P'sec.jpg Maura.jpg

Date: 7/9/11
Location: Baths - Eastern Weyr
Synopsis: P'sec asks questions, gets unexpected answers
Rating: PG13
Logger: Maura

The first day… there was just no way Maura would be able to make drills. The second day? Just lucky that it was a rest day. And since the baths are usually full at very predictable times – she thought she would be clever and avoid certain people by sticking to a distinctly ‘off’ time. Like, when everybody else is having lunch since she’s decidedly not hungry. The froth of sweetsand is enough to mostly mask her reasons for avoidance, but any movement at all, like as she’s reaching for a vial of scented oil she plucked from the shelves… kind of undoes most of her clever planning.

P'sec has been gone all morning, off on either another clandestine errand or personal attempt to familarise himself with the surrounding landscape and sweep area until it's instinct, second nature. Opting for a late lunch rather than a prompt but sweaty one, he heads for the baths with a spare set of clothes crumpled in one hand. A quick sweep of the bathing caverns turns up Maura; his glance is too quick to note anything amiss especially given the steam, but he ambles over and sits down on a nearby bench to start disrobing, beginning with his sandals. "Hey," he starts in. "Missed you at drills yesterday."

Going suddenly still, Maura pauses in her inspection of the vial, and tilts her head backwards until she can see sandal removal. And then, glances back at the water and grabs another handful of sweetsand to toss in. “I bet it was pretty peaceful without Rikath there.” She jokes, keeping her tone light as scented oil is uncapped and she sniffs lightly at the randomly selected scent. Let’ see… what have we here today. “Today /is/ a rest day, right? I didn’t miss today’s drills or anything did I?”

"You didn't miss anything." P'sec toes off his sandals and nudges them under the bench with his heel, then peels off his shirt. "So," he says, balling it up and tossing it to the side of the bench, "how come you took yesterday off?" When he pulls off his trousers prior to getting into the water, he assumes Maura will look away with the unwritten code of baths behaviour.

Yes, even after three short years of being a rider, Maura has implicitly and instinctively learned the code of baths behavior. She’s totally staring at her little vial of scent as if it’s the most interesting thing in the world; and then she closes her eyes once her head is leaned back. Just in case, you know! “Had to stay up for at least 6 candlemarks when I came back from Igen; Healer’s orders. So I needed the sleep, and…” Pause. “My head still hurt too much to concentrate enough anyway. No, it wasn’t my usual headaches.” The answer is delivered in such a rush that one might /swear/ she’s hoping he’ll miss at least half of it. Thus, closed eyes, so that her frustration at being unable to come up with suitably vague answers doesn’t quite show. “I’m fine. Really.”

The sound of water displaced heralds P'sec's entry into the bathing pool. It's safe to look. "Whoa. Back up." P'sec missed nothing, and now turns a keen look on the young woman across the way instead of immediately reaching for the soapsand as was his original intent. "What happened that meant you had to stay up six candlemarks?

“Shit.” Yeah, that epithet slips out just before Maura drops further down into the water, intending to soak her hair and pretend she didn’t just swear. When she pops back out a few seconds later, it’s to reach up and squeeze out excess water and still not look at P’sec. Even though it’s safe. “… possible concussion. But, they really didn’t think so. Kind of hard to tell, since I didn’t pass out or anything. And you know, with the headaches and all, I wouldn’t know if I –did- get one within the next few hours after the thing happened what it would /really/ mean. So it was better to play it safe.” Oh look, soapsand; she shoves the container over his way, keeping herself mostly under water, thanks! “Looking for that? Great time for a bath. It’s so quiet and everything.”

P'sec's gaze skips to Maura's forehead when she mentions concussion and this time notices the stitches. He lets his gaze rest there questioningly - even if Maura still refuses to look at him, maybe she'll be aware of how he's looking at her. He maintains a doggedly patient tone as he asks, "And how did you get a possible concussion?" He's not letting it go, though he does reach to take the soapsand container from her. "Thanks.

Ohhhh yeah. Maura is aware alright! And since, you know, it’s obvious she’s not getting away with much here, finally looks up. A little. “The guy that grabbed me, while the other one held a knife to my throat got scared when Rikath landed and snapped his teeth and growled and stared with the whole red eyes thing going on. So when he realized I was a rider, he tossed me aside and ran?” she ventures, playing a little twirly game with the scented oil. Vials are fun! “Except, I kind of landed against a set of stairs. So, I hit my head. And uh, my hip on the same side. But the arms, those were just from the grabbing part.” She points out, as if that makes it a much better injury to be sporting. “It’s nothing compared to what my sister wound up with, though.” And before she gets a strip torn out of her, because she can just feel it coming… “I didn’t know she was in /that/ kind of trouble or I would have brought one of you with me. I just thought she needed money.” Vague on details, big on meaning.

P'sec gives up all pretense of taking a bath. The soapsand is set down next to the pool, and he folds his arms and fixes his gaze on Maura, giving her a long, intent look. "Start," he suggests in a way that isn't really a suggestion, "from the beginning."

Such opposing reactions. Rii all but refused to ask *anything*, so of course he got the most jumbled story ever. And P’sec has to drag the story out of her piecemeal until he finally orders her to spill it. And all Maura can do is pretend that they all don’t confuse the hell out of her sometimes. Really. So after a moment of chewing on her lower lip, out the story comes. “The other day after dinner Rikath got word from Igen’s watchrider that my sister was looking for me, and needed some help. So, we went. She always does that when she needs money. Everyone knows that the dancing girls don’t make much money unless they’re into giving ‘extras’.” Ahem. “And she’s just not. So I give her the money when she needs it, so that she doesn’t have to go to our parents, who all but disowned her –anyway-. And I know where she works, so I just… went. But the place has new owners, I guess. And they don’t take no for an answer from their dancers. At least, from what I could tell.

Although the information about Maura's sister's profession is all new, P'sec is unflappable and doesn't react with surprise. Once she starts talking, he drops the stern posture, leaning back with both elbows up on the lip of the pool - but don't think that he's listening any less. "What happened?" he asks, prompting when Maura pauses for breath.

He just drops the stern posture because it worked. She knows! Maura may not be clever enough to evade them all very long, but she’s smart enough to figure a few things out. “The other girls there know me, so they got me into her room.” Well /now/ she pauses for breath alright, looking distraught. “She was so beaten up she couldn’t even walk by herself.” One needn’t point out that stubbornness obviously runs in the family. “So I pulled her up and started helping her walk out, but before we could walk to somewhere safe for Rikath to land the ‘new ownership’ found out what was happening and figured they’d stop me.”

"Did they do anything else before they held a knife to your throat?" P'sec speaks with the calm composure of someone who's seen and heard much and, furthermore, knows that an explosive reaction at this moment does absolutely nothing. "Where's your sister now?"

“My sister is back at Igen Weyr. The infirmary. They’ll get word back to Rikath when her fever breaks. Infection.” Knowing people there helps, obviously. The relatively short recital of information seems to have left her tired though; the stilted words wind up accompanied by a head loll against the lip of the pool so she can stare up at the ceiling. “Words. Just words and loud voices until they grabbed me and you know the rest from there. I’m pretty sure I won’t win a diplomacy award for anything I said, though.”

Long silence greets the end of Maura's recital. P'sec looks at her until the very activity of looking seems to tire him. With a sigh, he reaches for the soapsand container that had been set aside. "Take one of us next time. You shouldn't do this alone anymore." The advice carries a note of expectation with it, the lasting impression P'sec gives as he finishes the rest of his bath in silence.

If Maura knows she's being watched, she's actually pretty good this time at not showing it. In fact, for once it seems she would be quite content not to look at anyone, or be looked at entirely. "Ch'rii is coming with me when I go pick her up and bring her back here.When I find out who did it…." Well, she hasn't got that far yet. But the invitation to help is obvious. She doesn't say anything else after that, though. Silence from both sides until only the sound of sloshing water, wet footsteps, and the rustle of clothing herald her exit .

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