You're sort of strange, you know that?

Western Weyr - Hot Springs Cavern
Created by the fires of the volcano a pocket of ancient air has created this huge open cavern in the black stone. Most of the floor is covered by bubbling mineral water that gleams azure in the dim light of glows. Swirls of green, blue, red, yellow, black and white are awash on the walls and floor, earmarks of earlier times when the hot water boiled out of its bed and rose to fill the dark cavern.
A few signs of humanity can be found. A trunk with soft fluffy towels, soap and a boardwalk erected through the middle of the four pools so that people can find their way to the hot water without burning their feet along the way. It is rumored that an hour in the hot water can melt away even the worse of troubles, leaving a person relaxed and ready to face a new day with vigor.


Evening has settled in over Western, with most of the weyrfolk gone for dinner or returning to room or weyr to wind down for the day. The hot springs are fairly deserted, which seems to suit one lone young girl just fine. Kaliena looks like she's just gone and found every undesirable part of the jungle and possibly the weyr and fallen into it. Mud cakes most of her skirt and her bare feet below. Dirt covers her hands and arms, as well as parts of her face. Ever her hair, now a tangled mess, has a leaf or two in it. With her sandals in hand, she picks her way over to the towels, grabs one (and is polite not to muss up the others) and then promptly chooses the pool closest to her, not bothering to check to see who may be around or even occupying it. Setting towel and sandals aside, Kaliena then quickly slips from her dirty clothing, her modesty making her awkward as she hurries along, then all but jumps into the water.

Zi'on works an odd schedule these days, so he can keep up with his son. Also with his girl, who happens to make her home in Fort. He's in his undershorts with a towel wrapped around himself to cover them, and is half asleep by the looks of it. The bronzer is scraggly and scruffy and not his usually annoying self. He's carrying some clean clothes with him, which he sets on a shelf with the rest of his stuff, getting totally nekid before wandering around a bit to find a pool to drop into. His face might be scruffy, but at least the rest of him is nice and smooth. There's no bushels of chest hair or anything. But of course the pool he's sliding into is Kali's, but maybe her eagerness to get into the water has saved her a look at the naked bronzer. It's true that Zi'on has his own pool, but sometimes he liked to come to the springs when it was convenient, or to stretch and relax like he's doing now.

Perhaps fortunately for both of them, Kaliena was under the water as Zi'on wandered around in the buff, resurfacing just as he slides into the pool she "claimed" for the time being. Even wet, her hair is a mess and clings in long strands and tangles around her head and covering her face. Using her hands to push it back, she wipes the water from her eyes as well and then blinks as she spies the bronzerider stretching out and relaxing. "Not you, again!" Kaliena exclaims, and then promptly swims backwards and away from Zi'on until her back bumps up against the pool wall. Crossing her arms over herself, even though her body is hidden beneath the water (and not that she has much to show), she adopts her usual scowl. "You always drop in on folk uninvited?" the girl grumps at him.

Zi'on looks like he's about ready to fall back asleep when Kali pop her head out and addresses him. He gives her a blank look, as if he doesn't know who she is, then he blinks himself awake. "Huh? I didn't even know you were in here. Besides, you don't own the baths." He peers at her as she crosses her arms over her chest. He'd make a joke at her, but he didn't want Th'ero punching his lights out next time he bumped into him at Fort. "You better get used to being naked in here. But I'll move to another pool if you're going to get all angry-face at me." There's a groan from the bronzer as he moves to lift himself up onto the side of the pool.

"I thought it was polite to /warn/ others or ask before you join 'em," Kaliena fires back, regardless of the fact she was under the water and Zi'on is being truthful in saying he didn't see her. Doesn't matter or factor into her sense of logic, it seems. And it's not Th'ero he should be worried about punching him out, not that Kaliena stands a chance against Zi'on. And then her brother in the end still may punch him. "I ain't got a problem with nakedness. I just like my space," she drawls, jutting her chin up slightly. But when Zi'on goes to move, her eyes widen slightly and she puts her hands out in a halting gesture. "So you can stay here! Just…stay there." Space, right? Has nothing at all to do with nakedness. Yeah right. Kaliena turns her head away then, though continues to watch him occasionally, suspicious even now as she reaches an arm back for something to scrub herself with and instead gets her muddy sandal. "Ugh!" Kaliena flicks it away, then scowls and for once not at Zi'on as she stares at the supplies back with the rest of the towels. Supplies she did not grab, in her haste.

"Eh? I didn't see you in here." Otherwise he'd probably be RIGHT NEXT TO HER right now. Bothering her even worse. Kaliena was a woman, so she doesn't have to have logic. Zi'on probably would get a punch, though hopefully it wouldn't be because he accidentally knocked up Th'ero's younger sister or something. "Heh, fine." He says, dropping back into the water. "I have long legs though. Just warning you." As if to prove his point, he stretches out so his toes are close to Kali. He watches her reach back for… something. At first he ducks, expecting a muddy shoes to be thrown at his head, then he blinks. "Forget something? You need some sweetsand? There's some over here." He stands up in the water to lean over to the next pool and grab the bottle or whatever it was they keep sweetsand in. At least it's just his behind, and he's back in the water before she can get flashed.

Hopefully it will not be because of accidental pregnancies! Kaliena only stares at Zi'on blankly for a moment at his teasing threat, until her eyes drop to the water and spot the shadow of his outstretched foot. Which she promptly tries to kick at by using her hands to prop and brace herself against the pool. "Quit it!" she growls, but even as she attempts an angry tone, there is some amusement to it. "Alright, I get it. Shards." Kaliena wouldn't throw her muddy sandal at Zi'on - not yet anyways. But when he offers the sweetsand, she brightens for a moment, realizing she won't have to get out herself. "Uh, sure. Thanks." She agrees only to look away when he reaches for it. Even if it was just his behind, Kaliena is a young modest girl, despite all her tough act (which obviously fails). There's an awkward pause, and then she speaks up again, her tone low. "So… you just get off shift too or something?" she asks.

Zi'on maybe gets a glimpse of boob though! That'll be something to brag to Th'ero about later, right? He chuckles as she squirms away from his foot, pulling it back under the water. The bronzer avoids sandal, woohoo! Once he's back in the water he hands it over to her. Zi'on isn't very boyish anymore, but he is still pretty skinny. Given that he's so tall and eats like a bird. Once Kali is squared away he leans back against the side of the pool again to relax. "Eh? No. I just woke up. I worked last night and had Ezio this morning. Someone's gotta keep an eye out at night and all. What did they have you doing today? Mucking stalls or something?" From her muddy shoes.

That's if there was anything to glimpse in the first place and it's not the sort of bragging that will exactly make Th'ero happy. Kaliena approaches just enough so she can accept the soap sand and then scurries back to her side, promptly setting it down on the edge of the pool and getting to work on scrubbing herself clean. Even at her age, Kaliena could pass as a boy if she cut her hair short enough. She's missing the curves most girls her age have started to get and she may never be, well… girly. "So you work all night and most of the morning, then sleep the day? But I guess it makes sense." she asks, gaze darting up and over to Zi'on from time to time. "Ezio is…?" Memory fail, on her part and she at least looks sheepish enough for a moment. Kaliena then snorts oh-so unwomanly and rolls her eyes. "No, they had me on mending. I hate mending. So I finished it up quick and then escaped to explore. Started with the docks, then got to these paths on the outside of the Weyr." She rambles on as she scrubs roughly at her arms.

Zi'on wouldn't actually brag to Th'ero about his sister. Though he would probably rat her out next time he saw him. If only to let him know he was keeping an eye on her when he could spare one. Zi'on didn't have the classic blonde-hair blue eyes good looks his father had, but he was cute enough in his own right. Properly groomed, of course. "Yeah, I guess. I mean, sometimes I do that. Some days I have drills, and most of them are during the day." He quirks a brow at her, but maybe he didn't mention his son's name. "My son. Mine and Enka's." Surely she remembered Enka. "Ah. You know what's good for exploring?" He doesn't wait for her to guess, just continues on. "A dragon. There are lots of little islands about that no one goes to."

While Kaliena hopes Zi'on won't rat her out, it will likely keep the bronzerider in Th'ero's good graces for a long, long time. Can't hurt to have a Weyrleader owe you something, now can it? As for good looks, Kaliena hasn't even got to that stage of thinking yet. As it is, she hasn't quite stopped viewing the bronzerider as threat yet. Trust? She has none. But at least she's not scowling! "So no set schedule then?" she replies with a bit of a smirk. It's obvious she has very little understanding of the inner workings of a rider's day-to-day business. There's a soft 'ah' like sound as Kaliena makes the connection and her smirk turns to a crooked smile. "So you actually watch your son? You didn't," And she pauses for a moment, thinking. "Foster him?" she continues slowly, as if uncertain of the term. Then she's glancing away again and focuses now on scrubbing away at the disaster that is her hair, picking out the leaves and trying to come the worst of the tangles. Her mouth opens to try and guess in reply to Zi'on, only close it and then blink at him. "Okay…" Kaliena drawls again, frowning at him. "And you tell me this why?" Clearly, she had got her hopes up that perhaps he knew some cool hidden place. "Not like I can get to 'em. No dragon and I ain't about to ask any rider to ferry me."

Kali needs to learn the rule. The rule being bros before hos. He would want Th'ero to tell him if his sister was in distress and fled to Fort, after all. Zi'on was threatening! He'll make sure to write to brag to his mother. He shakes his head. "Not really. I guess I sort of got into a bad way when I first joined the wing. My da was wingleader, so he used to stick me in all the shifts that people liked to flake out on. So I've kinda been all over since." He raises a brow at her smile. "Heh, he's too young yet for that. Not weaned or anything. He's barely six months old. We'll probably foster him a little later though. Enka doesn't have the time and I don't either." He laughs. "You could ask me. If you're nice I might could take you around for a ride. Show you some of the islands. Like where they ditched your brother and all the other candidates before the hatching."

Kali needs to learn a lot of rules in the game of life, especially Weyr-style. Some she'll grasp and others will likely have her questioning if leaving her backwater cothold was a sane move. But that is neither here nor there and she'll likely learn everything the hard way, as she always has. "That sucks," Kaliena replies when Zi'on explains his rough start to being a wingrider. "And some riders shirk on their work? Ain't that… a really bad thing?" Clueless little one, isn't she? Smiling is rare thing for her, for as soon as Zi'on seems to notice it, it's gone and she's back to some neutral look or a frown as she works away at her hair. "I didn't know he was so young." She murmurs awkwardly, "So you won't be sad then, that you have to?" It's a curious question and that much shows in the glance she gives the bronzerider. Soon enough she's blinking though, slightly dumbfounded as her fingers pause half way through her hair. Wait, what? "Why'd you guys do that? They do something bad?"

Zi'on would at least be around to pick up the pieces. Or make sure she didn't land herself in too hot of water. He shrugs a bit. "Eh. What can you do? At least I got Suldith. It ain't a good thing, but people get lazy. Or they got other things going on. Or flights. Or whatever. There's always something. So you fill in and the weyr keeps running." Zi'on shuts his eyes for a piece while Kali does her hair. "I guess I will be a little. But it's not like he's going away and I'll never see him. I can still see him whenever I want. But I got duties and all myself. It's better that he have more structure. If he stayed with me I'd have to bring him to the nannies all the time anyways, and a foster is better than that when you're young. Once you're a little older it don't matter so much. I was foster for a while when I was a kid." He laughs then and shakes his head. "No. It's part of their training and all. You get close to each other if you're stuck helping one another all the time."

Kaliena would be grateful for that, if and when the time comes and even if she won't out rightly show it. Dropping her hands back into the water to rinse them off, she gives Zi'on a long, lingering look for his first answer before shrugging her shoulders. "Suppose so. Just never figured riders would shirk duties. But I guess if everyone else does, it makes sense. Sucks that someone's gotta always pick up the slack." She points out and then frowns a little in thought for Zi'on's next answers. "I guess that makes sense too in the end." Kaliena murmurs, "Seems like it ain't half bad. Especially if you get to see him around regardless." The young girl then tilts her head a little to the side, both curious and puzzled. "Training? So you just dump 'em all off and hope they can survive? Sounds…" Fun? "…harsh." With a shrug of her shoulders then, she's ducking under the water, gone for only a few seconds before resurfacing, hands pushing her hair back and then wringing it out.

Zi'on laces his fingers behind his head. He shrugs a bit. "If there was an emergency it would be one thing, I guess. But most of the time we just fly around looking for trouble. It can get a little boring, but it keeps the weyr safe. And when something does happen there's always someone around." He shrugs a bit. "Why you asking about fostering anyways? You having kids soon?" He could help with that! "More or less, yep. Just dump them off. It's a tropical island, and there's fruit and fish around. So it ain't like they'll starve or freeze to death. It teaches all the prissy types some appreciation." He watches her wring her hair out then. "Your hair looks nice like that."

"Search and rescue then?" Kaliena guesses, proving she's not entirely clueless or is at least listening in on conversations. "I suppose when nothing is happening it's boring, but when stuff does it's not. Looking for what sort of trouble?" Apparently her trust issues can be set aside if Zi'on just keeps feeding her curiosity. Or, he can have her all scowly again with his teasing, which is exactly what she does for his comment on children. "Shells, no! I was just curious. And I'm too young to start popping out kids." She sniffs, jutting her chin up almost defiantly. No one will be helping her with that, thank you! Kaliena smirks then, giving her head a slight nod now in understanding. "Ah. Now that I kind of like. Survival of the fittest, clever." She drawls, considering it. Freezing for Zi'on's last comment, a blush creeps across her face and she promptly glares at him. "You're just saying that."

"Yep." Zi'on confirms. Though he thought she already knew. "Oh you know. Pirates. Fires. Shipwrecks. People screaming for help. Dead people. That sort of thing." Zi'on likes to hear himself talk, so if she keeps asking him about things, he'll keep talking about them. He's been at the weyr all his life, of course. He knows it's ins and outs. He laughs then. "You don't look -that- young. A lot of holder girls get married real young and start making babies early." There's a blink, and he laughs more. "They aren't out there -eating- each other or anything. The idea is to help each other. Not try to kill the other candidates. Sheesh. You holder gals are tough." He gives her a serious look then. "No. It does."

Kaliena's eyes widen for a moment and then she frowns, suspicious again. "I could believe all those. 'Cept the pirates, cause I've never heard of 'em before till you brought them up." Having no idea that Zi'on loves to hear himself talk, she'll just keep feeding into it and all the more if he truly does know the ins and outs of the Weyr. Despite all her bluster and prickliness, Kaliena does need someone to go to, after all. "I'm only sixteen." She grumbles and then wrinkles her nose. "And don't remind me." Ducking her head then sheepishly, she gives a small, wry sort of smile. "I didn't mean it quite /that/ way." Which is only half the truth, at best. Kaliena then snorts softly again, "Have to be, at least from my cothold." At his serious look, she only glares but then begins to fidget, hands coming up to tug at the ends of her hair as her gaze darts away. "Quit it." she warns, before turning back to the task of scrubbing the rest of herself reasonably clean.

If Kaliena hasn't realized it by now, she certainly will soon. Though she could use that to her advantage. He'll probably even tell her all sorts of secrets if she asks. He laughs a bit. "Never heard of pirates, hm? That's a shame." He grins to her. "So? I'm only nineteen. And I was barely nineteen when Ezio was born." And certainly not nineteen when he was conceived. "Well, Enka is a lot older than me though I guess. Speaking of, did you ever get your room? Or did you keep being too shy to ask? You ought to at least take some advantage of the fact that your brother is a weyrleader now. And that they'll kiss your behind to get into his good graces." He laughs a bit. He raises a brow to her a smiles. "Quit what? Telling you that you're cute?" Zi'on apparently is going to clean himself, and he reaches over for another bottle of sweetsand so he can start scrubbing himself.

"Not by that term. My cothold is by the sea, though we never were plagued by renegade ships or the like, I suppose on the count that we weren't profitable enough." Kaliena explains, her tone somewhat flat as if she's reciting some piece of information she only knows because she overheard it. Zi'on's grin is then met with a rolling of her eyes, though she does fix him with another doubtful look. "You're only nineteen?" Like her brother, it seems the young girl is a horrible judge for age. "Enka didn't seem old." She points out and then smirks, shaking her head. "I ain't shy. I just don't see why I need a room of my own. Not like I'm a Crafter or someone important." Kaliena then laughs short and sharp. "Ha! So you're saying I should twist my brother's rank to my advantage? Right. Not going to happen." Yet even as she looks away, the young girl seems to consider the idea, though is careful to mask that. She would have continued with her bathing too, but Zi'on's comments have her freezing again. "I'm /not/ cute!" Kaliena snaps back and then slaps her hand across the surface of the water, flinging some of it towards the bronzerider. Confidence issues much? Or does the girl just not like compliments?

Zi'on blinks a bit at Kaliena's information about her cothold. "Hah, renegade ships. Where'd you hear all that anyways? Anyways the pirates would love to get into the weyr stores I bet." Thar be lots o' booty in the stores, arr! Really Zi'on looks much older than he really is. He looks closer to twenty-nine than nineteen. "Well, she ain't OLD old. But older than me by a bit. She's got four kids now." He laughs then. "No? Well, that's a shame. He could end up not weyrleader tomorrow, and you'll have missed your chance. My old brother was younger than me, and if I mentioned my father I usually got in more trouble," he admits. He laughs a shields himself from the water unsuccessfully. "You can call a dragon an ovine, too, but that won't make it true." Zi'on has more a feeling that she doesn't want compliments from -him-.

Kaliena bristles a little, suddenly defensive. "What, you don't believe me?" she drawls, before sniffing and muttering, "I dunno. I'd just hear snippet of things when I did my chores. Sometimes if I was quiet enough, people would talk like I wasn't there." She blinks then, quirking a brow upwards to Zi'on's claim. "Why? Are the Weyr's stores rich?" Around and around the questions go! Kaliena then shakes her head, smirking again. "No, that ain't old at all." She agrees, "And four? Only one is yours though?" Now it's time for possibly awkward and private questions! Back on the topic of using her brother's rank, Kaliena remains stubborn on the matter, though she's slowly reconsidering her first reaction. "I dunno. Just seems… wrong." She mutters, leaning back against the pool's wall now that her bathing seems done. The young girl grins when Zi'on unsuccessfully shields himself from the water, but it drops into a confused and puzzled look. "What?" she quips to his saying, missing the point entirely. It's not that Kaliena doesn't want compliments, it's mostly the young girl's reaction to something she's never really received, save perhaps from her mother.

Zi'on wrinkles his nose at her, mostly because he doesn't understand why she's getting defensive. "I didn't say that. I just was curious." He peers at her. "I see. I'm not quiet enough for that. I always just butt my nose into conversations." He laughs and shakes his head. "Not really, but there's enough stuff in them that a pirate could sell to make a lot of marks if he wanted." There's a nod about Enka's kids. "One was a flight baby I think. The twins are from her last weyrmate. And then there's Ezio." Zi'on grins a bit. "It is kinda wrong. But it's a victimless crime." In Zi'on eyes, at least. Now it's Zi'on's turn to scrub! Sorry, Kali, but eventually the bronzer will need to sit on the side of the pool to get what's under the water. "What I was saying was just 'cause you deny it don't make it a lie." In other words… deal with it? "What, you ain't never thought a boy was cute before?"

"Why am I not surprised?" Kaliena drawls sarcastically and… teasingly towards Zi'on? It would seem that she's done with her bath now too and reaching for her towel, she unfolds it and then awkwardly pulls herself from the tub and trying her best of cover herself before wrapping it around her body. Despite the obvious attempt to hide, she pretends like nothing happened. Nope, not shy. "Oh, really? Like what?" Kaliena asks, perhaps a little too curiously. Sitting now with her legs dangling into the water, she goes about wringing out her hair again and giving another nod as Zi'on elaborates on Enka's children. "Victimless how? Wouldn't I be using my brother for my own gains?" Kaliena points out with another smirk. She may play dumb sometimes, but she can be smart when she wants to. When Zi'on does sit on the edge of the pool, she just adverts her gaze or just makes sure to look /up/ when she looks his way. "Fine. I won't deny it then." Kaliena grumbles, reluctantly accepting it and dealing with it. "But nothing says I have to /enjoy/ it, right?" At the mention of boys and cute, she flushes and then scowls, but not at Zi'on and the water becomes her target instead. "I don't have time to think like that. Not really interested in all that stuff."

Zi'on laughs a bit. "Hey now. Some people like to talk." Zi'on isn't shy. He's not even shy about looking. Though it's mostly harmless. He's busy washing anyways. "I dunno. Food stuff. Furniture, clothes, pots and pans for the kitchen. Other gizmos and things. Leathers. One time I found fireworks in there, and Th'ero helped me blow them off at graduation." He laughs then about her taking advantage of Th'ero. "How's he even going to know?" Once he's lathered up, he takes a dip in to rise, then gets out completely. He strolls over to take up his towel, drying himself off before getting dressed. "No, I guess you don't -have- to. You're sort of a strange girl, you know that? Anyways, if you want to see the weyr from on high, just come find me." He doesn't look too convinced by her denial, but clearly he's got someplace else to be and thus she is off the hook as he heads out!

Kaliena listens with interest as Zi'on lists off the various goods to be found, only to frown when he mentions fireworks. "What're those?" she'll interject and then only give the bronzerider a disbelieving stare. "Kel?I mean Th'ero helped with that?" she asks slowly, as if trying to picture her brother doing anything with things that apparently explode. Kaliena then shrugs and again averts her eyes as Zi'on gets out of the water and back into his clothes. The young girl is taking her time though, picking through her clothes now and grimacing at how dirty they are. She bristles again under his remark, but keeps most of her temper held back and bites back a sharp retort. "Maybe I like being strange." She grumbles, and then nods her head stiffly to his offer. "Alright." Whether she will or not remains the real mystery. But then he's heading off and Kaliena can relax enough to slip back into her clothing, or at least the layers that aren't too dirty before scampering off as well.

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