Fort Weyr - Bathing Cavern

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. A look around reveals:

Everyone has to wash at some point, it's only polite. As the opposite would be not bathing, and causing people to pass out as you walk by could certainly be considered rude. Not that this is an issue for Kairhys who's up bright and early, long before sane people would even have roused themselves from their dreams to sneak off to the bathing cavern. Yawning, he strips himself from his sleep pants and t-shirt, skivvies the last to be removed before he folds up everything nice and neat and puts his towel on top. Satisfied with this, he turns towards the steamy pools and the cavern's accompanying haze and blinks a few times before shuffling off to find himself a place to wash. He's not at least so asleep that he trips and falls in, but there are a few close calls before he does indeed step into one and hissing, carefully lowers himself up to his neck.

Head tipped back, eyes closed and hair, quite soaked, Mharen's similarly submerged at the other end of the weaver's chosen pool. Judging by her expression, she's all but fallen asleep, lulled by the soothing warmth, the steam and the relative silence. Unfortunately, Kairhys' nearby hiss elicits a sudden tensing of frame, and green-gray eyes slit open a fraction. There's a bit of a displeased groan before the woman's eyes shut again; perhaps if she ignores him, he'll go away and her solitude will be restored.

It's likely the displeasured groan of the guardswoman that has Kairhys suddenly aware of the fact that in the relatively empty bathing cavern at this ridiculous hour, he's still managed to find the one pool with someone actually in it. "Coming off shift or going on?" he asks, stiffing another yawn with the back of one wet hand lifted from the coma inducing water. If Mharen had hoped to scare off the weaver, well, apparently it takes more than effort than given thus far to chase the boy off. It might even be a miracle that he remembered who the woman was in the first place, especially half asleep as he is. Brown eyes hooded, he leans back against the lip of the pool, hooking elbows there.

Brow furrowing, Mharen re-opens first one eye, then the other. Try as she might to wish him away, Kairhys is still here. Worse, he's talking. "Off, " grumbles she at last, pulling her hands from the water to inspect the now-wrinkly pads of her fingers. "You're the kid from the lake, " she remembers, tilting her chin slightly to eye the fluffy towel next to her clothing speculatively. "What are you doing up so late? Or is it early, now."

Kairhys ah's softly and nods, seeming content with that as his eyes slide closed. No, he wasn't going anywhere, but it did appear in that second that he was at least done with the niceties and was going to be quiet. That is, until Mharen speaks again, and the boy chuckles, "Kairhys. Yes. And you are Mharen." Does he get points for remembering her name? Unlikely, but at least he's smiling about it. Eyes still closed, the weaver listens as silence comes, some tension in his shoulders lessening before once again the woman is talking. Brown hued slits peek past the boy's dark lashes for a second before his grin widens and he eases himself back completely. "I am an apprentice. The Journeyman I'm assigned to likes to be up /before/ the crack of dawn. He expects me to be bathed, dressed in clean neat clothes and ready to listen to him drone on and on about the complexities of advanced dye." He chuckles at this.

Mharen tugs her towel closer to the edge of the pool, sacrificing some modesty in favor of not having to take several steps forward once she's out of the water. "Kairhys, " the guard repeats, alto gravelly from being in that twilight phase between wakefulness and sleep. While he explains his journeyman's specific requirements, she takes that opportunity to haul herself out of the bathwater, quickly wrapping her towel around her. "Quite like weyrlinghood, then, according to my brother. Up early, at the mercy of your superiors and trying to learn something while in a half-asleep stupor. Of course, that also reminds me of my first turn as a guard, " she adds wryly, dropping her towel after a bit to pull her long nightshirt over her head in a quick series of movements.

So what if the weaver takes a peek when Mharen sacrifices her modesty there, brows lifting some before he sinks a bit lower with a fraction of a smirk drawing up one side of his mouth. Of course that does not mean that Kairhys doesn't look just a tiny bit disappointed that she gets so quickly out and covered. Or perhaps it's the loss of potential company. "I wouldn't know anything about weyrlinghood. Family is holdbred back as many generations as we can remember, and not a single dragonrider among us." he says easily enough, rolling off him like water off the proverbial water avian's back. He's not even bothering to try and check out the woman's naked body anymore, having pulled himself up onto the lip and is now scrubbing at lean limbs and clearly defined muscle. Kid works out. "Or being a guard for that matter….leaving already?" he asks, now looking at her full out with no restraint, but she did have her nightshirt on now. Nothing to see, and yet his interest remains. "And here I was hoping for a little company before the drudgery of the rest of the day."

"He's the only one in our family who actually accepted Search and had something come of it, " Mharen rejoins as she finishes toweling off her hair briskly. "Our parents are disappointed that we 'ran off to the Weyr to make nothing of ourselves, '" she quotes, sarcastic. "The closest I ever got to the experience was doing the chores, cobbling together the white robe, all of that. H'drian was the one of us who's meant to ride, I suppose." An eyebrow lifts, followed swiftly by a barking laugh for his inquiry. "It's past my bedtime. Didn't your mother ever tell you that you'd turn into a gourd or some other kind of vegetable if you didn't end your day when you were told to?" Twisting the towel and her hair together atop her head, she picks up the rest of her clothes, stuffing them unceremoniously under an arm. "I'm sure you'll have company soon enough. Some of the headwoman's assistants bathe early."

Kairhys has finished scrubbing at himself and his hair, sliding back into the pool to rinse himself clean. He probably missed some part in the middle there but not not more than a few words. "None of us have been search. Like, ever." he chuckles, perhaps even long enough for her bark to mingle with his lighter and more carefree laughter. Though at her following question the weaver contemplates a moment before he shrugs broad shoulders and shakes his head, grinning up at the woman from his position of still in the pool. "Hmmm, no. She pretty much let us go to sleep when we wanted, course, she also woke us up early regardless of what time we finally closed our eyes. We learned pretty quick to go to sleep at a decent hour, and she saved herself a whole lot of headaches. Smart woman, my mother." He beams with pride, though a sly sort of look feathers over his features subtly. "Well I was hoping for conversation but I suppose I could work on something…with less talking." he grins, leaning back against the side of the pool again. "Thanks for the tip." A wink is sent the guardwoman's way.

Mharen steadfastly ignores the weaver's wink, rolling her eyes as she stalks past him to head for the entrance. "Good night, apprentice weaver Kairhys, " floats back firmly over her shoulder. Something with less talking, indeed.

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.