Xanadu Weyr - Hot Springs
The warmth that flows from this cavern is almost overwhelming for some, the steam rising from the shimmering pools as thick as the morning fog that rolls in off the ocean. Numerous pools are scattered here and there with ribboned walls that are natural in their construction. The water has a somewhat green cast to it, but it is merely a reflection from the ethereal light which is the glow down here that was so noticeable from the Lower Cavern Tunnel. People can often be found down here washing themselves or just relaxing.
Situated along the walls are various racks covered in fresh towels ready for those who step out of the warm waters. A set of shelves have been installed towards the back wall, allowing people a place to put their belongings while they rest in the pools, and despite the white color that these have been painted, they are cast with that eerie green glow. Then, it's obvious. The ceiling of this cavern is covered in the fluorescent phosphorous matter that glows are made off. The mossy substance almost glitters and appears quite lovely.
It's late afternoon in the bathing caverns. The weyrfolk are in the Caverns patiently (or not so patiently, in some cases) awaiting their turn to enter the caverns and bathe the sweat and fatigue from their work-weary bodies. The two-hour time allotted to the holderfolk to wash in privacy has come and gone, yet the entrance is solidly blocked by Hannistan women who are finished, but insisting there are some women still washing and until they are through and clothed, they will not allow any riders, male or otherwise into the area. Among them, Aeryn stands near the front. They're resolute, insisting someone will get hurt if they try to force their way in. And they mean it.
"I told him him what he proposed was simply not going to work." the voice that comes from within the bathing caverns is distinctly that of Izellah. "If he would have gone along with the original proposition it wouldn't have been a problem." In other words, if they'd been granted a longer stay they would have been in earlier and would be finished by now. In theory at least. "He's -your- WeyrSecond, blame him."
X'hil seems to have near forgotten about the bathing dispute, having sent Hisolda around to bang out the details. And so it is that he crosses the caverns, clad only in a pair of shorts, and with a towel thrown over one shoulder. Okay, so perhaps he remembered a /little/, and was looking to flaunt his relaxed rider lifestyle in front of the emerging hold ladies. Still, could be worse, he could be only wearing a towel, or nothing at all. When there are no emerging hold ladies, and in fact a long line of weyrfolk, he scowls, and makes his way to the head of the line. "Excuse me, coming through, do you want to bathe today or /not/?" he mutters to random weyrfolk as he pushes to the front of the line.
Working with records isn't exactly the sort of job that leaves one covered in sweat and grime, and that might be why Enkavir doesn't look particularly in need of the baths. But stand here he does, in linen pants that hang low on his hips and nothing else but a towel draped over one shoulder. He leans against the cool rock wall, arms crossed over his bare chest, but rather than look annoyed or scowly like the majority of those around him, he looks faintly amused. His eyes are shadowed as usual but there's a definite trace of a smirk tugging at the corners of his mouth as he pulls one outstretched foot inward and out of X'hil's way. "Ah, yes, Weyrsecond. Good luck sorting this one out, sir."
Aeryn stands demurely at the front on the group wearing a crisp, fresh yellow blouse and ruffly olive skirt, her long, tumbled hair hangs heavy and still-wet from her washing. For all that the recent bath has brought out the rosy-cheeked look most of them are wearing, one of hers is still sporting the purplish-to-yellow of a fading bruise. Her hands are clasped behind her back, in fact many of the women stand in the same fashion. She's openly flirting with some of the men, albeit silently with saucy winks and bold smiles. As X'hil pushes his way up, Aeryn's lip curls in an unpleasant sneer and her eyes flash, ready for battle and in anticipation of the war of wills to come.
"Are they -still- whining?" Izellah complains towards the women barring the entrance to the room in a way that seems to emanate that the longer people complain the longer things will take.
X'hil is actually fairly sweaty and sandy, Kinseth has been keeping him cooped up over at the sands again. He tends to stick to the galleries, but the heat and sand reaches even there. Still, it's quite plain that the man /is/ in need of a bath. He gives a nod to Enkavir as he passes, and notes, with a wry quirk of his lips, "Ah, thanks. I'll need all the luck I can /get/." Yep. It's going to be one of /those/ days. "You again." he mutters, having made it to the head of the line, scowling at Aeryn. /Scowl/. He scowls at the doorway too, at the sound of Izellah's voice from within. He really should make an effort to learn their names, it would make it /so/ much easier to write up special restrictions. "Think we kidnapped the wrong sharding lot." he mutters. "Probably /rejoicing/ back at the hold." He's hot and sweaty and has sand in places he'd rather not think about, so he's a little cranky today.
Enkavir pushes away from the rock wall he's been leaning on, easily sliding between bodies huddled to either side, until he's just a step behind and to the side of X'hil. He glances over Aeryn and her bold smiles, and his own lips slide into a crooked grin. Her sneer only deepens the curve of his mouth and he runs fingers through his messy hair. "Oh, this ought to be good," he mumbles just loudly enough to be audible. "That's not what I would call sweet talk, X'hil. Try being nice perhaps?"
Aeryn calls back over her shoulder towards Izellah in a cheery tone, "They complain, Lady." She narrows her eyes, returning X'hil's scowl before assuming an expression of boredom, sarcasm laces her voice, "So your sensibility returns. Told you you'd regret it," her tone makes an insult out of it, "Weyrsecond." As Enkavir moves up, she flashes him a quick, appreciative up-down lingering over his shirtless state, boldly ending on his eyes. Both approval and malice shine in the shadowed grey of her eyes. "Honey, he couldn't sweet-talk enough to get himself out of what he's jumped into." Her eyes reluctantly slide back to X'hil, "We'll send word when we are done. It may be awhile yet." Airily, unconcerned, she is.
There's whispers from within the caverns between the few Hannistan women that remain. The subtle splash of water that comes with a body moving is clear hint that at least one is still in the springs themselves. "Is that him?" Izellah questions, her amusement clear in her voice. "I told you what we required Weyrsecond. Its not my fault that weyrfolk have no patience."
X'hil turns his head and narrows his eyes at Enkavir. "Who's the weyrsecond here? Is it /you/? Didn't think so." Yep. Definitely cranky. "/You/ try being /nice/ after Faranth only knows /how/ long watching over sharding /eggs/. I'm hot, I'm sweaty, and I've got sand in places I didn't even know sand could /go/." Grrr. You do not stand between cranky stinky bronzerider and bath time, no you do not. The glare swings quickly back to Aeryn then. "If I /wanted/, I could sweet-talk any one of your fussy little holder women so hard we'd have /grandchildren/ before any of you noticed. But why would I /want/ to?" /Mean/ cranky stinky bronzerider. He scowls at the door, and shouts at the caverns, "Everybody /OUT/, if you ever want to bathe again!" Yes, he means it.
Enkavir doesn't flinch at Aeryn's bold glance, not even at the obvious malice that makes itself known amidst the more welcome tones in her dark grey eyes. One brow slowly lifts but he is otherwise still under her appraising once over. "If there were enough of them to take you from the Hold, certainly there would be enough to remove you bodily. I'm sure whoever remains in a delicate state wouldn't appreciate this whole lot of stinky weyrfolk barging in while they have little but water to assure their decency." He says it lightly, but then flashes a pointed look at X'hil. "Yes, /sir/" he adds a somehow less than complimentary tone to the title. "You are the Werysecond, and thank Faranth for that. I just want a bath and thought a more objective voice might be of use." Clearly not.
Aeryn's eyes continue to bore into X'hil's if he is man enough to look her way. Respectfully, over her shoulder to Izellah, "It is he, my Lady." Asking who the weyrsecond is indeed! Her tone changes, dripping with scorn as she addresses him, "You're so weak-minded it's pathetic. A real man wouldn't even go there." His next words just cause her to throw her head back, exposing the column of her white neck as the caverns echo with peals of her laughter, to which the others join in "You weaken yourself arguing with women. Not fit to lead." she flips a hand, as if dismissing him from his (in her mind) questionable ability to be weyrsecond. "And such a whiney, unappealing little man. Unlike your friend here," Grey eyes swing back Enkavir's way, one gold-brown eyebrow raising, awaiting an introduction.
"Don't you DARE step on foot in this room before I leave." Izellah challenges, "And I will leave when I'm good and ready. I've told you already, the longer you argue the longer its going to take." An angry and mean weyrsecond seems not to matter to the daughter of Hannista's Lord. All that matters is she has not ended her turn. "If you're that impatient I told you, go bath in the lake with the dragons like the uncouth, ill-tempered folk you are."
X'hil would, at any other time, welcome a level-headed person's input. But, unfortunately for Enkavir, right now, well, now is not one of those times. The logical part of his mind is screaming at him that Aeryn is just trying to work him up, make him /mad/, but he just… can't help it. Cranky stinky bronzerider does not have a good grip on his temper. For the moment, he's fighting it, fists clenching and unclenching, teeth grinding, but Aeryn's laughter is the final straw. He snorts once, like a bull getting ready to charge, and then steps /forwards/, reaching for Aeryn's arm to yank her out of the way, shoving her at Enkavir if he can grab her, with a growl of "Hold this." though his eye never leaves the door. That's his /next/ target. "You WILL come out of there if I have to DRAG you out MYSELF!" he shouts at the door. "And you can /forget/ about time aside for you and your precious holders. You'll bathe with the weyrfolk or /not at all/!" And he'll post guards to keep the doors open, if he has to.
Enkavir's mouth and eyes have settled into a vaguely arrogant expression at Aeryn's words and his slow to bloom smile finds its way to his lips. "Enkavir," he offers in a near purr that contrasts sharply with X'hil's strident tones that follow swiftly on the heels of his half-made introduction. Half-made because that is all he gets out before Aeryn is getting flung at him bodily as X'hil storms past, leaving Enkavir's brows to jump and his eyes to widen as he instinctively tries to catch the hold girl. "A pleasure to meet you, lass," he manages to quip even as anger flashes in his eyes and he ensures she's got her feet under her. "I would be terribly remiss if I let you get another one of those bruises, so perhaps it would be best if you stayed here with me for the moment? I confess I wouldn't mind."
Aeryn is poised for some sort of movement from X'hil's, but the object in her hands slows her down. And it spills, leaving a pool of slippery ooze under both her feet and X'hil's. His hand manages to find her arm and she is yanked off-balance, her feet slip and the holder gal finds herself in Enkavir's arms. She mutters, "Another time, another place, maybe." At the same moment Aeryn goes tumbling, all the women who are towards the front of the tunnel now reveal what they've been holding behind their backs. Wooden buckets full to the brim of dissolved sandsoap in double-strength, the contents of which are launched to sploosh over those awaiting their baths. Now they are wet, sticky with soapy stuff AND sweaty to boot. And soap has pooled the floor in slipperiness. Aeryn, who is still clinging to Enkavir for support gets it too as she is vainly trying to scrabble her feet under her in the slime, but it doesn't stop her from mockingly calling, "There ya go boys. Got your soap. Have a rinse-off in the lake."
From within there's much snickering, and certainly smirking as well though that remains unseen. "Serves you right," Izellah comments easily, though she's still, as of yet, not made her appearance from the bathing cavern. "Everything going well Aeryn?"
X'hil's eyes go wide as it sinks in, but he's too far gone now, he can't get out of the way. The sweaty sandy bronzerider slips, soon becoming a soapy sweaty sandy bronzerider, sitting on his rear, and scowling at the door. "That is /IT/! If you're so hot for lake bathing, /YOU/ can bathe there, because you're certainly not bathing in here. I don't care if you /do/ stink up the Weyr with your holder smells." Scowly scowl /glare/. He doesn't really try to get up though, just sitting there sprawled on the floor, with his arms folded across his chest, bare but for the sweat and sand and soap, /scowling/.
Enkavir has his hands literally full and can't quite dodge the wave of goo that comes sloshing toward him. Luckily for himself and Aeryn both he just withstood a sudsplosion a few bare sevendays ago, and so he's 'skilled' (read lucky) enough to widen his stance and shift his weight, and remain on his feet at least for the moment. "Shells woman, you could have warned me," he growls, trying to keep his hold on her arms even as the soap makes it nearly impossible. He aims to shift his grip to her waist, trying to keep her upright for no apparent reason, some hint of appreciation flashing in his eyes even beneath the scowl. He flicks a glance toward X'hil, feet slipping a bit as he struggles to keep his balance. "I don't think that shouting from the floor is going to convince them much, with all due respect." Yeah, he could get a fist in the nose for that, he doesn't seem to care. And then it's done, he slides one foot just wrong and with a thump he's down on his rear as well, wincing as he hits the stone floor while who knows what is happening to Aeryn.
Kire comes in from the Cavern where he was having some dinner before the Tunnelsnake Hunt. He blinks a little bit at what is going on, but he can't help himself as he starts to laugh as he sees X'hil and Enkavir, "Hello you two? What's going on here? Bath time gone awry?" He asks as he leans against the entrance to the bathing cavern. He smiles politely to the two girls, "Good day to both of you. I hope you two aren't being to hard on X'hil and Enkavir."
Aeryn isn't really all that happy about having her fresh-bathed clean self all soapy-wet, from the expression on her face, where she is still scrabbling to get away from Enkavir's helpful arms. She turns her head to smirk with glee at X'hil's predicament, and finds herself pulled down atop Enkavir as he falls, finding her face inches from his and noting the expression in them, "You've got to be shardin' kidding me! This is the worst timing…" This is hissed as her eyes sharpen, narrowing to a sharp annoyance. She's twisting to push off and away from his grip, her sopping hair, flapping and likely smacking him in the face. She's really too busy to note Kire's entrance, but manages a breathless, "Yes, Lady Izellah, but we'll need more time for me to re-bathe."
"Very well then," Izellah replies from within the still guarded bathing caverns. She did tell them the more they complained the longer it would take. Didn't she? "Perhaps you should put a bit of a rush on it though. The natives seem to be getting restless from the sound of it." That and its not her bath that's being rushed anyway.
And if X'hil could /reach/ Enkavir's nose right now, that's where his fist would be. Instead the bronzerider has to settle for a /scowl/. "I don't see /you/ doing any better." It's half growl, half invitation. "You there," he nods to a couple of men in line, still waiting to enter the bathing caverns. "Help me up." he orders, struggling to his feet on the very slippery floor. Once righted, he moves /very/ carefully back to the door, half leaning on it for support, and starts to pound on it. "OPEN UP!" he roars at the holders on the other side of it. There's a fearsome glint in his eyes, he's /mad/ now. It's entirely probable he's bruised his relatively recently wounded behind, and he's /certainly/ bruised his pride. He snaps at Aeryn, "NO! Go bathe in the LAKE!" … Considering his mood, it's probably a /good/ thing he hasn't really acknowledged Kire yet.
Enkavir lets out a second little oof as Aeryn knocks what air remains right out of him. His brows go up, and though it's pained around the edges, his lopsided smirk returns as she ends up inches from his face. "I'm not the one throwing soap at people and creating the situation, you know." His grin only deepens as she flounces off of him, and the thwapping of the wet hair actually makes him chuckle a bit. He pushes himself up to sitting, rubbing gently at his wounded backside, and just grins over at X'hil. "At least I'm not trying to accomplish anything. /You/ forcibly brought them here you know. Either give them the courtesy they request or tie them up in the bowels of the Weyr somewhere, but don't expect them to play nice." Gingerly he gets to his feet and leans back against the rock wall. "Seriously. Banging on the door." He shakes his head, amusement writ loud over his features.
Kire just stays back and he watches shakes his head a little bit at the mayhem that's going on in the Hot Springs, "What's wrong with the lake? The water is actually nice. I'd rather bath in the lake then the hot springs."
Aeryn's eyes narrow to slits as she glares at X'hil. She doesn't yell back at him, no. Her mocking laughter at his impotent yelling once again rings though the passageway. She ignores Enkavir once she is free of him, although she's standing somewhat unsteadily in the mess, sopping clothes plastered to her form. "Gather your buddies and have at the lake, then," she growls in response to Kire. She is still clinging at that heavy, now empty wooden bucket. She swings her arm back, aims for X'hil's head and lobs it in his direction as hard as she can, throwing herself off-balance with the force of her arm.
With banging on the door it finally does open, though whoever was the one to open it is careful to stay hidden behind it least she have to face the wrath of an wet, angry Weyrsecond. "Temper, temper." Izellah chides the man as she makes her way across the room towards the entrance. She for one looks fresh and clean. A colorful dress in perfect order, every hair in place and done up in the elaborate twists and curls of a holder. "I told you rider, I am done, when I am done."
X'hil snorts, and glares briefly at Enkavir. "/I/ was acting under /orders/. More than I can say about /this/ lot." Well, he does actually have a point, there. It was just one little thing: Take less than two hours to bathe or /share/. And then… bucket to the head! He blinks, raises a hand to the back of his head to find that he's bleeding, and then just crumples, passing out in the sudsy mess. Oh, /great/. That's just /great/. Soapy sweaty sandy bronzerider, out for the count. Who's going to have to lug /that/ to the infirmary? An anguished roar sounds from the clearing, drifting across the caverns. Sounds like the bronze has actually left the sands for a reason other than hunting or kidnapping. Izellah escapes the man's wrath for now, but it's debatable how far /Kinseth/ will let people get before he sees his rider.
Kire ducks as he sees the bucket flying out of the girl's hands and he winces as he sees the bucket hit the bronzerider in the head, "I'll go get someone form the infirmary. Don't move him! You'll only hurt him more." He rushes out to get the healer.
Enkavir just peers at Kire for a beat, but then the bucket is flying and the door is opening and he can't do much other than shake his head at the lad before his attention is forcibly grabbed away. He inclines his head in greeting to Lady Izellah, offering her a more polite version of his smile - there is protocol even if it has clearly been tossed right out the window in this case. He just manages to lean out of the path of the projectile bucket then, one hand flung out to protect him needlessly. He whirls to shoot a harsh glare at Aeryn, brows furrowing. "That was really unneccesary you know." Somewhere out of the corner of his eye he sees X'hil go down and he whirls back, which sends him sprawling again. The curse that escapes his mouth is loud and vulgar, and will not be repeated here.
Aeryn laughs mercilessly as X'hil goes down, sneering viciously,"Real man would've just broken the door down, wimp." Her voice is without remorse as she looks down where Enkavir is sprawled and answers coldly, "Yes it was. Next time he'll think twice before kidnapping innocent Hannistans." With that she casually, though carefully turns and steps over the prone X'hil without giving the bronzer a glance and into the bathing caverns where the door slams shut once again guarded by the holder womenfolk inside. She's going to bathe - again. Who knows what else they've got planned in there to protect themselves?
X'hil is carted off by a pair of healers who came running with a stretcher, though they've slowed to a more careful pace on reaching the sudsy floor. They examine the man briefly, throwing around serious words like concussion, and worse, looking /very/ concerned. They carefully load the man onto the stretcher, and depart. In the clearing, Kinseth's noises stop, though a worried whine can still be heard even from here, if one listens hard enough.
Enkavir lets out a long sigh as the Weyrfolk make their way out of the caverns. Who is going to be brave enough to stick around after /that/? It looks like the lake is the destination after all. Enkavir struggles back up to his feet and gingerly tiptoes to the door. With knuckles he raps lightly, leaning into the wood to call out, "It's Enkavir. If I let you blindfold me do you think I could come in for a proper bath? The lake really is awfully chilly this time of year."
From behind the door a mirthless laugh sounds at the dragon whining along with a few unladylike curses. Splashes pauses briefly at Enkavir's knocking. "You can wait. Outside." A low-voiced laugh ripples through the planks. "I'll not take as long as my Lady." The splashing resumes.