Mixed Company


P'sec.jpg Rhyviel.jpg Vyte.jpg

Date: 5 July 2011
Location: Baths, Eastern Weyr
Synopsis: Girls invade P'sec's bathtime
Rating: PG-13
Logger: P'sec

Some time after early afternoon drills, several riders from one of the wings had the same idea of hitting the baths either for a quick, practical wash or a longer soak. A couple people linger in the main pool still but P'sec has switched to one of the smaller ones where the hot water grows cooler. Sweat beads on his face as he leans back in a hollow carved out for comfort, and with eyes closed he achieves a sense of solitude despite the presence of others.

Rhyviel has no shame. That, or she's perfectly used to and untroubled by the presence of strangers when bathing. Her little towel doesn't leave much to the imagination and it's halfway to the floor just as she asks, "Mind company?" of P'sec just as she reaches his chosen pool. Given the journey of the towel, it looks like she's not really going to wait for an answer without providing him with her company.

Riders don't usually have much shame either, especially by the time they've been riding as long as P'sec has. He cracks open an eye and takes in the curly-haired blonde but politely averts his gaze before it becomes a stare. "No, come on in," he invites. "You'll keep me from falling asleep and sliding under."

"And how will I do that?" Rhyviel questions with a slow smile, the towel pooling around her feet. She carefully slips into the pool and submerges herself to her shoulders, settling down opposite P'sec. "Am I supposed to nudge you every so often? Or did you have something else in mind?" The heat is doing nothing for her hair, loosening curls and making them frizzy.

"I'm sure you'll think of something," P'sec says after a brief pause, dry but not lacking for humour. Both eyes are open now, reverting back to Rhyviel once she's in. Under the water his feet are stretched out, but he moves them to the side where they won't interfere with Rhyviel putting out her legs as well. "Swift, sharp kick generally works, long as you mind where you're kicking."

Shoulders briefly vanish beneath the surface of the water as Rhyviel rearranges herself, taking the opportunity to adopt a less rigid posture, lounging. "Not many men go talking about swift, sharp kicks to places at all," she remarks, smirking. "You're a brave one. I'll be gentle with you," the blonde promises, amusement woven through her words.

P'sec lifts an arm out of the water to first wipe the accumulating sweat from his brow, then run fingers through damp, graying hair. There's not much hair left, but it's due to a close crop rather than natural loss. "Don't they?" The man assumes a considering expression. "I'll try to remember that. Wouldn't want to be thought unmanly or something."

"I'd have thought mentioning kicks to some not-so-kickable places made you more manly," Rhyviel responds, sinking down into the water again. "Wouldn't have thought many men really like to think about it." She shrugs, creating ripples across the pool's surface. "Anyway," she moves on, "I'm Rhyviel. What do I call you?"

"I have received a kick or two in my time," P'sec admits ruefully. "And you'd be surprised how feet can go flying when the baths get crowded enough, especially when there's kids in the mix - P'sec. I'm P'sec." He nearly holds out his hand, but somehow the baths don't seem the place for it, and instead he puts that arm along the rim of the pool. "So, Rhyviel. What brings you to my pool?" The question comes out curious rather than pointed.

"P'sec. Rider then," Rhyviel states before she suddenly submerges herself completely, smoothing her hair back from her eyes and face as she resurfaces. "Your pool looked more interesting than the others," she responds once she's settled again. "And I didn't know you. Now I do. I know your name, at least." She smiles again, just a little bit cheekily. "And what had you letting me into your pool?"

"Was it so obvious?" The rider in question looks briefly disappointed, holding the question and the expression for when Rhyviel comes back up. "More interesting?" P'sec admittedly sounds curious. "What's so interesting about some old guy up to his neck in hot water? Unless you were really wanting to see if I'd drown right before your eyes." As for her question - a shrug, shoulders sufficiently out of the water for the gesture to carry meaning. "Didn't figure I had a choice."

Vyte has arrived.

"Unless your parents had a thing for throwing quite random syllables together," Rhyviel says with a shrug. "Not that were much better in that respect," she has to admit. She sticks to her line of, "Like I said - I don't know you," her tone no different than before. She and P'sec are lounging in one of the smaller pools, sat opposite each other. "Places are interesting. So are people. I don't think you're exactly an 'old guy' besides, unless you'd like to own to your turns and prove me wrong."

Muffled steps mark the trespass of an incipient bather, staggered in a pattern that suggests hesitance or at least careful progress. The swirl of skirts betrays the newcomer a woman where height and shoulders' breadth would not. Vyte aims cautiously for the shelves and benches along the northern wall, and though her feet move steadily once she's within, she keeps darting sidelong glances through the steam to gather more the lay of the room.

"Originally there was an r," P'sec offers, like that changes things and makes it less random. "And a nickname and everything." The nickname withheld, it's practically a tease. "No, no, that's okay," he hastily says next, perfectly willing to have some indefinite number of Turns that isn't too many. "I don't think I'm an old guy, either. Been many places, then?" He moves on and lets his gaze wander, likely in an effort to not look like he's paying the naked woman opposite too much attention, and absently notes Vyte's entrance, one more bather among the rest. He doesn't invite her over, but neither did he invite Rhyviel until she was joining him in his side-pool anyway.

"Is that an invitation for me to throw more random syllables at you until I figure that nickname out?" Rhyviel asks lowly, gaze turning faintly devious. "Someone must think you're an old guy if you're going to refer to yourself as one," she adds on, almost absently, throwing the thought out there with a flick of her fingers and a little spray of water droplets. "Lots of places," is nicely a nicely unspecific confirmation. "Some voluntarily and some not so." Vyte's progress catches her attention and prompts, "Need someone to guide you, over there?" called out across the cavern.

Having gained most of her goal, Vyte stops on the cusp of the changing area to reassess the situation; that's where Rhyviel's call catches her. The lanky woman turns, brushing a hand carelessly through her humidly lank forelock, with a faint grin already in place, the sheepish look of the new and uncertain. "Oh, don't trouble yourself," she calls back as she automatically fixes her eyes on the other woman, then shifts them away politely. Of course, now P'sec's in their way and she shifts gaze again - this time, the floor. "I think I can figure it out from here."

"If you want it to be." Said by another person with a slyer tone, it could easily be heard as flirtation. P'sec's response sounds too even for that allegation though, almost irreproachable. "A joke between wingmates," he acknowledges Rhyviel's supposition, "which isn't as funny as they think it is." He doesn't ask what places might be included in the vague many since the information isn't volunteered, allowing Rhyviel her mysteries. When his companion's attention is drawn to Vyte, his too sharpens out of absent awareness. "New?" he guesses, and there is sympathy for that.

"Give me time. I'll get back to you," Rhyviel declares before slowly slipping beneath the water's surface again. This time, she resurfaces much more quickly and supposes, "Sounds like you need an unfunny joke of your own." She hauls her hair back again and tries to wring it out, feet finding the bottom of the pool as she does so. "Anyway. I'll let you switch the company of one charming lady for that of another," she goes on, making to leave the pool in an unhurried manner, towel reclaimed and lazily wrapped around her. "It's a good spot," she claims of her vacated space, a nod towards it and a grin aimed Vyte's way. "He needs company or he'll drown." Then she's off, presumably to another pool to wash up properly.

"Just hatched." Vyte's downcast eyes and demure tone war with the sardonicism inherent in her statement. Both hands reach around her long waist, no doubt aimed for the dress's lacings, when Rhyviel's parting mark startles her into a wide-eyed stare at the man left in the pool. Propriety promptly hitches up her skirts to hie off after the retreating woman and leaves pure wickedness in the form of a grin. The neckline of Vyte's dress suddenly sags to expose the cream caps of her shoulders.

P'sec's gaze switches back to Rhyviel, whose suggestion he considers openly, thoughtfulness the dominant expression. "You're probably right," he agrees. Her departure and the attention drawn to her emptied place in his pool - funny how these things turn possessive, some random pool suddenly P'sec's simply by virtue of his having arrived first - brings him back to Vyte, and with Vyte her undressing. He, a gentleman or suddenly aware that he should be, looks away.

The lack of an audience in no way hinders Vyte's sheer indulgence in public disrobing. Fine fabric inches its way down her length, revealing the undershift worn even in this Southern warmth; sweat clings it to the lean planes of her body. She evinces no disappointment in P'sec's aversion and instead closes her eyes to enjoy her own personal striptease. The signal that she's not completely gone: "I hope you're not planning on drowning. I'm a terrible swimmer."

The man lingering in the pool is not entirely immune to Vyte's charms such as they are; the sheer length of her undressing speaks of indulgence, and at one point he steals a glance to see what takes her so long to get into the water. "Planning on it? No." P'sec suddenly finds soapsand a good idea, although he's already soaped and rinsed.

A soft sigh eases from Vyte's throat as she finally discards her last flimsy bit of undercloth. She flings it on to the haphazard pile of her other garments with absolute unconcern for how wearable it may be afterwards. "Spontaneous drowning, then?" Her stride to the shelves is a curious mishmash between a man's directness and feminine sashay. She shouldn't be able to sway hips she doesn't have. With chosen soap in palm she ambles to P'sec's pool, braces there on the edge to point one toe downwards and test the waters. "Or did you perhaps need some help with that?"

P'sec thinks it wise to shampoo his hair a second time although there isn't much of it. His face has legimitately gained colour and perspiration from the heat gathered in the cavern and hanging heavy in the air, so it isn't so much of a stretch for him to wash it off now. "Help me drowning?" He automatically looks at Vyte when she addresses him, gaze starting at the pointed toes and then travelling up. He does not want to be thought lecherous or even think of himself, guiltily, as lecherous; now seems a good time to dunk underwater to rinse out the suds. "I think I'll manage on my own," he says when he resurfaces.

Vyte smiles the pleased smile of something with sharp teeth and a queer sense of humor. Apparently the water's pleasant enough: she lowers herself to the rock lip and slithers the rest of the way in. It does not come up quite as far as she had thought it would. She glances down at her own chest, frowns, shrugs, begins lathering. Glancing towards the man a few moments later, she queries in all innocence, "Can I watch?"

The man already in the water has now abandoned his lazy sprawl, standing instead of sitting with his legs extended across the small pool. "I'm not intending to drown today, by myself or with help." P'sec does not really think that that's the intended subject of Vyte's remark, but he stubbornly sticks to the surface dialogue rather than its subtext. "If I did slip under, I imagine it would be a private affair."

Two people standing parallel in a small and not-quite-chest-deep pool, one scrubbing, could be awkward. Vyte doesn't notice. She's too busy looking sidelong at P'sec as she slathers suds over her shoulders and arms. "I should certainly hope so." The depth of her tone might indicate an aside, but she is looking right at him.

A rider like P'sec has been around long enough to be accustomed to unisex baths and still can experience the occasional awkwardness, this time stemming from a conversation that does not seem to fit the underlying implications. "Well then, nothing to worry about today. But, just in case, maybe I should leave the pool free for you."

Vyte's face scrunches into a belly-deep laugh. She straightens into it, tilting her head back. "Oh, I'm so sorry!" Genuine color tinges her cheeks, just slightly. "I'm so very sorry. I'm - well, it's like you said, I'm new. Only I'm extra-new. New to…" her sudsy hand wavers around the steam "… all of this. Especially this. I mean, what are we supposed to do? Stare? Not stare? Soap each other's backs? I need a guide."

The tone and the words remove P'sec's faint air of edginess, relax him into a short-lived smile. "Not stare, mostly," he tells Vyte, adopting a different tone. "Unless you really have a reason to. As for a guide - maybe ask one of the lower caverns women who've been here for a bit, weyrbred?" He assumes Vyte a resident. "Or maybe Maura, a bluerider. She's new here too, friendly but not dumb, should be happy to help. A little younger than you," he ascertains with a look. "But, I'm wrinkling." He holds up his fingers to Vyte as proof and uses that as the excuse for his exit.

"Really have a reason? Like what?" Vyte is reasonably sure, as she watches P'sec depart the pool, that she knows exactly what such a reason might be; a hint of it creeps into her voice despite token efforts to be the neophyte. "I appreciate the tips, sir, never mind your wrinkles." She twinkles an imp's smile at him and sinks down into the murky waters, the better to luxuriate. Wooden tubs and washcloths are a thousand dragonlengths away.

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