Not What They Expected

Half Moon Bay Weyr - Hot Springs
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.


Nothing makes you regret your life choices more than having to wash away the glittery shame. Of course there is nothing quite like a bath to relax both body and mind, and in a glittery halo of azure water soaks one dolphineer. With the water up to her chin and a basket of her things sitting on the ledge of the pool behind her. “Stupid glitter.” The dolphineer mutters.

Some life choices, however, are absolutely worth the problem of washing away the glitter afterwards. Zeltan, for his part, seems to have done quite a number - shimmering from head to toe as he appears in the bathing caverns, even his hair holding a special sparkle. Humming to himself, quite content it seems with his experience on the sands, he is rather caught up in his own world. A pair of baskets and a towel are grabbed off a shelf - his boots going into the first one, and his clothes shamelessly piled into the second as he strips, the towel deposited at the edge of a pool as he slips in, oblivious to current occupants.

Who knows how long after Tanit made her exit before Ashwini makes her own exit. With an overwhelmed expression on her face and glitter glittering brightly across her arms and legs, she winds up in the hot springs. Hey it was a good idea! Paying little heed to the other she strips down and also gets into the water. "Hey guys." she greets in general.

Cue the loss of a few IQ points. Give her a minute folks, Tanit isn’t really as accustomed to the whole group bathing thing as she might let on. Cue sea-green eyes going skyward, “Ah – oh hi Ashwini.” Give her moment. “How about those eggs?”

Zeltan is well into making himself comfortable in the water, taking a moment to settle down, before he is stretching, arms along the pool edge as he relaxes, still humming along. And then, there are voices - including one very very familiar voice, and he is shaking his distraction off, blinking a few times before a wide smile is turned to the young ladies. "Hey there.." He offers, tone as relaxed as he looks.

Ashwini seems fairly comfortable though she's not exactly oogling anyone! Sinking into the water she utters a sigh of contentment. "That was…." a hand waves flip floppu for it's hard to for her to say exactly what she's feeling.

Oh for a frying pan. Give her a minute while she sinks beneath the water and resurfaces smoothing her hair back. At least the glitter is mostly gone. “I’m not sure what I expected but it wasn’t quite that. I’d heard things about Xanadu’s eggs but maybe with the exception of the black one these seemed… sweet?”

"The black one wasn't too bad. It was.. It was like a cat. Made me think of Lime." Zeltan says almost distractedly, a damp hand running through his hair and doing little to rid it of the glitter there. "I don't know what everyone was worried about, they were about as harmless as a basket of newly hatched firelizards." Or at last, so far, given what Zeltan experienced. "That tiny one though.. shards.." And a softer smile lingers on his face then - uh, oh.

"It didn't go to all of them. That really small one was very….inquisitive. And very sweet." someone has a favorite! "I just never thought…I didn't know…" again with the waving of the hands. "I didn't know candidates went to touch the eggs. Do you think they remember us? Visiting them?"

Tanit laughs looking between Ashwini and Zeltan with a soft chuckle. “So very polite. The darkness one was interesting too. Though, did either of you touch the one that seemed to be judging everything on the sands? It was like getting tugged around by a toddler wanting to show you all the fascinating things.”

A soft sigh, and Zeltan holds up a hand, ducking under the water for a moment, before he resurfaces, running a hand through his hair and frowning as it comes up glittery again. "Remind me not to do that again." He mutters to himself, though 'sitting on the sands' is just as likely a thing to not do as other stuff. As Tanit and Ashwini compare eggs, he hums softly. "Lime, Bonfire, Explosions, and sweetie pie." He indicates each he touched with a finger.

And now it's Ashwini's turn to duck under. Dunking under she comes up spluttering a bit. Her soaked black hair is losing it's glittery goodness. "Lime?" she questions. "Oh that one with the eyes." is directed to Tanit. "Or what looks like eyes. Nope, didn't get near that one."

Tanit grins at him, “I think the healers make an ointment for that.” She tilts her head, “Not sure which one was the bonfire, I think maybe I haven’t touched that one yet.” A sigh, “Lime – well you will probably see her in the barracks, great white fuzzball with lime green eyes and a smooshed face. She was – a gift for liming the weyrleaders office.” And by gift we mean consequence, because R’hyn and Ila go hand and hand with felines. “It was actually very sweet, kind of reminded me of some of those decorative fish you find up north.” She sighs, “Still it feels strange having something poking through your mind like that, I mean you get used to it with some of the louder dragons around here but…” The dolphineer does not seem to be too enthused about her secrets and hurts being rifled through and chewed on.

Making a face at Tanit, Zeltan splashes once in her general direction, before wiggling his hands to try and get the sand off them. "It was uhm. The green one. I think. Maybe." The trader seems to consider this for a moment before shrugging it off, clearly not all that bothered by it. "Lime is -my- new best friend." Zeltan adds on to Tanit's explanation, smiling innocently at the dolphineer, as if daring her to do something about it. "I mean, it was awkward but.. Not… I mean at least you know they are in there and not going to actually come get you." Which is more than you can say about say.. Leirith. Or Szatamirath.

"Ah. I think I've seen Lime in the barracks. Running under a cot in the back." Ashwini recalls. "Didn't realize it was a pet." or a gift/consequence. "Totally strange to have something poking through your head. I've never even impressed a Firelizard." Ash is still a tad boggled by this whole egg touching thing. "Nor has anyone spoken in my mind since I've been here. Though I think R'sner's green wants to meet me at some point. Or maybe she just always wants to meet anyone new." she lets her hand drift aimlessly along the top of the water.

Tanit just blows a kiss in Zeltan’s direction in response to the splash. Rolling her eyes as he claims closer kinship, “If you keep overfeeding her she will be a lime in truth.” The dolphineer sighs giving the younger woman a smile. “It isn’t really a usual thing, but there are a handful of dragons who – well if you ever encounter Ila’den’s daughter Risa, her gold is incredibly loud mouthed and she will bespeak anyone in a mile radius whether they wish it or not. I’ve heard Xermiltoth is the same, and Ilyscaeth is … well a chatty one as well.” The dolphineer laughs, “I don’t think I’ve met R’sner’s green. I don’t think the Weyrlingmaster likes me much either to be honest.” Her head tilts and she studies the younger woman thoughtfully, “Where did you come from now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve seen you around before the day we got searched.”

"Well, if you didn't -starve- the poor thing, I wouldn't have to keep giving her treats." Though, clearly Zeltan's definition of 'starve' and anyone else's may vary. Widely. As the two discuss loud dragons, Zeltan's gaze flicks momentarily to Ashwini, considering the younger girl for a moment before letting Tanit do the talking as he slips back under the water, paddling out to the middle of the pool - and uncontaminated water. "His green likes to collect things.. I need to take her her plushie, probably, before she decides I have backed out of the deal." He offers almost absently as he treads water, shaking the water from his hair.

"I'd been visiting here." clearly a visit that's being extended. "I'm originally from…" here Ashwini pauses. "Well Ista I suppose. Outside of Ista really but…" a shoulder lifts out of the water in a vague shrug. "My parents were both Master's in their crafts so we traveled to where they were needed. I got tired of that so I was seeking work." then she got Searched and wham. Chores daily and the promise of dragons speaking in her head. Plural on dragons so more than one. "Are you both from here?"

Mention of Ista draws an odd twist of expression from the dolphineer though it vanishes quickly, replaced with a polite smile. Her gaze does follow Zeltan’s movement to deeper water watchfully, though more the way a cat keeps an eye on a bird from the corner of their eye. “I’m familiar with some of Ista, though mostly just the beaches near the Weyr, spent a lot of time that way actually. Were they glass crafters then?” The dolphineer enquires and as to the question Tanit shrugs. “I’m from the Black Isles, Black Moon specifically, it’s about three days by sea, one by dragon or dolphin.” She shrugs and leaves Zel to answer his own questions.

"What isn't a day by dragon? Shards, what isn't 10 breaths by dragon?" Zeltan counters Tanit's explanation, teasing her as he moves back to settle at the edge of the pool once more. "Dad was the Weyrleader here, for a while. Mum's a green rider at Fort. I.. Well, I am a trader." Now. There hasn't been enough alcohol for how he got there, and as candidates, there isn't likely to be. "Dad grew up backside of nowhere on Ista, though." He shrugs. "I've never been there." Probably for the best.

"My parents went back to ISta to retire but it's been many turns since I've been there." Ashwini remarks casually as she listens to their answers. She slips further under the water a bit more with a happy sigh. "I could stay in here forever." or at least until someone comes looking for her for chore.

“Flying anywhere North if you aren’t betweening.” The dolphineer laughs, As for all the Istans, the dolphineer just sighs dipping beneath the water and swimming to the side of the pool that is not infested with glitter, Resisting the temptation to dunk unsuspecting traders in passing. “So retired craft masters of unnamed crafts. How mysterious. Tanit comments when she resurfaces on the other side waiting for the glitter to drain through the usual channels.

"Why.. why wouldn't you between?" Zeltan counters Tanit, giving her a completely baffled look. "Dragons can literally go anywhere, why wouldn't you take advantage of it?" Eyes flick to Ashwini, and he raises a finger to his lips. "Don't say anything too loud, or you will jinx it." Rule one. A stretch, and Zeltan slow starts inching his way around the edge of the pool, ever so slowly. Pay him no mind.

Ashwini closes her eyes. Which could be a mistake cause she nearly falls asleep. After realizing she's nearly asleep she shakes her head as she wakes with a start. "I think I need to lay down before I drown in here." she murmurs as she heads out. After drying off and getting dressed and all that stuff.

“Weyrlings can’t if they aren’t up to a certain age.” Tanit explains, smiling as the young woman nearly nods off. “Sleep sweet Ashwini.” Finding a seat on the underwater ledge where the water stays at chin level and doesn’t threaten to drown her. It may also be a little cooler on that side. “My friend S’van used to fly me back home all the time to see my parents.” Tanit goes on to explain, though her mouth tugs to the corner with it. “Ista can be pretty though, and the storms that roll in sometimes.”

"Well, that isn't exactly what I meant." Zeltan argues with Tanit, shaking his head, even as he raises a hand to Ashwini as the younger candidate excuses herself to head to bed. "I guess. I think everywhere has its own pluses and minuses." Zeltan adds, continuing to scoot around the pool, freezing should she happen to look in his direction.

As Ashwini departs Tanit frowns, thoughtful. “Is it just me – or are all of the other candidates on the young side?” She sighs, not paying much attention to what Zeltan is doing at the moment. “It’s like being back at the hall all over again except instead of being 18 and stuck taking classes with 12-13 year olds it’s 16 year olds now.” Her mouth slants, as she reaches for one of the bottles of sweet scented bath additives letting the contents pour into the water

"Why do you think I only tried so many crafts before deciding that whole idea just wasn't for me?" Zeltan keeps up his half of the conversation, though he shrugs after a moment. "Ayushi isn't that young. And I think Kiele might be older than she acts, but, I guess I could be wrong." The bath additive is eyed, and he freezes, watching carefully which way the scent is going to spread in the pool.

This one at least isn’t too bad, and it seems to do wonders for removing the glitter. Because a small glitter cloud has formed near the dolphineer as a result. She dunks and rinses a few more times before swimming in the opposite direction of the current, fairly sure she’s as free of the stuff as she will get, watching the current carry everything to the natural drain. “I think Ayushi is 16 or 17 unless I miss my guess, but we could bet on it.” The dolphineer notes with a soft laugh, closing her eyes and relaxing against the ledge. “Was that the only reason you didn’t stick to long with one?”

"There is no way Ayushi is that young. I'd wager she is older than you." Zeltan counters, and as he verifies the scent - and the glitter - are going the opposite direction, he continues his scooting, pausing a few arm lengths away from her as she closes her eyes. "Mmm, well, that and I was shard in' terrible at all of them." He offers with a laugh, and a shrug. "And yes, I do mean all of them." Well, that he tried. The kitchen performance should emphasis how well Healer would have gone.

“If you’d asked me three turns ago, I never would have thought of going to the hall.” The dolphineer admits with a sigh, “But coming here changed a lot of things I think.” One eye flickers open perhaps realizing that he has moved closer, but she seems unalarmed by such a thing. “The hall was – an interesting experience I guess. Wasn’t bad, and I got what I wanted out of it – thanks to a few strings pulled by one of the journeymen I wound up posted here instead of at Monaco.” Tanit sighs again, “Still not sure how I feel about this whole egg thing though.”

Don't mind him, he is just going to sit here, close enough to talk but far enough away to not like, be a threat or anything. For now. Let her settle into a false sense of security. As she talks about the hall, Zeltan hmms softly, nodding. "Monaco isn't bad. I mean.." He shrugs, considering, "Though I suppose you had ties here already." And then, he scoots again, pausing to rest with his arm up on the edge of the pool, turning sideways on the seat.

“Journeyman Kalen, helped with my acceptance into the hall and my assignment to Half-Moon.” Tanit comments, “Haven’t actually talked to him in nearly two years though, I heard he was injured.” Add that to the list of things she probably should have done but never found the time. “I don’t particularly care for it though, I prefer Half-Moon.” The dolphineer admits closing that eye though still suspicious. What’s the worst that could happen though? It’s a public bath. Right? Right.

"Injured?" Zeltan asks, the seriousness of the topic enough to give him pause, tilting his head, particularly as she comments that she has no idea what else has occurred since then. "I think Half Moon suits you. Even if you aren't sure on this egg thing." He comments after a moment, and as she closes her eyes, he is slipping quietly under the water - he has some revenge drowning to do.

“He was struck by lightning,” She notes, and perhaps the really observant will notice that her breathing has changed though for all else she seems relaxed and completely unaware of impending doom.

Unfortunately, Zeltan doesn't hear her response, which probably clues her in sooner than later when he says nothing. Instead, an ankle is caught and he is tugging her off the ledge and towards the center of the pool, albeit definitely without enough force for any negative consequences - other than whatever Tanit will do to him.

Or so he may think. There is a moment with a kick of resistance and then – nothing not so much limp as there is just no more resistance and no fight to reach the surface either, just one closed eyed dolphineer sort of half floating between the bottom of the pool and the surface.

As there is enough distance to get the dolphineer clear from the edge of the pool, Zeltan is mindlessly letting go and moving to the surface, gasping for breath after a moment - ok, he definitely shouldn't be a dolphineer. And then, as he is there for a second, and another, and another, and Tanit doesn't join him, he is glancing down into the water, spiraling around to get his eyes on her, freezing as he spots her. "Shards."

Seconds continue to tick by, and Tanit remains the picture of relaxation or – other things, less pleasant things. Don’t think about it. She’s fine. She’s totally fine. That small stream of tiny bubbles is nothing to worry about really Zeltan.

"Shards." Zeltan finally curses again as Tanit continues to not move, and it seems that the trader has decided to risk that Tanit is in fact just pulling his leg (ha-ha) and is ducking back under the water to grab - well, whatever he can - and pull her up to the surface.

Sea-green eyes open at the sound of Zeltan ducking back under and it’s a powerful kick that rights the dolphineer enough to land hands on his shoulder and push down to essentially dunk him as she breaks the surface for air, though notably she doesn’t keep enough force there to keep him under for long. One of the perks of the hall? Learning to tread water without the use of your arms. When he does surface she’s within arms reach not really letting go of his shoulders in case he’s not as good a swimmer as she thinks.

Pushed back under the water, it is a moment later that Zeltan surfaces, pursing his lips as he stares at Tanit, shaking his head. "You had me worried." He mutters, shaking his head as he starts to move back to the ledge. "Like, legitimately worried. That isn't nice." Oooh, someone is grumpy.

Tanit follows him close behind, perhaps realizing only now what a bad thing to do that was. “I’m sorry Zel.” The apology a little breathy, “You are right it was a stupid thing to do and something like that should never be a joke.”

There is a brief pause as he reaches the edge of the pool, when Zeltan turns to look at her, a hint of disappointment in his eyes as he shakes his head. "I accept your apology.. but that doesn't mean you're forgiven." Yep, still grumpy. Without a further word, he is pulling himself out of the pool and stalking for his towel, wrapping it around himself quickly, eyes resting on his glitter-sand clothes with a deepening frown.

Confusion colors her expression though she doesn’t leave the pool to follow. “You – were really worried, weren’t you?” Should that sound so surprised? Probably not, but as she watches him glare at the glitter clothes, “The bin with clean clothes is over there.” Not really sure what else to say – she doesn’t say anything else, dipping back beneath the water.

"No, I wasn't worried -at all-." Zeltan snips back at her as she lingers in the pool, before the basket with the glittery clothes is pushed to be picked up for laundry, and clean ones are snagged - and he is stalking out of the caverns towards the barracks still in a towel. "Good night, Tanit." At least she got that much?


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