Candidates In Exile (Day 2.5)

Emerald Isle - Sunset Beach
Soft pink sand lays along this stretch of seaside like a comfortable blanket. Its hue is a soft one and comforting to look upon, as is the smooth aquamarine of the ocean. Although the beach is beautiful at all times or day and night, it is the most profound at sunset when the sky is painted with the soft pastel colours of a setting sun. Dramatic reds, pinks and peachs stretch into one another, the seperate colours' boundaries left undefined, but as it gets darker you can notice a light purple continuely creeping into the others. Even the pink sand's shade changes, ranging from containing an almost fiery element to being a smooth pinkish purple.

It's 'later', now: a semi-acceptable meal has been cooked and eaten, and some rough, lean-to shelters now supplement the single tent. The clouds are getting heavier, and no one's really sure if the new shelters will keep out all that much of the rain, but… well. It's a start, isn't it? It's got to be better than nothing. Having already done what she no doubts sees as more than her fair share of the work, Rhysanna has left the cleaning up for others, and now grabs Naeda by the arm in an attempt to tug her away: they have a bath date. As it were.

Naeda seems relatively pleased with her efforts at fishing for the day. She might've failed to catch that elusive manta she spotted earlier, but she got enough fish to at least approximate a filling meal. Once it's done, she is more than happy to be tugged away for the promise of bathing, a tired smile appearing on her face. "Shards. I seriously can't remember the last time I was this dirty…"

"Me either," avers Rhysanna, leading the way through the undergrowth towards the fabled spring. "I mean, it would be even better if there were a hot spring and we had soap, but I'll take what I can get." She has a towel, at least, if only minimal clean clothes. "I wish I'd thought to bring something for my hands, too. They're…" Cracked and blistered and really not pretty. "But that would have required knowing where we were going in advance."

"At least it's warm enough to make a cold pool tolerable." Naeda'a clothes are pretty well tattered by now. Both sleeves have been sacrified to make spear grips. It's not a flattering look. "I wish I'd brought /soap/. We'll have to make do with what we have, I suppose. And at least we can get away from camp and relax."

Rhysanna lets out a half-hearted groan, clambering over a dead tree before, finally, the forest opens up to reveal the waterfall and pool, as promised. "I know I'm not thrilled about being here," she tells Naeda, stumbling out of her shoes in her haste to get into the water. "But I am so tired of the whining. It's not going to get us home any faster, you know?" She may be conveniently forgetting her own sulks and whines; to be fair, she did just spend most of the day working.

Naeda's eyes go a little wider at the sight of the waterfall. "Couldn't agree more." She says as she steps towards the pool, eyes on the water. "So much whining and sulking. And so much of it not even about our actual problem here. All that energy could be making our situation better, you know?" Off go her own shoes.

"And then there are the ones who've stood before, and so been through this before, too," adds Rhysanna, wrinkling her nose. "But I think most of them just like seeing the rest of us suffer." Her (filthy) clothes get an appraising glance, and then, apparently, the dark-haired girl makes a decision: she clambers up onto a decently high rock, and cannon-balls into the water, still fully clothed.

Naeda sees this coming. She lifts her arms to shield herself from the splash, giggling a little bit. "You're probably right." Her own filthy clothes are shucked off. She's spent a lot of the day in filthy wet clothes, what with the spear fishing and all. Not one moment more! Once that's taken care of, she follows Rhysanna's plan in scaling the rock and diving right in. Splash!

Surfacing, several strokes away from the rock, out towards the middle of the pool, Rhysanna promptly rolls onto her back. "This," she says, "is perfect. And if this is… can you imagine what it'll be like when we have a proper, hot bath with soap, when we get back?" If she closes her eyes, then, it's surely because she's imagining such a thing. "Once we get back…" her voice is quieter, now. "We'll be getting close to the hatching, I imagine."

Naeda stays under the water's surface for a moment before popping back up, blinking rapidly and sighing. "That sounds heavenly. Shards. Never thought I'd be missing a simple bath so much…"It might be a bit much drama for two days. "… Yeah. You're probably right." She agrees, bobbing lazily in the water. "What're you expecting?"

Two days, Naeda. Two whole days. It's basically the end of the world. Rhysa goes back to treading water, this time so that she can now begin to remove her clothes, filthy as they are. "I don't know," she admits. "I know there are two clutches, so that's twice as many opportunities, which is good. I think I wouldn't mind a green. If, I mean. What about you?"

Naeda may be feeling about as tired, filthy, and unsexy as she ever does, but she does still sneak a peek or two at the clothes-removing Rhysa. She's still Naeda, after all. Still, her usual mischief is lacking. She ponders the question. "Mmm. Dunno. You'll impress. Green, or maybe gold if there's one in the clutch. Naris and Therynn, too. They'll both probably get blues or browns, given their… personalities. And Sorel is a hotheaded jerk who treats women like property, so he'll probably end up a bronzerider. And I'll wish you all well and continue down the path to my spot as a Master."

Rhysanna's snort is at least one part horrified, another part distinctly dismissive. "No golds for me, thank you. Mother would… never leave me alone. Ever. No: I'd just like a green, I think." She may be aware of Naeda's peeking; if so, she shows no sign of it. Her clothes float to the surface, one piece after another. "I think you're right about Naris and Therynn, though. Naris on gold would be a terrifying nightmare: the bossiness! And Sorel…" The sour expression she makes says plenty about him. "I could see you on a green, too, I think. Or…" she considers the other girl, appraisingly. "I don't know. If you could choose, what would you want?"

"But once you have a gold, you'll be able to order your mother to go away, and she'll have to obey. The gold rule the weyr, after all." Naeda remarks with a little lazy smile, now floating on her back in the pool and looking up at the cloudy sky. "If I could choose what I want? Hmmm. Dangerous to think that way. The dragons choose, not us. But if I could choose… maybe a green?" She sort of lazily shrugs as best she can while floating. "I like a lot of greenriders. Dated one for a while."

"You haven't met my mother," says Rhysanna, with an answering laugh. "Anyway, if there is a gold, in Shadhavarth's or in Miraneith's, she could be yours. You could order all the pretty boys and girls to tend to your every need." Even as a fantasy, it makes Rhysa giggle. "I like greens," she adds, approvingly, wringing out her still-filthy shirt, inspecting it, and then dropping it back into the water with a sigh. "Or you could be a blue or brownrider, and just sleep with all the greenriders."

"Nope." Naeda replies quickly, with a little shake of her head. "Golds don't impress girls who like girls. You didn't know?" More peeks are taken, as if to emphasize that particular point. The bath is helping return a little bit of her usual mischief. "Who says I can't sleep with other greenriders if I'm a greenrider?"

Rhysanna's counter argument is determined: "You sleep with boys too, though. Surely that counts?" She really does seem unbothered by the peeking, and this time it's more obviously so: she strikes a pose, letting one leg draw out of the water, her body equally half-submerged. (And then, of course, she drops it, ending up back in the water with a splash.) "No one, of course. I'm pretty sure you can sleep with almost anyone you want."

Well, hey. If Rhysanna's going to pose, Naeda's going to admire. Her grin grows a little bit. "Rowr." She says with a wink and a giggle. "Mmm. Well, I've never heard of a gold impressing to a girl who slept with girls. First time for everything, I suppose. But I doubt it'd be me." She sinks under the water again, another attempt to wash off some of the sweat and grime. "Mmm. Sadly, I can't sleep with anyone I want. Otherwise you'dve already experienced my wonderful brand of magic. Alas!" She throws back her head and feigns distress poorly. Clearly, she's feeling better.

Rhysanna's giggle answers Naeda's, though it's largely drowned out by the splashing as she resettles herself in the water. "Alas, indeed." Though she, of course, is a long way from being serious. "It seems silly that you can't sleep with girls, while you're a candidate. It's not like anyone is going to get pregnant or anything. But… maybe it won't be too much longer." Her underwear floats by; she rescues it, then swims towards the shore so that she can spread it out on a rock, along with the other articles of her clothing she recovers along the way. "Anyway, if you don't Impress? I'll still celebrate your Mastery with you, one day."

Naeda once again follows Rhysanna's lead, climbing out to lay on the rock beside her. Or, if the rock isn't large enough, the rock adjacent to it. "Believe me, I've been saying that for a long time… Since as soon as I was searched, pretty much. I think it's a misguided attempt to be fair. Or spread discipline, or something." She reaches out, offering her hand. "Whoever impresses and whoever doesn't, I hope we stay friends. I don't always get you, but I like you."

There's room. Rhysanna doesn't seem bothered with close proximity… though it's probably for the best if none of the boy candidates stumble upon them right about now. "'Discipline'," says Rhysanna, with a roll of her eyes. "I suppose it's true that you really can't sleep with people when you're a weyrling, but…" She sounds wistful. She extends her hand to join Naeda's, shaking it firmly: "And likewise," she agrees, determinedly. "But hopefully, we'll both Impress, and it'll be a moot point."

Naeda gives Rhysanna's hand a little squeeze, another smile accompanying it. She doesn't seem too hurried to let go, either. "We can hope. It'd be fun to go through weyrlinghood together… well, maybe 'fun' isn't quite the right word. But more tolerable." She looks up to the sky again. "Anyways, you can't sleep with anyone while you're a weyrling until they give you the clearance. Which they try to do before the greens start going up. So we've got… a turn and a half to wait until the most?" She sighs heavily. "… Shards. M'gonna sprain my wrist at this rate."

Rhysanna returns the squeeze, laughing. "'Fun' is not the word I'd use, either," she agrees. "From what I've heard. But better with a friend, definitely." Her choke of laughter is very obviously for that last remark the other girl makes; her own grin is wickedly amused, though her sigh is more serious. "That long." Her flush is, as always, a tell-tale sign of her thoughts, matched by the agonized sound of her voice. "I haven't… I mean, it's been months. And that was fine. But…" More than a turn? Ew.

Naeda can't help but look somewhat crestfallen as well. Another heavy sigh escapes her. "I know, I know. I try to make it seem alright, but… it'll be a looong time." She turns her head to give Rhysanna just a little bit of a smile. "… Y'know, making out is still allowed." Hope springs eternal.

Rhysanna is not laughing at Naeda - promise! She's just laughing, eyes dancing, her head tossed back, cheeks… well, blushing madly. "You'll never give up, will you? Is it terrible that one part of me would like to say yes, but mostly just because then I'll feel like Zi'on has really missed out on something important…" And hot. Very hot. Sadly, "But if you try, I'll have to throw you back in the water."

Naeda really isn't seriously expecting any other reaction, so the laughter doesn't cause much offense. In fact, she laughs along with the other girl, mischievious little grin lingering on after. "Mmm. You know, nobody has to miss out on anything. My offer still stands, if you end up feeling a little more open minded after the hatching. Or graduation." A little shrug. "But, I will find my way regardless. Plenty of fish in the sea." Her grin wavers a little. "… Or so I'd normally say, but I seem to be the only one in this candidate group who likes girls. Well, aside from Sorel. And I think the problems there are… well, very obvious."

"Who knows where we'll be in a turn and a half," answers Rhysanna, who has evidently made the executive decision that they are both going to Impress, and that is simply that. She sucks in a breath after a moment, though, and gives Naeda a sympathetic glance. "Sorel and all the other boys, presumably. And… obvious, yes. Well, it's not like we're limited to candidates only." Pink cheeks, pink cheeks. "At least, that's not where the limits are. I can't honestly believe you've gone without regularly before, right?"

"I don't know. Not a single one of them has tried to seduce me yet." Naeda replies on the subject of the other boys. Which clearly she takes as evidence that they all must be homosexual or taken. It's the only thing that makes sense, right? She grins at those pinkening cheeks. "Nope. Longest dry spell since I was… shards, fourteen or so? What about you?"

"They must be mad," is Rhysanna's opinion on that subject, delivered firmly and with all apparent seriousness. She stretches out, adjusting the position of her clothes upon the rock so as to better utilise the sun to get them dry (although they're still a long way off clean). "It's been a while," she agrees. Then: "Uh oh. My shirt isn't here."

Naeda tries not to grin at that bit of news. She tries. But she really fails. "Oh, that's… that's too bad." Utterly unconvincing. "… It should stay warm even if it rains. You'll be okay, even without." She tries to summon willpower not to grin.

Rhysanna turns her head to look at Naeda. Really. Really? "I," she says, "am going to go find it. If you throw any of my other clothes in the water while I'm gone, I'll do something horrible to you, I swear it." Okay, her mouth is twitching.

Naeda pouts a little bit at the accusation. "Hey! I wouldn't do that." She realizes she might've thought of it. The guilt is immediate. She sighs heavily, then perks up. "Okay, okay. Tell you what, you can have mine. I've never been much for the whole modesty thing anyways, and I had to rip the sleeves off."

Rhysanna's brows raise higher; she smirks. "No, no," she says. "Keep your shirt. I'm going to find mine." Standing, still heedless of modesty, she dives back into the water. With luck, she will eventually be back, wet shirt in hand. And regardless, these two candidates will be in a much better mood by the time they rejoin the others.

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