[P] [M] From one fever to another

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

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Ooc [+456]
There was much seemingly left outside this room for a time. There lay his lofty concerns over the coming colder seasons, his supplies strained by sudden demands, both directly tied to his experience and healing, and those to do with the insects that had blocked out the sky. Their expired bodies now largely littered the ground, a macabre blanket, a mockery of snow yet to fall. But all this was outside the room. Here, inside, it was warm. Here the rough coal, as though hewn into a pretense of a claw, left marks on the paper, scribbling his letters that he now knew how to name. And here, watching over him as he practiced was she.

Lately he found himself not having a hard time discerning her. Whether hearing the tiny jingle of her earrings, or catching wind of the flora and parchment intermingling with her scent – all familiar signs. Perhaps he would even dare say they were dear signs. Even through the time of her fever that had filled him with worry he hid well behind trained composure. This time was left behind, buried somewhere under the stilled wings of downed moths, soon to be swept out of the way to make room for something else. Something new.

His visits had been frequent during her illness, but he was in no hurry to make his appearances scarcer as Fennore began to show sure signs of recovery. He noticed it of course, and was certain she was perceptive enough to see it as well. He fretted about making so much as a sound on the matter, occasionally wondering to himself why she wouldn’t say anything either. Were both of them troubled that pointing it out to the other might somehow dispel this attraction?

Yet when he first caught whiff of a change in her scent, one induced not by illness, but by something else entirely, it was Bellad who nearly broke the silence to suggest giving her some solitude and with it, perhaps, peace of mind. Very nearly, yet never did. And what of Fennore? She could have shut the door on him or asked him for time and space. No, she welcomed him instead to her room, and the table with the parchment. Bellad was embarrassed at the thought of the bed in the room and the times they would sit down on it to rest from their studies.

“How is it…?” He asked, voice quiet, nearly sounding absent-minded for a moment, having spent the better half of the last hour carefully writing out the letters. “The letters. The… the writing. How is it?” Having to specify it certainly didn’t help his case. And nor did her having to come closer in order to see.
[Image: pretty-flowers-hi.png]October, she was now certain of, was doomed to be a troublesome month now and until the end of time. There was no other explanation for it.

First, the moths. Then, the fever. And just as this sea was crossed came a fever of another sort, one that demanded attentions elsewhere, and the Councilor knew no other way to respond than with a long, oh so tired sigh.

There would be no end to her woes, she thought dramatically, and thus would begin the ritual of barring off contact from the rest of the world until it passed. But even this she failed to accomplish.

At least there were no strange flowers and honey-sweet daydreams to tempt her this time. No, there was only one hitch in the road this time around, and he sat dutifully at her desk as he so often did, weaving together new words and phrases with his slowly-developing literacy. Fennore knew it was dangerous to linger so close, to hover over his shoulder and correct him as any good teacher ought to.

She fancied herself above carnal influences, but here she was again, long ivory fingers dancing in and out of the flames she knew so well and secretly coveted. There was no need for the alien flora, now; Bellad could bring her back to that whimsical place just from being here.

The heavy winter cloak did not hide it, and it really only served to make her more uncomfortable from the weight and warmth of it when she was already feeling so laden and bothered. Aside from her jumpiness, however, Fennore let on as little of it as she could possibly muster. They knew, they both knew, but she would be damned before she acted with anything less than poise and grace even when her body indignantly cried out against her.

Pulling the cloak closer, in vain, she dared to let one claw trace across his script. "It is coming along," she said breathlessly, surprising even herself, before she cleared her throat and grounded herself again. "You are not the same student that first approached me many months ago."

Fennore allowed herself a chuckle. "You might pass Wither Rose, at this rate."
uhuhuhu sorry for the ATROCIOUS wait my friend

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And now for the Songthorn erotic comedy hour [+646]
He did pay attention to the way she covered herself. Wrapping herself both in a semblance of control and in that heavy cloak that, from his perspective, did more to soak up her scent than actually hide it. He often pondered the purpose of Caledonians wearing so much clothing. Were they uncomfortable in their own pelts? Fennore may well have been, but he could not imagine how this cloak of hers could make her feel any more at ease. It seemed to him a constricting sort of social norm. But then, a norm he too attempted to embrace. Why else would he bother wearing pants to their lessons?

Where Fennore’s garment failed in subterfuge it still told him volumes about how uncomfortable she was with what she was trying to hide. All the more reason not to bring attention to it, even as his nose treacherously continued to pick up those meagerly veiled signs.

Don’t call attention to it. Last time, intoxicating as it was, ended with her leaving.

He wasn’t sure what recent developments would mean for the here and now, and remained unsure whether an experiment was warranted.

Even so, her praise brought a smile to his face. His hyper focus on consideration for her state may have worn on his normally reserved self-expression. He could even surpass her other student? To be fair, said student was Wither, who surely was someone not all that diligent with her studies. Or, from Bellad’s bias, diligent with much anything. Despite that, he could see it too. In his head the symbols made sounds now and could almost be tied together reliably. Still just individual words – shrapnel of meaning as opposed to a well-measured weave. But he would surely get there.

“I am honored.” His voice still carried the same solemn respect for the art of the written word as it had before. It was still tied closely to the elders of his vanished tribe. It was their realm she led him towards by hand. It was their art that she bestowed on him.

Having gained summary of his work so far, he placed his hands on the edge of the desk, signifying an intention to stand up. They’ve had their opportunity to work out a semi-verbal routine to their lessons, formal requests to pause and take a break replaced by half a word and a slight gesture. She did not seem to object, and so he stood up to stretch his legs. His clothes felt weirdly uncomfortable. Fabric wasn’t beyond making him itch every now and again, but this time the sense of discomfort seemed more focused.

‘Oh, Myriad…’

Though not apparent when he was seated, now that he stood and straightened up, it was clear that something filled out his only article of clothing from underneath. In the span of a few seconds of breathless shock, Bellad whipped around to hide his body’s defiant if entirely natural reaction from Fennore’s eyes. This had to be the clumsiest attempt to hide the obvious since the time he’d dipped his fingers in one of his teachers’ honeycombs and tried to hide his hands, sticky with honey, behind his back.

“M… my apologies.” He mouthed, feeling his face heat up.

Alright. If he could just stand like this for a bit, it would go down and he could pretend nothing happened. But he already apologized. But it was going to be out of sight and out of mind any second now! And then it would surely subside. Except maybe not with her smelling like this right behind him. And not with the pants rubbing against him. Maybe if he pulled the damnable things off? No, out of the question!

Stuck in a loop, occasionally stealing a glance down and not daring to make a move, he stood frozen, despite feeling like he’d burn up with embarrassment any instance.
[Image: pretty-flowers-hi.png]His smile, simple and innocent, still sent shivers down her spine, and the Councilor quickly turned away before he could deduct as much. Fennore prided herself on her steely demeanor, giving away nothing, but here, everything was laid out in the open. Nothing was hidden, much as she desperately and futilely tried to change that.

He made the motion, and she obliged, ignoring the strange relief that their lesson had come to its natural end. What now? Usually they would sit and talk for some time after, very well going into the evening if they did not manage their time, but circumstances were different this time around. Linger for too long, and a repeat of the past was bound to happen —

The sudden movements surprised her, and a little gasp escaped her as Bellad made quite a racket and pointedly turned away from her. Had he... slipped? No, there was no way for something like that to occur; his outburst had been deliberate, or at the very least reactionary, but to what?

"Bellad?" She couldn't see his face nor the cause of his affliction, but she carefully placed a hand on his shoulder.

"Whatever is the..." And then she trailed off when she just barely could peer over his shoulder for what he so fiercely tried to hide, and the pieces of the puzzle seemed to fall into place.

It was her. She was the matter.

Guiltily, she withdrew her paw and stepped away, giving the man (and herself) some much-needed space. She had barely even seen it, but her mind filled in the blanks and ran rampant; there was another flush of warmth and heat through her body, and it only made her clutch the cloak ever closer, as if it could somehow suppress those feelings.

The fact she had that sort of affect on him did not help matters.

"No, I — I am sorry." It was quite unlike her to stutter, but the words were jumbled together in her brain. "These lessons, I... should have waited to resume them until after my... condition had passed."

To speak of it so clinically and detachedly didn't make it any better. But it really had been a rash idea. If she had thought with her head and not her... well. That, then none of this would've probably happened at all.

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Ooc [+484]
The touch of her hand on his shoulder was fleeting. To his credit, he was not so jittery as to twitch or recoil from it as though it was a branding iron. He only turned his head to look at her hand on his shoulder, to notice her peeking over, to no small sense of embarrassment as she quickly answered her own budding question. Fennore had no flaws with her perception. It was unsurprising that she would see through his feeble attempt at hiding. Maybe next time he could borrow a cloak like hers.

Their roles shifted and the mantle of the apologetic moved over to her. It would have been amusing to hear her stutter much like he had, but this was not the time or the place. Not in his opinion either way.

He saw the cloak compress slightly around her as she clutched it, having observed, half-facing her, for a time. “Condition” she called it. He was not above such terms himself, though he would scarcely use them to describe what she was feeling. Even though he was not the most forward in these matters, even in his tribe where there was little shame regarding all that stemmed from one’s nature. Carnal passions included.

He finally turned to face her, marking an end to his attempts to obfuscate his own natural reaction. True to his suspicions, even a solid minute of facing away from her did absolutely nothing to relieve him. Or her for that matter. Much as he had to show his hands, sticky with nabbed honey, to his teacher, so too did he stand before Fennore. Thoroughly embarrassed, but also grown up and with more thoughts to devote to the matter.

She called him here. She didn’t hide. There was no door between them, no wall. He realized, in hindsight, that he was truly grateful to have been admitted to their lessons even in this awkward period. But the way they stood across from one another now, both with but meager trappings of civilization to hide their nature’s call made him think.

This was no doubt his cue to respond to her apology somehow. Perhaps to take the mantle back, excuse himself and leave, and let her shut the door behind him again. But after what felt like an uncomfortable silence filled with his contemplative glance at the cloaked Moonwraith, he finally spoke.

“Is it really bad…?” His tone was soft, but no longer held a stutter, even if it felt a little like he was testing his own voice for this. “Like before?”

He was never a bold one. Last time anything close to what swirled in his head right now had manifested, he had to be goaded into it. Vexed until he lost all semblance of control. He was never that bold, and yet, despite himself, he asked her: “Do you… wish me to help relieve it?”

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