To Be Or Knot To Be


Ahnika.jpg E'ro.jpg

Date: 7/15/10
Location: Laundry Room
Synopsis: E'ro is in the Laundry Room, knotless, allegedly causing mischief and Ahnika, also knotless, comes with a bucket of fresh drinking water for the workers, meeting him for the first time. Tension ensues as Ahnika feels the need to defend the workers there and before she knows it, she is giving a bronzerider a severe dressing down. Oops.
Rating: PG
Logger: Ahnika

Eastern Weyr: Laundry

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.

One has to fortify themselves to enter the heat-filled laundry. There's steam and hot water in giant pools, plus odd-looking drudges that gives you creepy stares. It's not for the faint of heart. Therefore, it's the perfect place for E'ro to hang out, right? Even for him, the bronzrider's presence seems out of place in the large cavern, though he's aiming to look casual as he leans against a stone wall, snacking on a redfruit. He just can't hide the sweat trickling from the pores or the sweat-dampened clothes he wears, but maybe his visit is innocent. "Darja," he mumbles around a bite of juicy fruit, "how can you even think to blame me this time? Didn't I swear on my life I wouldn't?" Whatever his words, the plump laundress isn't buying what he's selling. "Ya deadglow! Ain't been born yesterday! I knows it was ya, it's always ya. None else be comin' 'round here so reg'lary but ya! Stay outta me laundry or I'll just be tell ya high n' mighty Weyrleader!," she spat as she glared at him over a basket of fresh-dried linens. "Now, now, let's be civilized. I haven't laid a hand in your laundry room for over a sevenday." To which he received a harrumph as she collected her basket and moved off, leaving the bronzerider grinning like an idiot. E'ro: 1, Laundress: 0.

Punctuating that ‘harrumph’ is a new person entering the Laundry Room. This would be Ahnika, and from the looks of things, she’s either been in here off and on all day, or in the hot kitchens off and on all day. Her face has that shiny sheen of perspiration indicative of either hardwork or standing around kitchens and laundry rooms. It only serves to accentuate her freckles across her nose, much to her chagrin were she to realize it. Wisps of hair have come loose from that bun of hers and hangs about the edge of her face and sticks to her neck. Presently, she is walking with a slight slump to one side considering the weight of a bucket of fresh cold water in that hand, a ladle is looped over the side. As she enters, she doesn’t spy E’ro right away, and instead announces with a bit of authority laced with friendly warmth, “I’ve got fresh cold water, everyone! Come and get some as you can get away!” The announcement is likely to receive some appreciative response, considering the heat. Though it wouldn’t be unusual for some to whisper of how Ahnika is just doing this to get in good with the Headwoman. And she hefts it awkwardly, trying not to slosh any water out over the side, as she shuffles over to one of the tables where the laundry is being folded.

Despite his business having been completed - or so it seems - E'ro is still hanging around in the laundry, still leaning up against that wall when Ahnika walks in. He's mid-bite when she announces fresh, cold water, and his face lights up. That's just what he needed! Because he's been working so hard.. here in the laundry room. "Perfect," he sighs as he lays his hands on the table's surface and gives Ahnika a clipped nod. "Nice thing you're doing here. We all," as if he speaks for the drudges and laundresses, "appreciate the help. Sure, they won't tell you thank you, but they're thinking it." And he adds a wink as a bonus.

Ahnika starts a bit as he leans in and she looks first over her shoulder, wondering if this person was talking to someone behind her, and then looks back at him, this time a little more lingering, taking him all in, head to toe, including his redfruit. She recovers from her surprise finally, summoning up a smile for the bronzerider, and saying, “Of course,” drywashing her hands together now that the bucket has been settled on the table. “It gets too hot down here. I don’t want anyone to pass out.” Her smile turns into a rueful grin and she sticks her hand out to him, “I’m Ahnika. Sorry… I thought I met all the laundry workers already. Are you a new recruit?” She starts to move away from the table and water as some of the workers start to crowd around it, but tries to give her attention to E’ro otherwise.

Ah, that's the ticket! E'ro lets his grin stretch wider as he listens to her speak, which had she known him, she'd have been wary of that smile and the sudden gleam in his blue eyes. "You're right, it does get too hot down here, and it's something that should be brought up to the higher ups. There should be more ventilation," he replies, with all the muster of someone truly concerned about it. Two female drudges come to the table and have their share of the water, which prompts the bronzerider to lapse into silence. When they shuffle away, he extends his hand as well, grasping hers in a dutiful shake. "Ahnika? That's a pretty name. I'm Lero, and yeah, I'm a new recruit. Came here all the way from the Reaches. That lady over there," as he points to Darja, "doesn't like me too much. Something about a grudge.. her father ran off with a Reachian woman." He shrugs, feigning no knowledge but minute concern.

As he speaks, Ahnika slides her gaze from him to examine the Laundry room a little more critically, perhaps to look for ventilation, or signs of a lack thereof. At the mention of her name, Ahnika turns her grey eyes back on him, smiling softly, “Thank you, Lero. Nice to meet you.” She returns the shake, her hand sweaty from the heat, and slightly callused, but the grip is firmer than most women might give. Then she releases her grasp, and tries to slip her hand from his to fall back to her side as she continues to listen. By the end of his tale, her brow is furrowed with concern and a frown touches the corners of her lips. “That doesn’t seem right.” She turns to regard Darja from the distance, “I should go talk to her for you.”

"Nice to meet you as well, Ahnika." That name just rolls off his tongue so well. "It's not every day that we get pretty women in here." E'ro, now Lero, adds another winning smile to accompany his words, then turns to gaze upon Darja, his expression become somber. "I don't think it would do much good. Several of the others have tried reasoning with her, but she's dead set. I'd almost think if she saw a Reachian that she'd try to take him out with her bare hands." Dramatic pause. "But they do say that those with histories of father abandonment.." He trails off as he turns back towards Ahnika, the corners of his mouth tugging downward. "What do I know, huh? I'm just a lowly launderer." What a show.

“What?” Ahnika asks first, looking between confused and skeptical when he mentions ‘pretty women’. The wheels of her head churn a moment more as he continues to talk, and distractedly she says, “That’s nonsense. Nobody’s going to kill anybody. Anyone can be reasoned with.” There’s a pause. “Eventually.” She looks back at Darja and then her head whips around to look back at E’ro with the last. She narrows her eyes at him, her ire suddenly stoked when he mentions ‘father abandonment’. She raises her hand, one index finger outstretched and pointing at his chest, her voice a low growl, “Look here, Lero, are you a mindhealer? No.” She steps closer, her finger coming dangerously close to actually poking him in the chest, not caring about making a scene, “So mind your own business and you let /me/ and Headwoman Indira worry about Darja’s. And so far to boot, I ain’t seen any evidence that what you say is true, anyhow,” her voice raises a level, drawing some eyes, “and even if it /is/ , ”the last word nearly hissed, “I’ve gotta wonder why you ain’t interested in patching things up with Darja. And that’s not all,” she says, her finger jabbing right toward his chest, her voice raised to the same level of her making her announcement earlier, “I ain’t seen you workin’ a lick yet. And /finally/, is there some thing wrong with the Living Cavern that you gotta bring your lunch with you to work your shift?” She jerks her head at his redfruit, ignoring any looks or any attempts to get her attention and call her off seeing as how this holdless resident is sitting here dressing down a bronzerider unknowingly. “I don’t tolerate lazabouts. If you’re gonna eat, you eat up where food belongs. If you’re here to work, then mind your tongue and work!”

Uh oh, E'ro's been found out, but he's not ready to let the charade go - he plans on taking it far as it can and seeing her reaction. All he can do during her tirade is listen and quietly smile, his expressions in response ranging from quizzical to amused to downright devilish. However she interprets them, she won't get any actual retort from the man until after all of her words are spun. He pauses after her last bitter dressing down and takes a purposeful bite from his redfruit, eyes on Ahnika. "Fiesty, arent you?" he counters at last - around mouthful of flesh and juice - eyebrows lifting considerably. "I like that." Whatever it was that she expected, likely it wasn't such a nonchalant example, coupled with a lazy grin and a puckish mien. Whether unfortunately or luckily, Darja has started to look in their direction, her hoary brows snapped together. She's eyeing them suspiciously, obviously disapproving of their loud voices and transparent stares.

Apparently, that was indeed not what Ahnika was expecting. She remains where she stands with her finger jabbed toward his chest, but her expression shifts from anger to confusion a moment. She blinks quickly a few times, and then the angry look returns, “I don’t tolerate rakes either.” This time her comment comes more at a normal volume, but chilly. “You just mind your work and your own business and don’t go around spreading false tales, and I’ll /think/ about not reporting you and your poor attitude to Headwoman Indira.” With this, she lowers her hand back to her side, and starts to move past him toward the door.

Rake? E'ro? No! He quite happily stands in her presence, continually snacking on his fruit, as she accuses him of being a womanizer and then threatens to tell on him. There's little he can do if she chooses to tattle to the Headwoman. "Aye aye, cap'n," is his cheeky reply, but just as he's turning about to finish his harassment of the laundry workers, he almost gets bowled over by a flustered Darja. "Now I don't knows what ya been cookin' in here, but ya had best quit it and I mean it. I be toleratin' ya on most days, ain't havin two of ya in here, squakin and interuptin everything. Get out of here, go on, and take that sassy lass with ya." She's got her balled up fists on her wide hips, glaring down Ahnika's back. "Ain't ever heard of such a thing, a girl like you talking down a bronzerider, even if he are full of smoke and no fire," the laundress yells after the girl. Her words earn her an impish grin from E'ro - seems he's proud about his little show. Go figure.

Considering that Ahnika was already moving past him and he apparently didn’t intend to stop her, she’s a small handful of paces away toward the door when she hears Darja behind her. She turns around. Her glowering expression remains, but she gives the older woman the respect of having her say uninterrupted. The young red-head’s fists go to her hips when she’s called out however, and she looks indignant, “Ma’am, you’ve obviously got me mistaken with someone else, and I’ll expect a proper woman like you not to repeat such an inaccuracy to anyone else. I’ve never talked down to no bronzerider in my life. If this fellow drudge is still harassing you, however, I’ll go fetch me a bronzerider to haul him out on his ear quick as you like and give him the kind of switching someone should have given him long ago to teach him some proper manners. Then I’ll be sure to report him to the Headwoman so she can turn him out.”

Darja gives the younger girl a disgusted look. "Young'ns these days, ain't got no respect for elders. I ain't going to be lying to the likes of ya, girlie, and this dimglow ain't no drudge as sure as my grandmother was a laundress and my mother was a laundress." She keeps her fists-on-hips stance and gives Ahnika an icy look. "Ya ain't been here long so let me fill ya in. This be the dimwit E'ro, looks to Yzuruth. He's a troublemaker and always up to no good. Ya got pulled into his game. But ya are causing a fuss in the laundry and that I can't stand for. So get out, both of ya, before /I/ go get the Headwoman." She snorts, looking between the two of them. E'ro is still grinning from ear to ear, silently.

Ahnika listens to the verbal pummeling with her hands still on her hips and a sour expression, but by the end of Darja’s words the red-head’s eyebrows are arched and she shifts her narrowed-eyed gaze from Darja to E’ro and back again. There is a lengthy moment of icy silence as Ahnika’s grey gaze settles on E’ro one time, her chin up, and if looks could kill, the weyr would undoubtedly be short a bronze and rider right about now. There is no apology from the teen as realization of the full situation dawns, nor any groveling for forgiveness. Ahnika apparently has enough moxie in her bones to not show any dismay or shock either. She just stands there in the chilling silence with her hands on her hips and glares at E’ro. After the long silence stretches just to the point where some of the other laundry workers might feel uncomfortable, Ahnika smiles a frosty smile back at Darja, “Enjoy your fresh, cold water, Ma’am. I’ll take my leave then. I have other errands to get to for the Headwoman anyway. Good day.” Then she turns and continues on her way to the door without so much as a look at E’ro.

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