Likely explicit sexual content and emotional first times
December 11, Y110
tag; @Asra Alnazar
tag; @Asra Alnazar
It was all he could do to stare on in mute horror as his hands turned to dust, particles glittering like fine crystals as he scattered to the wind.
G'raha's heart beat wildly in his chest as his eyes snapped open, a shaky, audible breath drawn sharply in. Instinctively, he reached out, hand groping blindly at the space behind him, but he found only rumpled sheets and blankets, long since gone cool from the lack of a body to warm them. He squeezed his eyes shut, unable to escape that sensation of his skin prickling, even where there was no longer any skin to carry such things. His fingers curled against the blankets, clutching them, dragging them close as his tail flicked anxiously over the side of the bed. He squeezed his eyes shut, blocking out the sight of the unfamiliar shapes forming in the wood grain, the way they seemed to shift before his very eyes.
He focused instead on the feel of warm cotton against his skin, the press of the mattress beneath him as he dragged his legs up, toes pressing firmly in. Everything that was real and physical and solid against him. He released that shaky breath, eyes fluttering slowly open as he felt a new weight on his chest. And he found Faust there, an almost comforting weight as she slithered closer, head curling upside-down. There was a question there, a soft brush to his mind that he'd long since grown used to.
G'raha breathed a little easier, letting his muscles slowly relax as he tugged a hand free from the blankets to gently place over her. "Only a bad dream," he assured her, brushing past that lingering unease. G'raha slowly pushed himself up, a quiet protest from Faust as she was forced to abandon her perch on his chest. "Asra's still out?" he asked, even as he looked around the room. Though he needn't have asked. Asra hadn't been there the moment he'd stirred, after all.
G'raha vaguely remembered his love saying he was stepping out for...something. Though he'd been half asleep at the time and the sun still high in the sky. He had slept from nearly the moment they had first arrived in Horizon, two strangers exhausted from their journey from a rickety inn on a little-used road in the Wastes to something akin to civilization with warmth, nourishing food, clothing that wasn't just spares of Asra's that actually fit G'raha, not to mention shoes. And, more importantly, a doctor to make sure he was physically okay after being separated from his body for so long.
Horizon had provided all those things, and all they had asked in exchange was for the travelers to contribute to the Community for as long as they intended to stay here.
And so far, G'raha had only slept. Exhausted and weakened, passing out in Asra's arms nearly the moment they had finally found themselves in their borrowed apartment. That had been days ago and he was gaining his strength, little by little. Enough to make it from the bedroom to the couch or a window just for the change of scenery. And then until he felt strong enough to not feel winded after a few steps and actually explored their apartment, small as it was.
His ears dipped a bit as he shifted, throwing his legs off the side of the bed, the silence, the stillness pressing in around him. His skin prickled and G'raha wrapped his arms around himself, fingers pressing against crystal and skin alike. And still he felt unsteady. Unsteady and out of touch, as his tail flicked anxiously at his side.
G'raha pulled himself out of bed and reached out for the garment thrown haphazardly over the nearby chair -- the woven poncho Asra had given him -- and tugged it on. It was the very same one the magician had draped over his shoulders that night they had first met. And perhaps just the fact he was still in his night clothes -- loose cotton pants and a cream-colored shirt that was just a touch too big for him -- while slipping his feet into his boots was telling enough.
He glanced up, a tired smile on his lips as he caught Faust there, curling over his shoulders, tongue flicking out in question. "I just need a breath of fresh air," he explained, plucking up the strip of leather from the bedside table. He feared he didn't have the coordination to properly braid his hair, so he merely gathered those red and white tresses back, tying it off in a low ponytail at the base of his neck instead.
"It's long overdue, wouldn't you say?" he said lightly, extending his arm back down to the table, letting Faust wind down it and off of G'raha. "I won't be long, nor will I go far. Would you let Asra know if he comes looking?" The last thing he wanted to do was cause Asra any more worry. Nor could G'raha stay bedridden when they owed so much to their gracious hosts. And more than anything, was that strangely hollow sensation in his gut. The way if he let his thoughts wander back towards those strange memories -- more of impressions really -- that he curled his fingers tightly, the two crystalline fingers of his otherwise flesh and blood hand pressing into his palm.
A reminder he was here. A reminder that he was still solid.
G'raha opened the apartment door and found himself breathing in the chilly night air. And there, illuminated in the glow of the walkway's lamps, G'raha found the gently falling snow. His eyes widened a moment, that wondrous sight calling back to times near forgotten, in another world, another life entirely. And his smile only grew as he gently shut the door behind him and set out along the walkway along the Canopy Grove Apartments. Snow dusted the steps, though there was a layer of salt somebody had set down at some point as well. It crunched quietly with each step, a strangely calming sound in the quiet of the night.
And as he had promised Faust, G'raha did not go far. Merely to the end of the path, one hand resting along the railing that separated the apartment walkway from the drop down into the Oasis below. The space opened up from there as he passed the last apartment, G'raha already feeling short of breath. Though whatever frustration he might have felt at his own frailty, temporary as it was, gave way to relief as he found the little patio that somebody had setup here. Potted plants collected snow on their leaves, adding a bit of greenery and life even outside of the oasis below. A bench was situated beside one such plant, overlooking the area. And yet G'raha went to the railing instead, tail swaying easily behind him as he folded his arms against it, eyes drifting upwards to where the moon peeked out from beneath the clouds above.
It was quiet out here. Quiet and still, but here and now, with snow collecting along his furry ears, catching in his red locks as his cheeks grew flush with the chill of the air, he felt so much more alive. And for a quiet, peaceful moment, G'raha felt no need to remind himself that he was really here.