Fort Weyr - Bathing Caverns
A high, domed ceiling stretches far overhead, voices echoing in the distance. Warm, moist air fills the room, coming from the variety of pools scattered about. Vines have been planted in baskets and grow up the walls, thriving in the soft artificial light provided by glows placed at random intervals about the room.

No, Hazelon isn't naked. But it isn't immediately apparent that he isn't as he is standing in the corner pool, scrub brush in his hand. The water stands right at hip level, and when he bends down the water comes up to his chest that is bare. All of his cleaning supplies (whatever those are on Pern…) are stacked nearby.

So people come in here to do other things than be naked and bathe? Who knew! Rayathess does. He's not hear to bathe either. He's here to ruin someone's day (clothed, thank you) and it won't take him long to puzzle out where Hazelon has been scheduled for work. Of course it had to be here, but there are worse places the youth could be. Mercifully, the bathing caverns are relatively empty too and the few who are using it don't seem too upset that Rayathess is tromping through completely dressed. At least he's clean and so are the boots he wears? His steps will slow as he nears that corner pool and while he won't stare directly at Hazelon, he'll still try to briefly meet eye contact. "Have a moment?" Who needs greetings? Because… this is awkward enough as it is.

Someone has to clean the pools at some point! Otherwise bathing would be more like add-to-the-human-sludge-stew-ing. Hazelon scrubs hard at the side of the pool, the picture of industry until a voice, a very specific voice, sings out. The eye contact is made before a wide scowl rips itself across Hazelon's face. "I've got work to do." A ready made excuse, and Hazelon will hold up the scrub brush as if that will explain why, really, he cannot be talking at this moment.

Rayathess doesn't quite sing out, as that would just be strange beyond strange if he decided to break into song… in the bathing caverns. Harper he may be, but for one of his Craft, he sings quite rarely. No, he's here on a specific mission and no, the title of it is not "Operation: Make Hazelon's day even worse!". Actually — it might be. "I can see that," he replies dryly and without much masking of the sarcasm in his voice. He'll ignore the scowl and the not so subtle hint to scram. "And I won't interrupt you for long." Since his work is oh-so important! Too bad, Rayathess is going to talk and Hazelon will just have to deal with it or give him the silent treatment until he storms off. Which won't solve anything because he'll just be back again later or another day. Or the day after that. "I've a favour to ask of you. That's all." Yeah, right.

Hazelon does consider the silent treatment. There is plenty of water, he could even duck under right when Raya starts talking and avoid hearing a single word till the senior apprentice gets the clue. But he arrives at the same conclusion- blowing him off now would simply mean that he would be back at a more awkward time. Instead he'll sigh and attack the side of the pool with renewed vigor, eyes firmly not on Raya. "What?" It comes out gruff.

Rayathess pointedly doesn't look at Hazelon either, his green eyes scanning the caverns instead and making sure the few souls within it are keeping to their own business. Since standing at the side of the pool is awkward enough, he'll crouch down and lower his voice. Whatever it is he wants to say, it's apparently not something he wants overheard too easily by anyone other than Hazelon. "I've a project on my hands. I'm documenting everything there is about Laris. His past, the camps, his victims, the survivors… everything." Meaning Hazelon is involved in this too. Does he not get a say? "I'm going to need help. Especially when I have to go find the others… outside the Weyr." Crypticness for 'hunting for holdless' or… a specific holdless woman in this case. "You're the only one I know of who I can bring with me that they'd trust… at least enough not to hide the moment we ride in…" Rayathess goes abruptly quiet then, realizing he's not only rambled on but probably overwhelmed the poor youth. So he just goes silent and stares with a quirked brow. Well?

Scrub. Scrub. Scrub. Hazelon keeps up his work right until Rayathess says 'Laris.' There is a marked pause in the scrubbing before Hazelon forces himself to restart. "Why dig up all that nonsense? Its better leavin' it in the past with all the dead."

At least all that scrubbing will mask their conversation somewhat? Rayathess smirks and shakes his head, "I'm digging it up so that there's proper record of all that "nonsense" and so it doesn't happen again. So folks can learn and know what it was like, so that others won't suffer similar fates. So history doesn't repeat itself…" he mutters and then waits again in silence for Hazelon's reply. It's a noble enough cause, isn't it?

"Or repeat it because they know what mistakes he made and can just not be makin' them again." Hazelon points this out with his own impeccable logic. "What makes ye think they won't be runnin' from ye especially?" His words are quiet , just barely loud enough to be heard. The dagger is meant to hurt, if Rayathess catches it.

Rayathess blinks for a moment at the logic tossed back at him from the young teen and has to mull over it for a second. "It's not that simple," he mutters. Or is it? "There should still be a complete record of the whole history. Just not the one side of things, from the few reports from the Holds and Weyrs…" Next comes the verbal dagger and it hits home. Rayathess' expression hardens, anger and guilt and hurt rising swift to the surface before he can regain control of himself. Scowling, his next words are cold and flat. "Because the one I'm looking to meet is an old friend of mine." Or was. Details! He's… warping them. "She will speak with me and for the others." Maybe. "But I'd be a fool still to go in alone. You remember Lyreh, don't you?"

“Somethin’s ain’t needin’ to be recorded.” Hazelon will slip in with a quiet mutter. When he brings up that particular name Hazelon flinches. ‘And If you’re lookin’ for her, mayhap it isn’t me what is the suspicious one.” Hazelon’s tone matches Rayathess’ as it lays out the coolness. The scrub brush is applied more vigorously to the side of the pool than is probably strictly necessary. “You’ll be courtin’ more trouble than some scribblin’ is worth seekin’ that one out.”

“It does need to be recorded,” Rayathess continues to hold stubbornly to his ideals, though he keeps his voice just above a terse and hissed whisper. His eyes narrow, “My motives aren’t suspicious. She’s not renegade, she is holdless and perhaps I am courting trouble but I know Lyreh and I know she would mean no harm.” Famous last words? “It is worth it! I won’t sit idly by and watch as history allows most of Laris’ tale to fade into mystery. Even if my “scribblings” prove worthless and ignorance allows for it to be repeated… at least I tried. And I, for one, am tired of skulking about day by day with so much withheld.” Rayathess exhales, frustration evident in both the look he gives Hazelon and the tense smirk to his lips. “So are you coming with me?”

Hazelon considers spitting at Rayathess’ feet, perhaps to show his disdain for the idea. But then it occurs to him that he’ll just have to clean the mess up and holds back. “Holdless, renegade. There ain’t much difference is there? If you were thinkin’ different you wouldn’t be askin’ if I could be comin’ along.” His scrubbing continues, face down and away from the apprentice. The expression on his face is dead cold. “What am I gettin’ from goin’ with you?” He puts one last gruff question in, punctuating it with a vigorous scrub. “Headwoman ain’t gonna like me scamperin’ away when theres work to be done.”

It would not have ended well if Hazelon had spat at Rayathess’ feet. The youth may have found himself dunked under the water and held there for long enough that he could ponder over his erroneous behavior. Since it never comes to be, Rayathess just remains crouched where he is, his narrowed eyes still locked on Hazelon. He grimaces, “There’s a difference! Most holdless don’t have a choice.” Others do, but he’s not here to argue this back and forth endlessly between them. “I’m asking you because of all the folk I know, you’d be the better option.” How… nice? He shrugs, “I’ll deal with Headwoman Talica. As for your “payment”…” He pauses there and frowns. Would Hazelon even want marks? What could Rayathess possibly barter that would be of significant value to the young teen? Freedom? No, that wouldn’t work. Something clicks in his mind and he mulls over it. Should he…? There’s a long, pregnant silence and then he sighs, as if his choice weighs heavily on his shoulders. “If you come with me for this, I’ll keep your name off the records and documents. If I must refer to you, I’ll… figure out a way around it. Would that be acceptable?”

As interesting as that interlude would have been… Hazelon finally looks up. The scowl remains on his face, and thus give no clue to the thoughts behind his eyes. “You’ll get my past erased.” Flatly, not a question, a statement. “So as I’ve nothin’ connectin’ me to those camps any more,” he pauses, then looks down at the brush in his hands. “I want out of the weyr. To Stonehaven.” He throws the payment out, the words carelessly left at Rayathess’ feet to be taken or not. “If you could be doin those two things I’ll be watchin’ your back even if it means mine be broken.”

Rayathess’ mouth draws back into a tense and grim line. Clearly, he does not wish to erase Hazelon’s past or keep it withheld from his research, but it was all he had to barter with and in his head, this will pay off more than if he were to not make the offer. There’s a curt nod, “It’ll be done.” he mutters about severing connections. The other half, however, has him scowling again and bristling. Stonehaven. “Why? Of all the holds to choose, why Stonehaven?” he asks in a flat tone again before he relaxes. Just enough that he no longer seems on the defensive. “I’ll have to see what my brother says to it, since he is holder and I cannot speak for him. Nor can I go to him without… more to your request.” So evading his earlier questions is not an option.

At this Hazelon finally puts down his brush on the side of the pool, and looks upwards into Rayathess’ eyes. “I’ve my reasons, and you’ll be keepin’ them to yourself. One, it’s the one place that you could be reasonably be sendin’ me with no past.” One wet hand is raised and run though that overly thick hair, Hazelon almost completely still. “You know’ who my parents were. Stonehaven… that’s on me seein’ as they’re gone and I’m still around. Figure… I owe it. Not You.” He’ll add this quickly, layering the scowl. “You and me, we’re done with this’s over. But.. Mayhap your brother.”

“You’ve my word.” Rayathess promises and will leave it to Hazelon to decide whether or not it’s enough to trust that the young man will keep his silence. The young teen should already know that Ezra will likely hear of it… more or less. He frowns heavily, peering closer at him. Does he know his parents? Or enough to know that they were exiled… and that is condemning enough? Rayathess starts, flinching when Hazelon bluntly states that his debt is to Ezra and not to him. So much for thanks? “Fine. I’ll speak to him and see what can be arranged. What’re you looking to offer him? Just a hired worker? Jack of all trades?” he drawls with a smirk and then shakes his head, chuckling dryly to himself though devoid of much humor. “Shells… you’re like Laurali, you know? Both looking to make amends for things that were not YOUR fault.”

Hazelon isn’t about to clue in Rayathess if he doesn’t know- the inferences the young man can make are enough. “Mayhap But we were there. And mayhap we could have done something more than be cowerin’ and tryin’ to keep our own skins in once place. One like you,” He shakes his head and reaches out to grab the brush. “… never mind. You did do somethin’ didn’t you?” Judgment is passed, and Hazelon turns back to his work with renewed vigor, perhaps to show the apprentice that the teenager has no desire to continue this conversation any further.

“You were children,” Rayathess points out, his expression grim and lacking any judgement. If anything, he’s looking to Hazelon with something close to a flickering moment of pity before it’s replaced by cold neutrality and then a spark of guilt and old, old hurt. Wounds that have never healed right and never will. “I had to do something…” he begins to mutter in his defence, only to sigh in frustration and a hint of anger. What use is it, if Hazelon’s already passed judgement on him? “I’ll speak to my brother as soon as I possibly can. Is there a way I can find you?” That doesn’t involve Rayathess skulking about and having to puzzle out whatever trail the young teen has left?

A particularly stubborn bit on the bottom of the pool is scrubbed at, and when it doesn’t come off Hazelon reaches out to grab a small pick made for just this purpose. He’ll pick at the bit till it comes free. “We were old enough to be doin’ what needed to be done to survive.” Hazelon counters, clearly not at all ready to be absolved of the old gut wrenching guilt. “I’m around.” In other words, Hazelon isn’t about to make this easy on Rayathess.

Rayathess’ eyes will dart to that pick when Hazelon reaches for it. Not that it poses any threat at all! The youth’s countering only has him shaking his head and not out of frustration. HIs expression is almost sad now, but he won’t push at Hazelon any further today — at least with that issue. “Are you always this sharding stubborn and difficult?” he growls, his weight already shifting as he prepares to stand… or he could be doing it to keep his legs from falling asleep in the crouched position he’s in.

“No, sir,” Hazelon’s voice has slipped away from the harshness which it holds just for Rayathess, back into the bland amiability which he shows to the weyr at large. When he lifts his face up to Raya’s it is bland and completely unoffensive. No heat or bitterness remains; rather, Hazelon manages to sound slightly simple, as if there is little thought behind those dark eyes. “Are you needin’ anythin’ else?” A slightly raised eyebrow gives a hint to the lie, and Hazelon throws in one last, “Sir.” Just to drive the point home.

Narrowing his eyes, Rayathess just stares coldly at Hazelon for a few tense seconds when the young teen draws that mask on in front of him. He knows it’s a lie, a ruse and meant to get under his skin and it does but he’s baffled as to why. “Drop the act, Hazelon.” he mutters under his breath, not at all impressed by his behavior. Finally, he pushes to his feet and continues to stare down at him, his expression now difficult to read. “We’ve agreed on the terms then?” He’ll wait on confirmation before nodding his head briskly. “Then I’ll be coming to find you again soon.” And the next time they cross paths, Hazelon best be ready to follow him, as Rayathess will no doubt be ready to travel then and there and will not have much tolerance for any mind games.

“Aye. Be bringin’ me a bow. If you’re gonna be takin’ us out into that tunnelsnake nest…” Hazelon has well and truly dropped the act, and sarcasm drips from his lips, though his efficient scrubbing doesn’t pause for a second. The work ethic is real, it’s just the surface facade that Hazelon hides in plain sight under. His attention is turned completely away from the apprentice, and if he speaks again, Hazelon isn’t about to respond.

“Bring a bow if you must, but I’m telling you, we’ll be in no danger from Lyreh!” Rayathess states again in a tone that is clipped and curt. He’s had enough and he can feel his temper beginning to fray. Time to leave and with Hazelon focusing back on his work, he will linger only for a few more seconds as he stares at the young teen before snorting, muttering some curse or oath under his breath and turning on his heel to stalk back out of the bathing caverns. He needs a drink… and then he has to return to Harper Hall. He has work to do and his brother to contact and… a holdless woman to find.

“If there’s no danger, you wouldn’t be wantin’ me along would you?” Hazelon slips the quiet phrase in once Rayathess is gone.