Like Minds


Ahnika.jpg Ciara.jpg

Date: 11th July 2010
Location: Eastern Weyr - Baths
Synopsis: Ahnika's looking for a lost toy and Ciara's forgotten her towel. The meeting of the two promises to be useful for both, in different ways.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Ciara

Underneath the upper set of hatching sands, this cavern is fairly large in size, though it is dwarfed in comparison to others nearby. A natural hot spring, the steamy water has been diverted into one large pool - capable of holding about twenty odd people - and several smaller ones around the edges. Shelves have been set up along the northern wall, lined with different scents of bathing salts, sweetsands and oils. Under the shelves are benches where folk can dress and undress. Even given the tropical nature of the climate, this is still one of the most popular places in the weyr.

It's a warm morning, but the baths are still a popular place apparently - the large pool is filled by a group of riders. The outer pools are not so crowded, and in fact one near the entrance only holds one person - Ciara. She's in the pool and leaning on the edge, submerged to the neck in the hot water. On the side of the pool are quite a large array of bathing salts and oils, as well as the usual pot of sweetsand. Given the mingled smells floating around her, one could hazard a guess that she's been trying out various oils and salts. She looks quite pleased with herself.

"Well, we still have that section of the Lower Caverns to get to," Ahnika says somewhat matter-of-factly as she enters the Baths with a skinny little brunette girl in tow, "So, we can't linger long. But if it's in here, we'll find it for you, and while we're here we can collect any dirty towels and clothes that have been left." She pauses near the first of the benches along the wall near the door and the pool Ciara is occupying and stoops a little to look on the floor and behind the bench while the girl with her moves on to another area, also appearing to look for something. Nodding politely and smiling to Ciara nearby, Ahni greets simply, "Hello," with a friendly smile.

"Hi," Ciara says in quick reply to Ahnika, sinking a little lower in the foamy water. "Are you wanting to get in the baths as well?" She offers to the two girls, before looking around behind her for something. Whatever it is, it isn't there, and her face falls. A moment later it becomes apparent what she's looking for when she moans quietly, "I forgot a towel!"

"No," Ahni smiles again, lifting up the other end of the bench briefly to check behind it, "I had one last night before turning in. The water's really nice here, ain't it?" She pauses, hands on her hips a moment and watches the other girl who had come in with her at the other end of the room, tracking her and making sure she doesn't slip and hit her head or anything. "Hmm?" Ahni looks back at Ciara and adds, "Oh a towel? I can get one for you from the general basket if you like. Or if there is one you like to use down by your cot, I can get it for you as soon as we're done here." Quite the Girl Friday, this one. She smiles again, "I'm Ahnika, by the way."

Ciara is rather red now in embarrassment, stuck in the pool as she is. "It is until you realise you've forgotten your towel," she croaks, looking sidelong at the large pool of noisy riders as if expecting them to be laughing at her problem. She turns her head back when Ahnika makes that offer. "Oh…if you could just get me a towel from the basket…I feel like such an idiot. I'm not used to this whole communal bathing…thing." She does lift a hand from the water, carefully, to give a small, general wave at their surroundings. Still red-faced, she offers her name to return Ahni's courtesy. "I'm Ciara. Sorry we have to meet like this…."

"Psh. You're not an idiot. Just not used to it. Don't apologize. Dwelling on things never get anything accomplished, I always say." She moves over to the main basket for general population and retrieves a towel, walking back carefully to avoid slipping, herself. She leans down to offer it to Ciara and says, "We used to bathe together in the lake at the cothold, but to have recirculating hot water like this is really pretty amazing." She looks back over her shoulder at the rest of the bathing pools, taking in the location of the other girl at the same time, and then looking back at Ciara. "Have you settled on particular sand you like most?" Ahnika asks, eyeing the arrayed supplies around the edge.

Ciara doesn't say anything to Ahnika's reassurances, but when the other teen returns with a towel, and mentions her own experiences, Ci's interest is caught. "You're from a hold too?" She asks, as she ever so carefully gets out of the pool, trying to wrap the towel around herself at the same time. Modesty is almost impossible to accomplish in a situation like this. A few riders look in her direction and whisper to each other, with some smirks. Ci ignores them pointedly, but the red of her cheeks deepens. "There's one that smells like lemons, I quite like that one. And the one that smells like redfruit - apples," she corrects herself with AIVAS's terminology.

Making a mental note of the ones Ciara prefers in order to compare them to her growing mental list for conducting inventory at some point, Ahni nods as she listens and considers the materials out around the pool. She smiles then to the other teen and says, "I'll have to keep that in mind and give them a try, too, then." She regards Ciara and her red cheeks a moment longer before looking over at the riders who are whispering, and then looks back, "Oh, I wouldn't mind them. More than likely they are either jealous or admiring you." She tries a comforting smile, then clears her throat, moving back over to the line of benches and saying, "Yes, I was raised in a small, rural cothold, but we had a lot of fosterlings coming and going, in and out. This is my first time living in a weyr. You?" She checks under and behind the second bench as she talks. One might wonder if this young woman ever has a mind to sit still at all.

"You could probably combine them and get some nice smells," Ci says, giving the assorted bottles at her feet a thoughtful look. Anything to not look at those murmuring riders. Her head shoots up when Ahnika comments on them, and she gives the riders a very quick look. "Yeah…probably never seen a naked holder girl before." Although still blushing, she does now straighten her shoulders and ignore them again in favour of looking at Ahni. "Sorta the same - I grew up on the Neratian coast in my parents' cothold, then went to Nerat, then…came here. That's about it really." She notes Ahni's restlessness. "Sorry - I'm probably disturbing you, if you've got something to do?" She sounds genuinely apologetic. Then again, she does owe Ahnika for the towel fetching and dignity-salvaging!

Anhi waves a hand dismissively, "You're fine. I can talk and look for a little boy's lost toy and dirty towels at the same time." She sets that bench down and checks on the progress of the other girl who came in here with her, who has been making more progress than Ahnika, herself, for obvious reasons, though Ahni doesn't seem to care, given her expression, as long as it gets done. "Along the coast?" Ahnika asks Ciara, looking up from where she had been looking, finally. "Oh that has to be really pretty out there," she smiles genuinely. "Maybe one day I'll get to see it," she adds, "the coast in general, I mean, not your parent's place, of course. You miss it?" Ahnika asks, not really stipulating if she means miss her parent's cothold or miss the coast in general.

"A lost toy?" Tucking the towel in so that it stays up by itself better, Ci steps forward. "I can help you look, if you want. I think finding that's a bit more productive than me standing her chattering to you!" She offers a grin, before looking about as if deciding where to start her search. "You've definitely got to see it some time," Ci tells Ahnika, looking back at the other girl as she speaks. "We used to get quite a few visitors from further inland, who wanted a sort of 'beach break', I guess. I miss it sometimes," she continues, now moving away to have a look on the shelves of oils and suchlike. "The coast more than my home, I think. It got kinda boring after growing up there. But being right by the sea was nice. What about you? Do you miss home?"

"Thank you, Ciara. It's a little wooden carving of a dragon, she says," Ahnika explains with a little nod toward the young brunette, "Her younger brother is wailing up a storm in the Lower Caverns, making a bit of a fuss. Poor kid." She lifts up another basket nearby, finding a damp towel and draping it over a shoulder to be laundered. "I don't know what I would do with myself if I took a sort of beach break. It sounds nice though, I'm sure." She peeks behind another bench. "Me? I dunno. I think I miss Seren and Xavier, my foster parents some, but not the cothold itself." She pauses, looking over at Ciara and grinning brightly, "I dunno about you, but I'm thrilled to be here. It's so much more exciting. Lots to see, and do, and learn about, you know?"

Ciara nods at the description of the toy. "Should be obvious enough. I just hope somebody hasn't made off with it…." The girl chews at her lower lip as she works along the shelves, looking behind pots for the thing. Now and then she glances over at Ahnika as their conversation continues. A grin at their shared thoughts about the Weyr lights up her eyes. "Me too! It's a world away from holds, right? I mean, Weyrwoman Randi told me that not everyone fits in at a Weyr but I'm enjoying it. I just wanted some change, y'know, and I think this might be it. How long've you been here?"

Nodding in agreement, Ahnika grins a little more even as she is picking up another discarded towel, "Ten worlds away, I'd say." There's a little pause as she stoops down to get a better look into a lower cubby, and then she says, "Change can be good, too, as long as it's what you're trying to get done. Me, I just wanted something bigger and better to be a part of, personally, and with that there's always change." She digs through some bath materials in a basket briefly and says, "Not long. I came here after hitching up with Headwoman Indira's group and came in with them. You?" She looks up as the other girl at the other end of the bathing cavern gives a little shout of glee and holds up the toy she found. She comes around toward the entrance, passing Ciara and Ahnika. The red-head grins amicably at her and says, "Go give it to him before he starts a rock slide with that mouth of his. Gimme your dirty towels and I'll just take them with me when I finish looking for towels on this side." After giving over the towels she found, the brunette heads out with another wave, presumably to return her brother's toy to him, and Ahnika looks back at Ciara.

Ciara laughs at that. "You're probably right, there." She pushes some larger sweetsand pots aside, but, upon finding there's nothign behind them, moves them back with an dissatisfied sigh. "Sometimes change just keeps life interesting. I came here to deliver something," she continues, to answer Ahnika's question. "Decided I liked it and managed to get a job here, sort of." Her head whips round at the sound of the brunette's cry, and when the girl reveals the find, Ci clasps her hands together happily. "Ah-hah! Good find." Still smiling, she turns away from her search, readjusting her towel minutely. "Someone's going to be happy!"

"A /lot/ of people are going to be happy once he stops squallerin'," Ahnika chuckles, moving a few feet past to get another discarded towel on a neighboring bench. "So where do they have you workin', Ciara?" Polite enough not to inquire about what she had to deliver and to whom. "I'm sort of doing a little of everything, wherever Headwoman Indira needs me most that day. I don't mind so much as it helps me get used to weyr life, what gets done and how, and understand better how to keep things moving and running smoothly. The more I know about this place," she says, her gaze taking in the surroundings as if she were taking in the entire weyr structure, "the better I can be at helping take care of it. So, I can't complain."

"Fishing, mostly, but I'm gonna be teaching some of the kids when I've finished classes with AIVAS," Ci explains. "You're sort of a headwoman's assistant then? That sounds pretty good." She nods, too, at the whole learning about the Weyr thing. "And you get to see everything that goes on behind the scenes, right? That must be interesting. Weyrs seem a whole lot more complicated than holds, from what I've seen. I wouldn't mind knowing the ins and outs myself but…gotta fish and prove myself first, I suppose," she finishes with a grin.

"That sounds very fine," Ahnika says, "I've never fished before. Maybe I'll sit in on one of the lessons, too, if time permits." She is still working down the benches along the wall as she talks and gathering up the odd towel that's been left behind, but not finding too many more. She nods, adding, "Yes, sort of. Not an assistant officially, of course. I think that sort of thing has to be cleared by the weyrleaders… I'm not sure. And like you, I got to sort of prove myself, too, and learn more about weyr life and how it works. But I kind of did a little of everything that needed doing over at the cothold where I was raised, so I think until they find a permanent place for me and my skills, one way or another, I'll just keep it up, finding whatever odd job needs doing that I can do." She gestures to the towels on her shoulder for an example, "I prefer to stay busy anyway." The understatement of the year. The girl can't even stand still to have a casual conversation. Then she grins a little conspiratorily, "Tell you what. If you teach me to fish, I'll teach you whatever inner workings of the weyr I learn about." She picks up the last of the dirty towels and starts to head back the way they came. "And thanks for your help looking

"If we can teach each other - maybe that'll help both of us prove ourselves?" Ciara says, hitching her towel up as it starts to slip a bit. She manages not to blush as she avoids any indignity, tucking it back in to keep it on firmly. "I'll ask Randi…well, I suppose it's Weyrwoman Alara who's really in charge of who has lessons. And Master Jarvys. I'll try and mention it to Master Jarvys anyway and see what he says. If not…there's always the lake, and rest days," she says with a grin. "Thanks again for the towel - I think you saved me! I'll let you know what I can do about the lessons!" With that said, she moves to start putting away all the things she'd taken off the shelves for her bath.

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