A Quick Wash-Up

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 rumoured 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.

The current time for zone 22 is: 2696.5.25 11:51:12

While it is always nice to have time to relax and unwind in the hot springs, sometimes a body just needs to get clean. Such as Kayse, who enters the cavern liberally spattered with grime and desperately in need of a solid washing. As soon as she finds an available pool she shucks her clothes and slips in, setting to scrubbing herself with a will. No time for lounging today, not with layers and layers of gunk clogging up her pores and making her feel totally gross. "Sharding stupid thing to do, trying to plant things in that mess. Should've waited for the mud to dry a bit, but no, just had to get the seedlings in the ground /now/," she mutters to herself as she works, scrubbing hard enough to make her skin pink.

Rou'x, while not quite as dirty as Kayse, is also seeking the warmth of the hot springs and the ability to clean up. She's not bashful in stripping off her clothing and dropping right into a pool - beside Kayse, as it so happens. The amount of muck coming off the younger woman has her frowning for just a moment, before the brownrider figures she may as well just wade around to the other side of her to be out of the way of the pool's drainage path, and therefore out of Kayse's mucky water! "You been rollin' in it out there, then?"

Kayse has finally gotten over being terribly body shy while bathing; there's just no way to avoid the communal nature of the pools, and while she doesn't flaunt herself or anything she no longer tenses up every time someone joins her during a bath, thank Faranth. So when Rou'x drops in beside her the young woman doesn't do much more than nod a greeting while trying to scour off every speck of mud. "More than a little bit," she answers with a pained expression, taking a bristle brush to her finger nails to try and get the grime out of the creases. "I had the bright idea to take advantage of a break in the windy weather to get some seedlings planted. I forgot how soft the ground would be after the rain," she admits. "The mud sticks as bad as sap!"

"I bet it ain't such a pretty look, either." Rou'x snorts, then ducks underwater to wet her hair. Once she comes back up, she starts loosening it from its long, thick braid, and it wafts out in the water behind her like a cape before she starts scrubbing at it with soapsand. "The mud y'get here ain't like normal mud. Y'right - it's like sap or summat. Damned stuff /clings/ to ya, like it's tryin' t'love ya, or summat ridiculous like that. It ain't no way my favourite thing goin' out there when it's like that."

Kayse shudders as she finally gets her fingers clean and moves on to using a cloth to gently scrub smudges off her face. Somewhat muffled by her movements, her voice is grudgingly wry as she offers, "Well, I certainly learned my lesson today. I won't try planting again when the ground is well and truly wet. I'll let it get down to just damp; enough to keep the roots happy but not make things mucky." She finishes her face up in short order and rinses the cloth out, setting it aside to take up sand for her own hair. "I didn't realize your hair was that long, what with it being done up in the braid and all. How do you keep it from tangling?" Her own hair is more than enough work, and it's only a little past her shoulders in length. How does Rou'x manage?!

How /does/ Rou'x keep it from tangling? Even she doesn't know as she pulls her hair over her shoulder, shrugging as she looks down at it. "I dunno. I just keep it in it's braid n' it works, but it ain't exactly practical in no way." Which really doesn't fit with the rest of the brownrider's attitude towards life or anything, really. Her brow creases in a thoughtful frown, and she looks over to where her clothes are dumped at the side of the pool. "Got my knife in m' shorts there… mebbe it's time t'cut it off? Might be easier t'fix it all up then."

Kayse blinks at Rou'x when she admits not knowing the how or why of her hair. "You mean you didn't plan to keep your hair that long? You've just let it happen?" To a person who regular trims her hair to keep it from getting frizzled and unruly this notion is not only strange, it's outlandish. "Oh, shards, don't just hack it off! If you want to cut it go to one of the hair dressers in the marketplace. They can cut it evenly and help you pick a style you like that is easier to care for," she recommends gruffly before ducking under the water to rinse her hair. When she comes back up she's mostly clean, except… "Gah, forgot my knees and toes."

"It just sorta got long. I din't realise it were happenin' til I started sittin' on it… n' I ain't been bothered enough t' do nothin' about it." Rou'x shrugs, running her fingers through her soaked locks before she starts scrubbing soapsand into her scalp. "It don't take payin' no-one marks t' have it cut off, though. I ain't gonna dole out money f' that, when I gotta perfectly serviceable knife, or a pair o' scissors or whatever. Fashion ain't my interest." As anyone who sees her daily attire can attest to. "Them toes've yours're still dirty, even under all that water?" She sounds surprised, trying to peek through the moving surface of the pool to see them.

"… Sitting on it?" Kayse shakes her head at this revelation, picking up the brustle brush and levering herself up onto the rim of the pool. She drapes a towel about herself - no need to wriggle around naked - and starts briskly brushing at her knees. They were, in fact, still grimy. "It's nice to get it cut even, especially if you want to try a really short hair style. Properly cut hair is also a lot easier to take care of and keep out of your eyes," she points out, dabbing the brush in soapsand when her lather runs out. "Like I said, it's pretty sticky mud. Just a rinse isn't enough to get stuff out from under my nails. Gotta help it along with the brush." Scrape, scrape, scrape. Toes, you're next!

Rou'x hrumphs at the mud on Kayse, frowning as if she still can't believe how sticky it is, even though she's looking right at it. "It ain't budgin' proper, eh?" Her nose wrinkles in distaste as she watches the toe-scrubbing, then she ducks beneath the water to wash the soapsand from her scalp. "I don't reckon I wanna cut it all short," she admits as she rinses off the rest of her over-long manne. "I like puttin' it inta a braid, or inta pigtails n' shit. It ain't practical, but it's sorta been part've me since… since always, really." And she's clearly sentimentally attached to it, as she runs her fingers almost fondly through the locks. "An' I ain't bothered o' cutting it to be pretty, neither."

Kayse gets her knees all squeaky clean and tackles her toes, careful to not dislodge her towel while squirming around. "It just needs a little encouragement before it lets go and rinses away." Once she gets the last of the determined mud to come off, back into the water she goes, leaving the towel behind as she rinses the suds away and cleans the scrubbing brush. "You really wouldn't mind if your hair was all uneven at the ends? I thought it would be easier to tie off in the braid if it was all the same length, or at least all came together at one spot." She considers this for a moment before suggesting, "You could braid it out to the length you like, tie it off, and then cut everything off past the tie?"

"That's what I were thinkin' of." Thinking /hard/, by the intense look on Rou'x's face as she strokes her fingers over hair, looking towards the pile of clothes that she knows hides her knife. The brownrider chews her bottom lip, stands silently for a few moments, then exhales heavily. "Fuck it. I ain't bothered with it no more." She hops onto the side of the pool, dripping water as she pads across to her discarded clothes, and crouches down to pull the knife - nothing more than a penknife, really; Pern's Swiss Army equivalent - out, flicking the blade open. Then she plops herself down on the edge beside Kayse, twisting her hair around into a thick rope and placing the blade against it, ready to hack… only she can't seem to do it. "Whatcha plantin' out there, anyway?" Yay, distractions.

Kayse shakes her head as the rider debates the idea and finally decides on it, averting her eyes politely when Rou'x exits the pool. She's pretty much clean, now, so she might get out as well. Back up onto the rim goes Kayse, picking up the damp but still servicable towel and wrapping it around herself, taking a second one for her hair. Rou'x voice catches her up and she looks toward the rider before she remembers that Rou'x naked, leaving the youth a bit flustered; she's handling the bathing part better, but outside the water is still strange. "Hmmm? Oh, I sprouted some herb seeds I got from a trader. I'm not entirely sure what they are supposed to be, but I thought I could watch them grow and try to identify them as a test of what I've learned," she answers, looking at her clean toes intently. "Uhm, do you need a hand with your hair?" she asks after a moment.

"Herbs. I like herbs." Rou'x nods approvingly. "Don't matter which they are, herbs're useful f' somethin'." Now she's just talking, trying to build the stones to actually hack off her hair like she's intending to. "Naw. Don't need no help. I'm just buildin' up t' it." The knife-wielding hand is waved in dismissal at Kayse - not necessarily unpolitely. She turns to look over her shoulder at the younger woman, squinting up at her. "You been plantin' other stuff out there, too?"

Building up to it. Riiiight. Since her help wasn't needed Kayse set about drying herself, briskly toweling off and putting on the fresh clothes she had brought in with her. "I like herbs, too. Even if they aren't medicinal ones and are for cooking. Someone will use them, and that'll make the effort worth it. Besides, I like making things grow. I've been raising little plots of plants even since my first summer here. I even have a couple nice flower boxes I keep up," she offers. "Nothing much else this year than flowers and herbs, though."

Rou'x nods, listening to Kayse without /really/ listening - she's just happy for the background distraction as she thinks about what she's doing. And then… three, two one - CUT! Closing her eyes, she slices with the knife against the taut rope of her hair, the sharp blade cutting through it all in just a few strokes without a problem. When she's done and it all falls freely, she's left with one hand clasping what used to be her past-the-butt ponytail, while what's left of her hair falls just below her shoulders. "/Shit/."

Kayse could prattle on for hours about plants, she really does love them, but she doesn't get the chance right now. Just as she finishes getting her clothes in order there's Rou'x exclaiming over what she's done to her hair and Kayse's giving her a concerned look. "Er, is everything okay? Did you cut yourself?" she asks, eyes wide and voice breathy with panic at the idea; she hasn't a clue how to help if the rider has hurt herself, and she's likely to faint if she sees a bloody wound. Still, if the rider needs help, she needs help, and Kayse's already starting over with her damp towel at the ready, expecting to find blood dripping from somewhere that it can be used to… do something with.

"Din't cut m'self, nope." Rou'x shakes her head slowly, fingers clamped tight around her used-to-be ponytail. She sighs heavily, looks up at Kayse with a wry sort of smile, then gets to her feet to go and grab a towel… hair still in hand. "It feels weird. I ain't sure I like it." The shorn locks are settled gently on a bench as she wraps herself up. "Can y'see what it's gonna look like, wi' it bein' all wet n' all?" As she talks she buffs herself down with a towel, making light work of drying herself off before she reaches for her shorts to slip into them.

Kayse looks distinctly releived when Rou'x denies being injured, stopping her rush toward the rider and once again averting her gaze as the older woman sets about drying off. "I guess it's quite the change," she comments as she towels her hair, squeezing the worst of the water out of her own locks. Then Rou'x asks for her opinion and she looks up again, blushing as she tries to ignore the rider's half-clad state and focus on how her hair looks. "Uh, I think it should look alright. I mean, you keep it in a braid all the time, don't you? I dunno what it will look like loose, but it should be okay." As soon as she can she turns her gaze away, picking up her dirty clothes in preparation for tossing them in the laundry.

Rou'x nods; that's good enough for her. "I don't wear it loose. Can't stand it gettin' in the way o' shit I'm doin'." Bashful Kayse need no longer worry about the brownrider's bits being flashed, as she reaches for her tunic to pull it over her head. Does it matter that they're the same slightly grubby clothes she came in wearing? Not at all. The cut-off hair is picked up, stroked softly, and then Rou'x ties it into a knot to keep it together before she sticks it into her pocket. "Too late t'change it even if I wanted to, anyway. Eh. It's hair. It'll grow again." Rou'x shrugs, rubbing a towel over what's left of her hair to half-dry it. "I gotta go get changed proper t' report inta work. Speak to you later, p'haps? Cos we seemta keep on runnin' ino one another, yeah, forest-girl?"

Kayse is certainly relieved when Rou'x is properly dressed and thus safe to look at; she really doesn't like talking to her toes! "Then you should be perfectly fine. I bet you'll like it after a day to so, when you notice how much lighter your head feels," she predicts, thinking of the few times she has cut her own hair much shorter. "Especially as the weather gets warmer." As Rou'x points out that it will just grow back she nods. It always does. And then she's being called 'forest-girl'. "I have a name! It's Kayse. Not forest-girl. You make me sound like some kind of wild thing," she complains half-heartedly. "I'm sure we'll talk again. Enjoy your day!" she calls as she heads off to deposit her dirty things and move on to having a mud-free afternoon.

"You're forest-girl," Rou'x reconfirms, flicking her towel playfully at complaining Kayse. "It ain't an insult; y'can take it as a compliment. Not ev'ryone gets a Rou-nickname." She winks at the newly-dubbed crafter, touches fingers to temple in a jaunty salute, then turns to saunter out into the damp spring air.

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