The Thantir Two was rather quiet. Quieter than normal. The three captains of the ship had demanded that everyone remain calm for an undetermined about of time, while they did some sensitive work. Whatever work that was, no one was sure, but the three Decaylings on board didn’t mind too much, as this gave them some time to themselves. Time that was being spent in the observatory, just gazing out into the stars.
But there was a weird mood between the three Decaylings, something that none of them could bring themselves to talk about. At least, not at first. It wasn’t until the smallest Decayling got up and left the room that the other two started talking.
“So, Retvik…” Litvir muttered, lowering his voice to hide his worries more than anything else. “Are you and your partner Gath still together?”
Retvik’s response was slow at first. An initial, rather scary glare dissolved into an annoyed, defeated sigh.
“You are no longer together?”
“Correct. Not by choice.”
Litvir shifted forward in his seat, looking more directly at Retvik. The combination of hiss empath abilities and just how defeated that sigh was clued Litvir in to how little a threat Retvik currently was.
“That is… surprising.”
“How so?” Retvik tutted. “After all that has happened, you somehow expect me to still be with Gath?”
Litvir simply shrugged. “Well, up until the universe blew up, yes. What happened? What caused you both to separate?”
Retvik grunted, leaning back in his chair, his mood souring. “When Kenon took over, he mind-controlled the majority of Rethavok. Gath included.”
“He moved on. Found someone else. I do not want to talk about what happened to me.”
Litvir smiled, regaining some of his confidence. “Good, because I do not want to either. I want to ask you something else. Are you lonely?”
Retvik eyed Litvir cautiously. “How do you mean?”
“I will answer that for you. You are restless and lonely. You want, to put it in friendlier terms, meat. And you are not alone in that regard. While most of the emotions I have sensed while becoming a Decayling have been those of fear and confusion, your emotions stand out like a lighthouse at the beach.”
Retvik continued to stare at Litvir, slowly working out what the sly Decayling was on about. “I would appreciate it if you did not broadcast my occasional bouts of sexual desire to the entirety of this ship.”
“That is why I am bringing this up. Because I have a solution to your problem.”
“Is it you?”
“Yes, yes it is.”
With a long, drawn out sigh, Retvik’s stares turned into vaguely annoyed glares. But the hint of anger didn’t last very long. The Flamebearer’s eyes darted away, towards the entrance of the room, where Arkadin was standing very quietly, holding a plate of cookies.
“Sorry, Arkay, I did not know you were there.”
“It’s fine…” Arkadin wandered in, still carrying the cookies. He sat down in the free seat opposite both Retvik and Litvir. “I brought food.”
Litvir fell silent. While he had no real reason to fear Retvik, Arkadin was a far more complicated being. To the point that he couldn’t pick up on Arkadin’s emotions right now. Retvik however decided to directly point out what everyone was thinking.
“You were listening in to our conversation, yes?”
“Yeah. Heard every word. If you and Litvir want to have sex, go ahead, I don’t really care.”
“You… do not care?” Litvir stuttered.
Litvir straightened himself out, no longer feeling any of his own fear, but still unable to determine Arkadin’s emotions. “Is there some sort of trap or catch here or something? Is something going on between you and Retvik?”
Arkadin tutted. “Supposedly. But I’m dragging my heels and Retvik shouldn’t be tied to someone like me.”
“If you say so…” Litvir frowned, leaning closer to Arkadin. “But please do answer this for me: how are you feeling right now? Because I genuinely cannot tell.”
“You want to know?”
“Yes. After all, the three of us are supposed to all be in this together…”
Arkadin smiled, ever so slightly. “You really want to know?”
“Well, it turns out that, sometimes, I want meat too. I’m just not ready for it yet. Until I am, you two might as well have some fun, and I’ll join in later.”
Litvir gasped, nearly falling backwards, not at all expecting that sort of answer. Retvik however just rolled his eyes.
“Arkadin, you are such a pain in the butt. Can we get back to working on our little secret activity please?”
“Yeah sure,” Arkadin grinned. “But my offer still stands. After all, we all have needs…”