A Gesture of Comfort
Characters: Ninaine, J'lor
Description: Ninaine takes a measure of comfort from a friend, but it takes convincing.
Location: Dragonsfall Weyr
Date: month 12, day 24 of Turn 9
Notes: Mentioned: N'call, Teseada
"So, not as big as a bronzerider's weyr," J'lor said softly. "But
almost the size of a blueriders." He smiled from the couch where he
sat with flowers and fresh fruit in front of him on the table. "It
Sitting in a deep chair opposite him, Ninaine played with her cup of
tea rather than sipping it, twirling around the liquid in the cup. "I
suppose it is. It's bigger than my first weyr, definitely." The half
smile she gave of acknowledgement didn't reach her red-rimmed eyes. "I
don't need that big weyr for myself. I know that. I'm really okay,
J'lor, but thanks for checking on me. "
"These are from N'call," he said and pushed the flowers a bit closer.
"These are from me," he pushed the bowl of fruit. "Is there anything
you want or need?"
**My weyrmate back. ** Ninaine looked at the flowers and tried to
control a trembling lower lip, but didn't quite succeed. She shook her
head. "No. The Healers took me off my duties this morning and told
me to keep my feet up as much as possible. So, there's not much for me
to do now. Just sit here. The Candidates are helping with Luneth's
bathing and oiling. " She swirled the tea around in her cup, then put
it down. "I can barely slip my boots on anyway, so I guess that's
J'lor looked at her for a long moment then tilted his head. "You're
not supposed to lie to me Nina," he said with a twinkle. "I can't help
you that way."
She finally looked up from her cup of tea at J'lor and grumbled at him
with a scowl. "Are you a mindhealer right now, or N'call's friend?
What can you possibly help with? I'm fat, I look horrible, I waddle
when I walk, I can't put on my shoes, my feet hurt and I have to
sleep alone at night because he's followed Teseada and would rather be
a Weyrleader with her than here with me. " The last burst out along
with a few more tears. " I can't stop crying and...and...I hate it! I
hate that I told him I was fine with him going even though I know it's
what he's always wanted and I hate that I had to move and I feel alone
and I'm miserable! There's nothing you can do to help with that. "
J'lor half smiled then he got up from his seat on the couch and came
to kneel in front of her. "Don't you know that a pregnant woman is the
most beautiful thing a man can ever see? You're doing something
wonderful that we can never do. You're amazing and you've got two new
people in there." He didn't touch her belly but he reached out
slightly. "I'd be happy to rub your feet, or any part of you that
requires rubbing." He half grinned at that. "You don't have to be
alone, in fact, it's probably a bad idea for you to be alone at this
She eyed him as he moved to kneel in front of him and sat up a little.
"Just because you won Luneth's last flight doesn't mean you get to rub
any part of me. It was a flight. Or did you work that out with N'call
too? " She realized she was being sulky, peevish, and irrational, but
the words spilled from her before she could stop them. Frustrated with
both herself and the situation, she attempted to rise, but off
balance, merely flailed for a moment as she tried to push herself up.
Cursing under her breath, she fell back into the chair. At least she
had seen her feet for a moment. "So what, you think I should move
someone in with me? That's not happening. There's not room and I've
never slept with anyone except N'call." But the thought of sleeping
alone in her bed made her feel worse. She was used to curling up to
him, having his arms around her at night. Last night she'd barely
slept at all, resorting to hugging her pillows. Her shoulders slumped,
her thoughts playing plainly over her face.
"Ninaine, please," he said gently rising out of her way. "Remember I
am a _healer_ in addition to being of the male half of the world. But
he turned back to the couch to create some room between them. "I've
helped women have babies before and I know your feet, back, neck and
shoulders need rubbing at times. Why did you _assume_ I meant sex and
that N'call might have arranged something?" This time his legs were
crossed and his face serious.
Ninaine's cheeks immediately flamed a bright red and she squirmed a
little in her chair. How could she explain that when she wasn't
tired, she was trying her best (and sometimes succeeding) to exhaust
her weyrmate? "I'm sorry, J'lor. I just thought that... well... I
shouldn't have said that. "
"Sweetheart, we're friends beyond other things that might have
happened between us. Or at least that is the way _I_ feel about you.
When N'call asked me to keep an eye on you it was because he is very
concerned about you and your babies. He's told me how much he loves
you and that isn't going to change because he's far away." He smiled
gently. "But sometimes, you just need love with skin on it, right next
to you. Right?"
She hugged herself, her arms tight around her chest and slowly nodded.
"Sure. But he's not right next to me and he's going to be too busy for
me, especially if Onnyth rises first and Haloth catches her. I know
he loves Teseada too. So..." she gave a little shrug. "I guess I'm
scared. And I'm lonely. He's not, cause he's got her. And maybe
he'll decide that it's better that way. I've caused him lots of
trouble and... ever since Luneth got injured, shards, since I
Impressed, I've been so emotional and I can't seem to get it all under
control like I used to be able to. Being pregnant makes it worse and
I'm constantly wanting things or crying or getting irritable. Maybe
it would be better if I worked on getting that control back while he's
"Do you feel the need to compare your relationship with N'call to
Teseada's," he asked mildly. After all, up to this point he'd been
living with Ninaine, not Teseada.
She eyed J'lor with a hint of irritation. "Do you _have_ to dissect
everything I say, J'lor? I really wish you wouldn't. It makes it
hard to talk to you as a friend when you go all mindhealer on me." She
huffed softly. "I know his relationship with her is different. I
_know_ that. But maybe I've also been too dependent on him for my
happiness. Maybe I need to be prepared if anything changes. Maybe I
need to work on me a little."
"Maybe just a little," he said and leaned forward with his elbows on
his knees. "I'm here to help. Just know that alright?"
"Sure." Ninaine nodded. She was already tired and all she wanted to do
was stretch out, but the thought of the empty bed wasn't exactly
alluring. Maybe she just needed a good bath... But then she remembered
that unlike the last weyr, this one didn't have private bathing.
She'd have to go to the communal bathing pools again. The thought of
having to go there again, especially as awkward and bloated as she
felt, was also upsetting, but she didn't have much choice. She'd
just have to readjust...again. She had to find something good about
this entire situation. Sure it was good for N'call, but what about it
was good for her? She eyed J'lor and wondered if she should ask the
question of him.
J'lor relaxed and put an arm on the back of the couch. "Did you have
"No. I'm actually not really hungry right now. I just want to go to
sleep." She admitted, but didn't look back at the bed. She sighed.
She'd have to get used to sleeping alone again. She sat up, put her
hand on the chair arm and with her tongue stuck out of her lips in
concentration, struggled to her feet. She swayed for just a moment as
blood rushed to her head and blinked. That was happening more and more
often. "I think I'm just going to lay down, if you don't mind."
"Hey," he said jumping up to grab her arm as the blood drained from
her face. "Why don't you take it slow," he said holding her hand and
putting his arm around her.
"If I tried to be slow about standing up, I'd never get up. I'd just
end up kicking my feet and wiggling. I'm fine." Ninaine stepped away
and headed for the bed. "I'm tired, J'lor. Thank you. For caring, I
mean. But I just want to go to bed."
"Yes," he nodded without the twinkle. "But will you sleep? I'm here as
your friend Nina," he added softly. He really did want to help but she
was every bit as stubborn about things as she'd ever been. Probably a
bit more because of the hurt she was feeling. He lifted his hands
She paused, looking at her bed. It was smaller than the one she had
shared with N'call, but it seemed so much larger since she had to
sleep in it by herself. "Probably not." She admitted, just as softly.
Sighing she moved to the bed, sat and kicked off her slippers. She
looked up at him and her lower lip trembled just a little. "I hate
sleeping by myself. I miss him." She gave a quick sniffle and visibly
stiffened her lips.
"I know you do," he said and followed her a step or two. "Can I rub your feet?"
Her toes curled against the bare floor. "I..." How could she tell him
what she wanted? How could she explain the ache of needing to be held,
to feel the pressure against her side or back or to feel arms around
her? She felt insecure, at a loss, and wanted just a bit of anchoring.
She rubbed her face and it finally spilled out, the instinctual need
overpowering the need for perceived propriety. "Can you just hold me
until I can sleep? Just for a little while?"
"Yes," he said and stepped over to sit beside her and toe off his
boots. "I can do that."
She laid down, rolling to her side with relief to get off of her feet.
"Thank you. Just for a little while. You don't have to stay long." She
didn't look at him as he kicked off his boots. Though she'd stayed
with him after her Flight, the first time she'd ever done so with any
rider, she'd never really slept in the same bed with anyone besides
N'call. It was just sleeping, she reminded herself, nothing more.
"Nina," he whispered as he wrapped his arms around her. "There's
nothing wrong with sleeping with another man as long as that's what
you're doing... sleeping." He grinned into the dark.
"Ninaine." She leaned against him, but her voice was firm even as it
was soft. "Only N'call gets to call me Nina, okay?" At first she was
stiff against him, but gradually relaxed as she became accustomed to
the weight of his arms and the scent of him. Finally, she snuggled
against him, resting her brow against his shoulder and closed her
"Ninaine," he agreed softly and began to doze off.
It took her longer to doze off. The scent of him was similar to
N'call, especially with the light scent of dragon oil that she had
become accustomed to, but also different. His arms were different and
even the way he breathed, but the weight and comfort were similar.
She felt a tear slip from under her lashes, then slowly sleep claimed
Last updated on the September 3rd 2019