to it when the time comes?” 

Offline Domnitissa

Re: Not a Gift, Exactly [ 12.5.2590; 6 PM ] || Domnitissa
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2018, 12:54:28 AM »
Domnitissa was content to just sit with the egg. When he’d said it could hatch anytime, she took that quite literally. Any. Time. So she wanted to near it. Watch it. Not only because she didn’t want the little dragon to die, but because this was a very precious gift. She couldn’t ruin this, couldn’t let Ophy think that she didn’t appreciate what he’d gotten for her.

Only when he touched her did her eyes reflexively look up to him. But only for that moment. When he didn’t have any orders for her, Domnitissa’s attention shifted back to the sweet, delicate egg. Normally, she’d have moved to take over helping him undress, but she just... didn’t. Couldn’t pull herself willfully from the egg she was now tasked with watching over.

It even took her a moment to register that he’d asked her something. After a small gasp when she realized it might seem like she’d ignored him, Domnitissa glanced up at him and answered, “Ah. Yes. I know. I’ve heard some people talking about them. About wanting them and... all that. Getting one. I know he or she will need fed.”

Despite wher, which she knew very little about because she was afraid of them, fire lizards had always been something she’d wanted. Whores generally didn’t ask about such things, though.
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Re: Not a Gift, Exactly [ 12.5.2590; 6 PM ] || Domnitissa
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2019, 03:18:33 PM »
Rather than upset at her, Ophy was really just amused. He’d never seen Domni so focused on something before, so utterly consumed by what she was looking at. To be sure, he had no complaints about her attentiveness to him, and he’d never felt her attention stray from him when they were together. But it was a new insight into her to see that she was so enraptured by this little life that he had almost offhandedly given her.

If he was the sort of person to think anything was cute, this would have been.

Even her moment of silence, and the way she gasped when she seemed to realize she hadn’t answered, made him chuckle as he kicked his boots away and leaned back on the bed. “Good.” That saved him having to explain all of that to her. “I’ll make sure you have some dried meat here for when it happens. There’ll be a limit to that, though. Once he or she gets through that, it’ll be best if you get some fresh meat from the kitchens to finish feeding it with.”

Hopefully, she’d be as determined to make sure she did that properly just as she was about the coals. “Just meat,” he added after a moment’s more of thought. “I don’t know if they can eat anything else.” Beyond knowing a few Keepers that had flits, he didn’t know much about keeping them himself. And having never been interested in having one himself, Ophy had never paid attention to something so far removed from him as what the creatures could safely eat.

Offline Domnitissa

Re: Not a Gift, Exactly [ 12.5.2590; 6 PM ] || Domnitissa
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2019, 09:53:55 AM »
She might not have said, aloud, how important the egg was to her but Domnitissa was incapable of hiding such a thing. It was writ in the lines of her body and her rapt attentiveness to the egg. There were not many things in her life that she’d ever paid as much attention to – barring Ophy himself – and certainly nothing personally she had ever cared about.

Domnitissa had lived, and still lived, a pretty simple life. She wanted to behave, so he would not kick her out, and she liked being clean. Food was something she ate for sustenance, so it didn’t matter what she ate, and she’d never thought of her time as her own so it never bothered her if she was tasked with something. If anything, she saw it as her duty to keep their place neat and clean because she lived there with him.

But this? This was hers. Would be hers. Once hatched, no matter what happened, no one could take the flit away. Barring them killing the flit – but even Domnitissa knew that flits could get away when people could not.

Her attention flicked to him when he made mention she’d have to brave the kitchens for fresh meat once the flit hatched. Another adventure she would have to undertake, for the wellbeing of her new companion. Domnitissa’s heart rate already sped up, thinking of such a thing, but she was resolute. She roughly knew the way to the kitchens. The Mine Hall wasn’t nearly as confusing as the Weyr. So, a little more timid than before, she nodded. It wasn’t a lot to remember, but it would be a lot to do once the flit hatched.

Certainly a test of her mental fortitude.
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Offline Ophyonis

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Re: Not a Gift, Exactly [ 12.5.2590; 6 PM ] || Domnitissa
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2019, 02:05:20 PM »
Still sitting idly on the bed, Ophy was amused to just watch Domni for a moment. This was a different side to her that he found somewhat curious, since he hadn’t observed it in her before. Giving her the flit was worth it just for that, a bit. Plus, if this worked out, he might be able to send her on small errands around the Mine Hall if it was really necessary. Save himself a bit of extra traipsing around after work for simple tasks.

“Any questions?” he asked at last, absently cracking his knuckles as he watched her. Not in a way meant to be threatening, but rather just to relieve tension. If there was anything else Domni wanted to ask, best to get it out of the way now. He’d tried to anticipate everything she might need to know, but he’d not begrudge her other questions. Ophy just wasn’t that sort of person, at least not to Domni.

When she asked simple questions, it’s because that was what was on her mind, not because she hadn’t been listening.

He did offer then, “I can show you the way to the Kitchens again if you need me to.” He’d done so before, but he knew well enough just how bad she was with directions.

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