Sorting

Brentram.jpg Charisli.jpg

Participants: Brentram and Charisli
IC Date: Day 26, Month 9, Turn 3
OOC Date: 9/15/11
Location: Eastern Weyr: Laundry
Synopsis: Brentram meets Charisli and helps her with her clothes. And tries to ignore her underwear.
Rating: G
Posted by: Charisli

Just below the Lower Hatching Sands, this room radiates heat. Huge pools of water have been reinforced to make cisterns for the laundry. There is a pattern here: drudges place the dirty articles into the first set of pools, scrub them diligently with soapsand and washboards, then move them on to the second set of pools for a rinsing. Crank-powered roller dryers drain all the excess water out, then the clothes are hung to dry in a dry part of the room near the back.

Once the clothes are dry, the long tables along the edges are utilized to fold and secure them into baskets for replacement into the appropriate places. There are a couple benches near the tables for easier access to the tall tables by those not able to reach them alone. Often, these are used by infirm Aunties as well who chatter and gossip incessantly while they fold. Glows are more prevalent here than in the hallways, simply because it's necessary to see if the job's been done right.


Anyone entering the Laundry is bound to be met face-to-face with a blast of steamy, humid air. Once used to the heat and humidity, it's easy enough to sink into the pattern of the room: dip, soak, scrub, rinse, wring, hang, repeat, with countless drudges, aunties, and the occasional other worker taking part in the great dance of the process. Brentram, still not entirely sure how he ended up in the list of 'occasional other workers' instead of 'drudges', has just finished hanging up one batch of laundry, doesn't have one to take down at present, and is waiting for a third to finish being processed through the rollers — which means, for once, he has something of a brief break. He's taking it by the doorway, where there's some slightly cooler air leaking in from the hallway, and can't decide if he wants to drink the cool water in his mug or pour it over his head.

The trick might be not being a drudge to begin with. What kind of a drudge /moves/, anyway? Charisli, who is used to doing her own laundry due to having been at the Healer Hall where people are encouraged to do things for themselves more, is entering with a basket of dirty clothing. She's not so used to this complex and impressive system of laundry-doings yet, and so has gotten used to at least coming to watch when she brings her clothes down instead of insisting on doing it herself. Unlike her brother, she does not hum as she walks through the lower caverns, but instead wanders confidently in and stops by a folding table to sort through what she's got.

So far, at least, drinking is winning; this might be because Brentram's hair is already pretty well soaked, between the heat and the humidity. (What part is sweat and what part condensation is best left to the imagination, if considered at all.) "D'you need help with that?" he asks around swallows, pitching his voice in Charisli's general direction, to be heard over the splashing, steaming, and rolling-of-grinders, not to mention all the chatter of the aunties.

"Oh!" Look, there's a person there who isn't doing much of anything and looks like he works here. Charisli shoots him and grin, and says, "Sure, if you like. Just sorting things — putting a towel and a thin shirt through the drying at the same time seemed like it wouldn't be very efficient, and some of the dyes run, like in … this." She holds up a bright red sweater. "If you put it in with anything else in the washbasin, or I suppose the washpool here, I don't really see any basins."

"Oh, there are basins." Brentram wanders over, walking with care not to cough as he swallows down more water. He nods over to the wall, where a few bushel-or-three—sized basins rest, overturned, on a rack of shelves. "Usually for very fine, delicate, or — well, things with dyes that run, like that." He shoots a quick grin at her. "We appreciate your care in sorting them! Otherwise we'd have to do it. And then, well, probably you'd be one of the hundred or so people here who get mad at us for missing something out of your pile."

Charisli laughs. "I bet it's hard, keeping track of what belongs to whom and not being tempted to just leave everything in stacks by when they were washed and make people find their own things. I'm pretty used to just using my own washbasin." She glances again around the laundry, taking in her surroundings even more effectively this time. "It's definitely impressive in here. Have you worked here long?" She sets the bright red sweater aside and moves through her basket of clothes, continuing to sort.

"If you /want/ to wash your own, you /can/," Brentram offers after a moment, somewhat warily. What is this, someone who wants to do the work he has to do? What! Meanwhile, he's getting a /small/ basin down. It isn't, really, big enough to wash much more than the sweater by itself, and he sets it down next to the sweater — she hasn't released her laundry into his custody, after all, so he can't just go moving her things around! (Yet.) "Although I'd advise you to leave your linens out — those all do get washed together, since for the most part they're all the Weyr's and all more-or-less identical." Oh, right, and she asked him a question, too: "I've only been here — I dunno, a month or two, now."

"Same here. Two months and a little bit, really, and no, trust me, I don't really have time to do it so much as I'm just used to having to." Charisli gives Brentram an appreciative look for the basin, and puts the sweater in it herself, though shows no sign of doing anything like adding water or soap or washing it. "And I don't think I actually have any linens in here! Just clothes. Did you want to help sort, or were you just offering because you were bored? Since, I mean, I'm capable."

"Maybe a little bit of both." There's Brentram's grin again: he's a little bit cheeky, isn't he? "Did you want me to help sort?" is his ingenuous additional answer, hands resting, curled, on the edge of the table, now that his mug is well empty. "Towels count as linens, and you were worried you had those in," he adds helpfully. "And what takes up all your time, anyway?"

"I did say sure if you like, and I think you just hadn't decided whether or not you liked," is Charisli's just as quick answer. He gets a smile back, though her smile hasn't quite yet reached grin proportions. "And it's work and studies. I'm a Healer."

Brentram has to stop and think, now, playing back their conversation — all the way back to the first thing she said, in fact. Drat. The frown of remembering is replaced just as quickly with a rueful smile — "You're right, you did, didn't you," he allows. "I think back then I didn't know what you wanted help /with/, really!" And off he goes with helping to sort, with the advantage of knowing how the laundry staff in general sorts things. Fabric this weight in this pile, that weight in that one, bleeding colors over there… "Healing's pretty important stuff," he adds, somewhat noncommittally. "How long have you been a Healer?"

And it certainly helps sort when he knows the system of how the sorting works, as Charisli was just going to make it up as she went along. "Four turns. Made senior apprentice recently, moved here when my brother said the Weyr needed help," this is only sort of a lie, and is really more of just obscuring the entirety of the truth, "and my favorite Master is here now too, so it's going quite well. You're very good at that, the sorting. I'm glad you offered to help, I'd have bungled it and you'd have to redo it."

"Well, I have been doing it for over a month," Brentram says, somewhat distracted by the task itself. Shirt, pants, shirt, pants, pants, underp— um! Brentram gingerly shoves the black panties off into the appropriate pile, touching them as little as possible. It's just because the laundry room is so very warm and humid that he's all red in the cheeks, of course. "Didn't anyone ever explain it?" He's only squeaking a little because he's thirsty. Of course.

"There was never actually anyone in here who was paying attention to the fact that I was trying to sort my own clothing," Charisli points out, diplomatic and sensible. "So they didn't, but I don't blame anyone for it." She hasn't noticed the underpants moment, as she was busily checking the pockets of a pair of trousers at the time, and so as he didn't actually let out a squeak separate from his speech she's entirely unaware of why he's so red, and instead inquires, "Are you feeling all right?" She has no advanced training in sickness, considering she's specialized in physiology now, but she might as well ask.

"What? Fine! Fine, fine," Brentram answers hurriedly. "Probably just a little thirsty, still! I was hanging up clothes just before you came in," and if he turns around to wave back toward the racks, that'll give him another moment to compose himself, right? Sure. Uh-huh. "It's very — dry. Back there. And hot. So. Yeah. I'll just —" Flee, in the direction of the cool water, and realize well after the fact that he's left his mug on the table next to her clothes. Dammit. He makes do, anyway, and returns much more meekly and slowly to the table, to see how much more of her sorting there is left to do.

Really not much of any — just another couple of pairs of trousers. Charisli seems to have dealt with the rest of whatever underwear there was herself, whether that's a good thing or a bad one for poor Brentram. "You get something to drink?" she asks politely, and then remembers to ask, rather more politely, "Where are you from, by the way?" His accent is different. As for remembering to do things like give her name? Nope. Hasn't thought of it yet.

"Yeah, I — " Rasp, rasp, goes Brentram's voice. Even though he did get a drink. He clears his throat, smiles — doesn't really have to force it — "I'm from Fort, originally. Brentram. What about you?"

"Charisli." And so, having remembered her name, she also offers him a hand — presumably, to shake. "From Igen. Weyr, not Hold." Another reasonably traditionally-oriented place, so at least she might seem to him to have her senses in the right place, yes?

"Weyr, yes." A more tight-lipped smile accompanies that; for all that Brentram will probably never be comfortable anywhere that isn't a weyr, there's still the sense that talking about Fort isn't terribly high on his list of priorities. Despite that, as he tucks her last pair of trousers into the appropriate pile, he adds, "My little sister's still there, even."

"And is she happy there, or have you come here in order to scout it out and see if you can bring her along?" Charisli is utterly unashamed at being nosy, at least in this particular moment. Prying makes her eyes brighten, as she's practically aglow when getting to have her curiosity piqued. Or, more importantly, sated. "I mean, my brother's here. He brought me. Like I think I already said, actually." She laughs. "This morning's class has me so tired."

"Oh — no, she's young, still," Brentram demurs. Charisli's eyes sure are pretty, in a rather … hyper-engrossing way. Awk-ward. "I mean, uh. She's happy there — she didn't have a reason to leave, anyway." Crap, now she might end up asking about his reason to leave. Quick, a subject change! "What was your class this morning that's got you so tired, then?"

Brentram attempts subject change! Brentram succeeds! "Oh, it was neuromuscular stuff, there's so much memorization," Charisli explains, or rather mostly fails to by not really giving any context as to what 'neuromuscular stuff' is supposed to mean. "So I'm half asleep as it is, and am therefore glad I don't have to do my own laundry. What do I do with it now that it's sorted, then?"

Yay Brentram! Level up! Victory Dance Music! "Oh! You just need to fill out one of these cards," says Brentram, failing to dance around as he digs up one of the laundry claim checks and a pencil. "Fill out your name, today's date and approximate time, and as much detail about your laundry as you feel like trying to squeeze onto the card, and then look for the card again later — things get bundled up in piles, then in baskets or bags, and you'll see the check on the outside. Like over there." A gesture, with the hand not holding out the pencil, to the wall o' shelves featuring clean laundry, as opposed to the wall o' shelves featuring laundry tubs.

Victory dance music, but no victory dance, huh? That's okay, Charisli will forgive him. She didn't notice. "Oh, that makes — so much sense. I was told a lot of the people who worked here weren't very quick on the uptake, so that must be why you're around. Even though that's probably a horrible thing for me to have said, I don't think anyone heard me." Out goes the hand again, this time for pencil-taking instead of hand-shaking.

This time we're cuing Brentram's Wry Smile, instead of his victory dance. Charisli, writing, is probably missing it. "The aunties aren't too bad," he points out. "And they're usually the ones who do the folding and the sorting once everything's dry — so they're the ones who match up the labels, too. They just aren't left to do the heavy lifting." That would be him, and those whose weightlifting ability far, far outstrips their IQs. "Do you mind if the sweater gets washed with the rest of the reds?"

"What? Oh. No. Sorry." Charisli had been distracted, momentarily, by watching her fingertips move. The hazards of coming to the laundry after the 'neuromuscular stuff,' of course. "I forgot for a minute I hadn't answered you. But I'm glad at least the folders are good folders! If I had time I'd come help, but apparently crafters aren't expected to do Weyr chores." She gives a little thumbs-up with a forced wide grin for about a second.

"Nothing says you can't," Brentram says, a little bit softly, and — for just a daring moment — reaches across to pat her on the back of the hand. (Doubtless, by doing this, he's leaving a giant smear across her claim check.) "If you want to get to know the aunties — they're sweethearts, mostly, but they're also a good bit wicked." Off he goes, scooping up her things, now, somehow still keeping them sorted for all that they're mostly just jumbled up in his arms — the bucket with the red sweater stays put on the table, next to his mug.

Charisli, again, shrugs. "Except time. Time says I can't. Time dictates everything and also requires that sometimes I take breaks. Either that or Xantes requires that I take breaks. Then again, so do I, really — I'm aware that being a workaholic is actually very dangerous. So is spending a lot of time sitting, but then again I don't spend a lot of time sitting even when I'm working. It's only reading I usually do sitting down." And of course what she said was usually — sometimes she reads standing up or walking, after all. "Thanks, by the way!"

"You're welcome," Brentram answers on his way back, after dumping her clothing in an appropriate number of piles by the washer-workers. He's smiling, again, and looking a little surprised — people don't usually remember to thank him, no. "And if you ever do want to spend some time down here, getting to know the aunties — well, I'm sure nobody down here will mind, at least! If time is being such a pain in the butt for you, though, you'd probably better get back to something or other." He holds out his hand for her claim check.

"Get back to taking a break," Charisli says with a little bit of a laugh. "But yeah, I should probably head back to my nook to read something that isn't educational, or take a brief nap, something along those lines." Outstretched hand is met by outstretched hand carrying claim check, and she says, "Good to meet you, Brentram!"

"See you around, Charisli," he answers shyly, and then has to run — because all of this, of course, was taking place during his break, and now there are clothes to be brought down from the drying room for the aunties to fold!


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