Girl Talk


Ahnika.jpg Ciara.jpg

Date: 7/16/10
Location: Lower Caverns - Cots
Synopsis: Needing a friend to share her day's events with, Ahnika seeks Ciara out and the two discuss the "weird" weyrfolk, particularly the men in the weyr. Much swearing off cads and giggling ensues!
Rating: PG
Logger: Ahnika

Eastern Weyr: Lower Caverns

Set up for use as both a massive storage area and an everyday workspace, the Lower Caverns is a single, high-ceiling room that has been blocked off into several smaller 'rooms' for different work that needs to be done. Over on the northernmost end is a larger section almost completely blocked off from the rest of the cavern where cots are set up for the non-rider folk to sleep until proper dormitories can be carved out of the rock.

It's well into the late evening as Ahnika returns from her bath with her satchel and dirty clothes and deposits them on her cot among the tens and possibly hundreds that are in this mass dorm-like area of the Lower Caverns. She looks to her left and to her right, finding many who are already in their cots for the night and sleeping peacefully, and sits down on hers to fidget a little with some of the threading in her nightshift, looking for holes and areas that might need darning. But her mind wanders as she fidgets and she soon realizes that it will be a long night of sleeplessness if she doesn't do something with this nervous energy pent up in her. She slips on her boots again, and throws the light coverlet around her shoulders, digging her red braid out from where it was caught in, and lets it flop across her shoulders, and then goes out to see Ciara's cot to see if the other girl is already abed or not and hoping for some company.

Ciara's cot is empty, apparently, but the sound of footsteps does produce movement. Just…it's not from on top of the cot, not even from under the covers. Instead, as Ahnika approaches, Ciara's face appears from /under/ the cot, looking first at the other woman's feet and then craning awkwardly up to look at her face. "Oh, hey Ahnika!" And now the Neratian starts an awkward wriggle to get out from under the bed, beginning to emerge somewhat dustily and rather like a bizarre worm.

Ahnika pauses and slows as she gets closer and then visibly blinks, but grins, as Ciara comes out from under her cot. She reaches a hand out, offering some help to Ciara should she want or need it. “What’s this about?” Normally, a teasing jest might come on the end of that, but Ahnika isn’t much feeling like teasing right now. So she stops it there.

Ciara takes that hand, getting to her knees and then up to her feet with a light 'hyup'. She dusts off the front of her clothes, which are rather dusty with traces of dirt. "I thought I heard a tunnelsnake scratching around in the wall under the bed. Can't find any holes though…maybe it was just my cot moving." She puts a hand on a hip, frowning as she speaks, but by the end of the sentence she shrugs and her face lightens.

“Tunnelsnake?” Ahnika asks, looking visibly startled a moment and down at their feet and the shadows beneath the cot. She wrinkles her nose, and for a time forgets to let go of Ciara’s hand until the other girl removes it to put it on her hip. “I can see about swapping someone else’s cot with yours, Ciara, if you like. Well, I can ask the Headwoman about it, that is, if the person isn’t willing to swap in the first place.” Her eyes light up a moment and she grins a little impishly, “Oh, hey, I can see about getting one of the neighboring cots to mine swapped with yours…” Girl Talk all night long… nobody around them would get any sleep.

"Oh there weren't any," Ciara reassures Ahni hurriedly. "I think they did a big thing to get rid of them here." She grins at the suggestion of cot swapping. "Hey, sounds good to me! The girls near me are a bit," and she looks left and right before continuing. "/Boring/." She shrugs it off, asking, "how're you doing? Indira's not working you too hard around here?"

Ahnika seems mostly satisfied with Ciara’s first answer, though she gives the shadows under Ciara’s cot one last long, hard look before sinking down on the edge of it—completely uninvited to boot. But she is grinning again and nudges her ankle-boots off to pull her legs up onto the cot with her and sit Indian-style cross-legged with her shift pulled down modestly over her knees and her elbows perched on said knees. Her chin is cradled in her loosely closed fists and she says, “The drudge to the left of me snores all night. I’ll see if I can convince her to swap with you in the morning. If we can strike a bargain, I’ll find you and let you know.” Then she sighs, leaning back a little and lowering her hands to rest on her knees, “The work isn’t the problem. It’s … “ she waves vaguely, “everything else. If it were just the work, things would be simpler. Sometimes, Ci, I don’t get people.” Just sometimes? Ahnika, unable to be still for two seconds, finds something inadequate with her night-braid and unweaves it to start it over.

"Tell her my cot's the most comfortable one here," Ci tells Ahnika, grinning. Then the smile fades to be replaced by a thoughtful expression. "But then she might wonder why I want to give it up. Hm!" Apparently that idea wasn't thought out fully. She shrugs and lets it slide, sitting herself on the next cot - its owner isn't around, so who's going to complain? - so that she's facing Ahni. Her head tilts a little to one side as she listens. "People? What like…the Weyr people?"

Smiling at the first suggestion, Ahnika just nods a little, spinning her mind off to solve that little problem on a back-burner, then lapses quiet a moment as she continues unweaving her braid and then sets about combing her hair out a moment with her fingers. There is a pensive expression on her face as she works through her hair and then she looks around a bit before saying, “I sort of … berated a bronzerider today, Ci.” She frowns, her brow furrowed, “But he … was being ridiculous. He deserved it,” she says, this time straightening her back where she sits, trying to affect a taller look just by sitting there. Then she looks across the space at the other girl and says, “And then there is this other fellow … and /a lot/ of … “ her cheeks flush at the memory, fading her freckles, and she affects a rather dreamy-eyed look, “Zen, he said his name was … “ and she sighs, then blinks quickly, straightening once more and clearing her throat. Ahnika changes what she was going to say, “I knew weyrs were very progressive-thinking when it came to sex but … “ Then she suddenly shifts again, “Meanwhile, the harpers I’ve met seem a bit … opposite, really. Almost prudish and reserved.” She shakes her head a little, then starts parting her hair into thirds to begin braiding again. “I’ve still got so much to learn about weyr life.”

"Berated a /bronzerider/?" Unable to believe her own ears, Ci leans forward, eyes a little wider with surprise. "What did he do to make you do /that/? Woah." Then Ahni's blushing and almost unable to talk, seemingly. "Oh man, was he hitting on you? I think I met him the other day - Zen, Zen." She repeats the name thoughtfully, rolling it around her mouth. Is it familiar? "If it was him, I think he was trying to put the moves on me, sorta." She shrugs at the sex attitudes comments. "I guess they focus on their craft rather than anything else?" She shifts herself, looking a little uncomfortable about something. "But this guy was making moves on you?" Back to that topic.

For a brief moment, Ahnika looks worried at Ciara’s reaction, but she doesn’t stop braiding, “Do you think the Headwoman will put me out with no references?” She bites her lip and then wrinkles her nose at the notion of Zen hitting on Ciara. She makes an exasperated sound, “Figures. All the men seem to be rakes here.” She thinks about that a moment, her nose relaxing and her braiding slowing, “Except the harpers.” Then she’s back to explaining, “I didn’t know he was a bronzerider, Ci, and really, someone should have put the louse in his place long ago anyway. He was in the laundry room and said his name was Lero, but really it’s E’ro, and he acted like one of the drudges of all the absurdity.” She pauses for a breath, continuing to braid and then says, “He started saying bad things about this one laundress and I took up for her.” She hesitates, her gaze going off in the distance as she remembers it, and then she shrugs, and looks back at Ciara. “He said I was ‘feisty’ and he liked that,” she scowls.

Ciara's head goes to one side again. "Rakes?" She queries. Then she's listening to Ahni's explanation of the whole story, all ears to the problem. "Well, heck, if he was acting stupidly then he deserved it. And who's he to say bad things about us here in the lower caverns? I bet he couldn't do the laundry as well as any laundress." She looks pretty peeved at the whole thing, now, but does stick her tongue out in disgust at the 'feisty' thing. "Bleh. Sounds like he's got no manners. I don't think Indira's gonna mind. It's not like you hit him or anything." She gives Ahnika a thoughtful look. "Did ya?"

Finishing her braid, Ahni nods in agreement and response to everyone Ciara says, the part about E’ro not being able to do laundry as well as any laundress even earns a vehement nod. “No manners at all,” she agrees a moment later, “I mean, really. Who goes around lying about who he is and making up stories like that? Especially a bronzerider? Bronzeriders are obviously too stuck on themselves and have too much time on their hands.” The last is punctuated with a derisive sniff as she finishes her braid, but she looks relieved when Ciara says she thinks Indira will be okay about it. At the final question she hesitates and then shakes her head, “No… Considered dropping a bucket of water on his head, though,” she giggles suddenly, falling over on the bed and covering her mouth with her hand, laughing behind it. “Wouldn’t /that/ have been fun to explain!”

"/I/ thought they were supposed to set a good example," Ciara humphs, leaning back onto her hands. The other cot's sheets are going to be rather crumpled if she keeps on lounging carelessly on it. "Apparently not. I've only met one, and he was really quiet, anyway. Then Randi grabbed him by the ear and dragged him out." The memory invokes a twitch of a smile, which evolves into laughter when Ahnika starts giggling. "You could always say it was an accident," she says, reduced from full-blown laughter to the occasional giggle now. Humour is infectious! "Or he could have got in the way of cleaning…!"

The image of Randi dragging a bronzerider out by his ear and Ciara’s laughter and comment only serves to make Ahnika laugh harder, unable to keep it discreet, even with her hand covering her mouth, which yields a holler from someone else from a nearby cot, someone who was obviously woken up. Still chuckling softly, Ahnika sits back up, her face warm and flushed with mirth, and she yells back, “Sorry!” before looking back at Ciara. The red-head is obviously less worried about this now and feeling much better than when she first arrived. “Maybe I’ll get the hang of weyr life yet.” There is a pause and then she asks, “Do you think it wise to trade a kiss for … lessons?” She seems thoughtful, but not as preoccupied as she was before.

Ciara giggles, glancing over at the woken sleeper and adding her "sorry!" to Ahnika's. Then she's back onto the conversation. "Oh, /Ahni/. Did you kiss that Zen guy?" Ci's chiding is friendly though, an amused expression on her face. Though she does add, a little more thoughtfully, "for what sort of lessons?" As if that's going to change everything.

Biting her lip, Ahnika shakes her head, her braid sliding past her shoulder with the motion, then she giggles a bit again behind her hand, softly, and with a glance in the dim glowlight toward the other beds. “No, I didn’t. I told him I expected more respect than that.” Spoken in a lofty tone. She fidgets with her fingernails a moment, “I tried to haggle some other price, but he’d have none of it … so I told him I’d have to think on’t.” Then she slyly looks up and across at her friend. “Hunting lessons. They’re a bunch of folks going on this hunt coming up and I really want to go, but they said only those who know how can go.” Ahnika frowns, looking a way a moment and then back at Ciara. “It … wouldn’t be /so/ bad to kiss him, though. A small thing, and he’s a handsome sort. I just don’t want him to think I’m /that/ kind of girl. You know?”

"Good for you!" Ciara says, with a happy nod. "As my mum always said, you've gotta make sure men have respect for you. Don't let them treat you like some kind of drudge." She seems interested in the idea of hunting lessons, but one point she wants clarification on. "So you haven't kissed him /yet/? I thought you had! Well." She ponders this. "What if he wants more than just that if you do kiss him? I mean, you're definitely not /that/ kind of girl. But he might be /that/ kind of guy." She seems satisfied with her little speech.

Ahnika agrees with a nod as she listens, finishing her examination of her fingernails and minor manicure work with a sigh. “Right, and with what you said before about him hitting on you, well, then I definitely know Zen must not have been sincere with his smooth words to me, and he most likely /is/ that kind of guy.” She frowns, scowling and swearing a bit, “Cad.” Then another sigh, “Well, then I guess I know what I’m gonna have to do. I guess I’m going to have to find some other way to get hunting lessons before they go.” She pauses a moment, pressing her lips together as an idea strikes her. She looks at Ciara, “Max. Indira said that Max knows how to hunt. I’ll ask him. If he’s Indira’s son, then he must be a sensible man who can be reasoned with,” implying in the same breath that all others she’s met can’t be. She brightens, smiling, and then asking, “What about you? How has AIVAS learning been going for you? Settling in the weyr okay otherwise?”

Ciara waves a hand. "Sounds like the right idea." She leans back further on the other cot now that the issue is resolved, looking back at Ahni as the other woman looks at her. "I didn't know Indira had a son. But yeah…he must be pretty sensible. I mean, if your mum's that sensible, surely?" She sounds hopeful, for Ahni's sake. "Oh, it's going well. I've been going fishing regularly too - gotta keep my hand in - but it's only down to the river. Hopefully I can get out to sea at some point for some bigger catches. I met a rider the other day who fishes, can you believe that? I thought they were too busy." She's getting a bit off track now, and brings herself back to Ahni's other question. "I think I'm starting to settle in. It's not too bad…there are quite a few other holders here, so it's not all weird Weyr people. What about you? Oh - and we have to go fishing some time! And you won't have to kiss me for it, promise," Ci adds with a broad grin.

Nodding, Ahnika listens to the other teen, “Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking too. I still have to meet with him over the things Indira and the weyrwoman wanted me to talk to him about. I missed him when I went to find him during a break in my duties today. Surely, he’ll be agreeable about hunting lessons.” She lets that subject go, her eyes lighting up as Ciara talks about a rider who fishes, “Really? How interesting! From the back of the dragon? I wonder how that works exactly.” Ahnika’s expression goes distant once more as she mulls that one over for a time, but is obviously still listening as she focuses back on Ciara’s face once more with her final comment. Ahnika leans forward, letting her feet drop back off the edge of the cot once more, “Oh, yes, let’s!” She drags her coverlet back over her shoulders, not having anything so warm as furs for her bedclothes. Then she giggles at the idea of not having to kiss Ciara for fishing lessons. “See? Mutual respect goes further than a mark or a kiss can fetch you!” She scoots to the edge, looking like she is getting ready to let Ciara have her cot back, “And I’ll talk to that woman about swapping cots with you. Don’t worry. I’ll sort it out. I think I will be able to make her see that this cot is better than the one she has now.” She grins ruefully and winks.

"Well apparently," Ciara says, all too happy to chatter about this "unusual" man, "his dragon likes to fish too! MAybe he does fish off his dragon's back? That'd be…amazing." She looks rather distant at the idea. "Could go anywhere you wanted to fish then, and it wouldn't take as long as a boat." She drags herself back to the conversation. "Yes! Well, that Zen'll be losing out. And if he tries anything with /me/, well-!" Is that a weird passive threat to the man? "Oh, good! Remember: it's not got any tunnelsnakes in the wall, and um…it's comfy and not draughty?" She grins cheekily back at Ahni's wink.

Leaning forward with her arms crossed over her lap, Ahnika listens and watches Ciara intently walk through the probable process of fishing from dragonback, her own imagination spinning off and likely able follow along. Then she grins, refocusing with Ciara as they both seem to be on the same page as far as Zen is concerned, “No doubt he’ll be visitin’ the Infirmary, nursing a few bruises, eh?” Another smile and the red-head stands up, stretching a bit, “Well, I’d best be getting back then and letting you have your bed back. I’ll get started with making her see the benefits to bedding elsewhere tonight … the sooner the better!” And when these girls get neighboring cots, the weyr will likely never be the same again. All that will be missing are the bonbons.

Ciara smirks. "You bet. That's if he's lucky." She resists the urge to flop back onto the cot, leaning back before changing her mind and sitting upright. "Good!" She stands, and now looks down at her neighbour's bedding. It's pretty crumpled. "Whoops. See ya around, Ahni! I guess I'd better fix this before Juline gets back." She starts making a concerted effort at smoothing out the sheets, with a sorrowful sort of smile.

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