Yes, Hunters Bathe

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.


Hotaru doesn't often come down to the bathing caverns. Nae and herself have a private washroom in their weyr. But when it's rainy out and muddy, like it is today, she will often wash up before heading upstairs. It's late afternoon, heading toward dinnertime, but Hotaru is heading towards a pool in the caverns. She starts stripping down, leaving her muddy clothes tossed into a neat pile.

Ladek arrives at the Hot Springs himself, with his scarf wrapped about at his mouth and he seems a bit thoughtful as he glances towards the various people around, although when he notices Hotaru, he makes that way, "Oh, heya Hotaru, it's you!" he exclaims, and seems a little bit enthusiastic as he has a little bit of water in his hair and on his clothes from rain.

Daranyl doesn't have any other bathing options, sadly. He looks utterly drenched as he schlumps into the bathing caverns, his crossbow slung over one one shoulder. Dark eyes slide over the room, his lips twisting into a taciturn scowl at the exuberance of Ladek and the presence of Hotaru, but he doesn't really have a choice in the matter if he wants to get warm and clean, either, so after a beat he sucks in a breath and lets it out as a dark sigh, moving to find somewhere to hang his crossbow and start stripping off his clothes.

Hotaru is stepping out of her pants when Ladek calls out to her. "Hm?" She looks over to spot him. "Ooh, hey, Ladek! Long time no see. What've you been up to?" Hotaru stretches out a bit, then slides down into the pool she's chosen. She dunks her head under the water then pops up. And on doing so, she spots Daranyl, stripping down. "Look!" She says quietly to Ladek. "It's crossbow-guy. I saw him in the caverns the other night. I didn't think he bathed."

Ladek notices Daranyl, and offers a tip of his head, "Sir," he offers, then he waggles a finger at Hotaru, "And perhaps he is like me, not wishing all these weyrfolk with their love for nudity to stare right at him! Give him privacy," he says, as he huffs a little, then asks a bit thoughtfully, "In any case… May I join you? I'm rather still a little less fond of being so noted here."

"Or perhaps you saw me five minutes after I got back from a hunt." Daranyl's voice is flat and perhaps just a touch judgmental as he doesn't seem to have any concern shucking down to his skin and moving to slide into another pool, letting out a pleased noise as the heat starts to soak into his muscles, "And my name's Daranyl, not crossbow guy."

Hotaru frowns at Ladek. "No one is -staring- at him. Or you for that matter." She leans back against the side of the pool. "Hm? Sure. Though apparently I -stare- so… you know. Don't feel bad. Or self-conscious. Or whatever." Hotaru lifts a leg out of the water to examine it. Probably looking for hair. "So… What's new with you? Any new ladies in your life?"" Hotaru peers over at Daranyl. "Maybe. My grandmother was a huntress though. And she never smelled like you did!" Real mature! "Well, Daranyl, I'm Hotaru. It's good to meet you. And to see you bathing. This is Ladek. He is my bath buddy, when my weyrmate is out."

"I'm Ladek," he offers, as if not keen to be introduced by others, and gives Hotaru a small nod, as he moves to begin and disrobe, his scarf first, which is wrapped up properly, and then sliding his jacket shirt off his form, a bit of the rain clinging to his tanned form, and he flushes a little at the words, shaking his head a bit, and then begins to take off the rest before settling into the water slowly a bit, "In any case, it's refreshing when you and Nae are around… You all should invite me over sometime," he adds, a bit sadly, eyes closing, "I met a nice gal but she really kind of detests me for being weird." Towards Daranyl, he tilts his head a bit, "Hunting is enjoyable, where do you tend to go?"

Daranyl raises a hand and grunts a quiet greeting to Ladek, just letting it all soak in for a moment before he murmurs, "We all have our own methods. 'Side, ya never got that close ta me, anyway." He goes quiet, slipping beneath the water completely for a beat before he surfaces again, "T'day I made my way up north a bit, crossed to one of the smaller islands. Ya don' seem that weird to me."

Hotaru chuckles a bit. "Is it? I thought we scared you off last time. Nae gets handsy in the baths. Well, you know how she is. Anyways you can come up whenever. Just let us know when you're coming and Nae will send Kaiath down. Or you can take the taxi up. Just give us some warning." She winks at Ladek. Hotaru chuckles at Daranyl. "I'm just teasing, Daranyl. Besides, I thought men liked smelling bad. At least when they're all sweaty and dirty after working. Or hunting." She ponders. "I've not done much hunting around here. I wouldn't even know where to go. Also I guess you'd need a boat. Or a dragon."

"I guess I don't, she was just a little prissy, and I used ta hunt a little but it's harder with sleeping days to do my Star Craft at nights," Ladek answers towards Daranyl, and then flushes at Hotaru, "Don't make me wish to sneak up there, come now," he teases, a bit easy-going, compared to how he was before, then adds, "You two have been great friends though, and Nae after that bath last time told me about uh… Mating flights, enlightening."

Daranyl tips his head back to rest on the edge of the pool and makes a face at the mention of mating flights, "Sharding messed up that all is. An' I don't mind smellin' like I done a day's work, but I mind the 'mplication I don' clean up after. Only way ta keep yer rack clean." He rolls his shoulders, tilting his head to look at the other two, "I swim some so long as I don' go too far. Should I leave y'all to yerselves?"

Hotaru grins at Ladek. "I wouldn't make unexpected visits. Nae can be pretty scary if you interrupt her plans for the night. She gets cranky." Hotaru laughs. "Oh? I don't get to participate in that sort of ordeal. I just have to go and make sure to collect her afterward. She says I can tag along, but… it seems a little weird." Hotaru looks over at Daranyl. "What's messed up? The flight business?" She giggles. "Well if you don't smell you don't smell. No, you don't have to leave. You can also be a bath buddy. Do you want your back washed?"

"You're alright to stay," Ladek answers towards Daranyl, then he grins at Hotaru a little, and heaves out a low sigh, shaking his head a bit while he considers, "Mmmf, I hope you don't mind I think you and Nae look nice," he adds, as he smiles, then he begins a slow methodical wash, as he sneaks a bit under the water, then slides out with a rawr, "Sharks!"

"Yeah. Seems like a huge to-do just so two folks can have a moment. Does strange things to other folks, too. Messed up." Daranyl says it with a finality. It is, deal with it. He ducks under again, then reaches for some soapsand, letting it get up a lather, "Naw, I can wash my own back." He glances up at the shout about sharks, then grumbles something under his breath, tipping his head forward to start to scrub at the back of his neck. Playing in the baths? Pfft.

Hotaru raises a brow at Ladek, then chuckles. "Why would I mind? I'm not that protective of Nae I can't even let you compliment her." She peers at him as he slides under the water, splashing at him when he comes up. "Keep your fins to yourself, mister!" She laughs. Then she hoists herself up on the side of the pool so she can start scrubbing. She tilts her head at Daran. "Eh? You realize it's the dragons, right? The people is just… a side effect?"

"Ta be fair it is a little weird," Ladek answers, as he settles about back towards the pool ledge and nearby with Hotaru, shaking that splash from him, and then wiping his arms, and torso, then those legs, although artfully trying and keep from view, "Ah, in any case I'm thankful of Nae, she seemed worried that I knew little about what mating flights were, you all are wonderful," he adds. Towards Daranyl, "So, yer from around here?"

Daranyl's shoulders lift and fall, he never actually looks up at Hotaru this time, "Not like the greens lay eggs anyway. Seems like a big to-do fer nuthin' is all." Maybe he really just doesn't get it, since there's no overt malice in his tone, just… a flat, simple appraisal of the world as he sees it, narrow as that vision may be. "Naw, just got in from up near BlueFire Hold."

Ladek bursts out with, "That's my home!"

Hotaru laughs. "I guess, if you're not used to it. I've been at the weyr a long while. And my parents are riders, so it's less weird for me, I suppose. It's true the greens don't lay eggs. So I'm not sure the point of their flights. Comradery?" She says with a shrug. "Well, I'll let her know you're thankful? I'm sure she'd appreciate it. Nae is a weyrlingmaster, so she prides herself on educating others." Hotaru lets Ladek ask the questions while she baths. She doesn't like smelling, either!

Ladek smiles a bit, "I'm from BlueFire Hold," he says, as he asks of Hotaru, "Hmmm, you know what I'd like? A dancing partner, we should dance sometime," he adds.

"Yeah? That's interestin'." Daranyl doesn't lok up at Ladek, though, still scrubbing his neck. He likely isn't a familiar face to Ladek, having left the hold proper when he was only eight. His crossbow and clothes are off to the side, but he at least doesn't look like a drowned rat anymore now that he's had a chance to warm up, "S'ppose I'll get used to 'em. Gonna be here a while."

Hotaru chuckles at Ladek. "I'm afraid I can't really dance, Ladek. That's not really my bag. You'll have to ask Nae, maybe. I'd just step on your toes." Hotaru's dance skills didn't extend much past the bump and grind. She nods. "I suppose. It's the goldflights that are really the bad ones. You hardly notice the greens. Unless the green happens to be lifemates with your weyrmate, of course." She grins. Hotaru and Ladek are sharing a pool. Hotaru is sitting up on the side, soaping up at the moment, and Daran is in a nearby pool. Or maybe the same one. Within talking and viewing distance.

Ladek was soaping up too, but soon he settles back about, and then nods at Daranyl, "I adore home," he says, as he smiles a little, and gives Hotaru a nod, relaxing a bit as he soaks, "You know, in any case maybe she will, Nae's one of the kinder people I know that aren't tryin' and use me, or be cruel, save for you of course," he adds, as he leans towards that ledge.

The weyrlings have finished their drills for the day. That leaves Nae free to go out and relax. The springs are a logical first stop. The greenrider strides in and makes her way to a bench to get out of her riding leathers, her blue eyes scanning the steamy cavern in search of familiar faces. When she spots Hotaru she grins widely. Once free of clothing, she makes her way over to the pool. "Hello there, lovely." The two men get a smile and a wink.

Daranyl's shoulders shrug again, it's probably the most natural motion for him, it seems. Maybe being non-committal kept him alive sometimes. "Only seen the one flight so far. Jus'… strange is all." Ladek's words actually draw his attention, though, and his head comes up enough to actually study the slightly-younger man, "That common 'round here?" He glances at Nae only briefly before looking back at Ladek, actually seeming interested in the answer for the first time.

Hotaru shrugs a bit to Ladek. "She might. I don't know how much Nae is into dancing. At least like that. She normally goes for the wilder sort of thing, but you could ask. She might like to, since I can't take her." Hotaru raises a brow at Ladek. "Who is trying to use you?" Hotaru spots Nae coming into the caverns and waves to her. She slides into the pool then, to rinse off. "Hi, love." The redhead offers a hand to her weyrmate into the pool. "You already know Ladek. My other bath buddy is Daranyl over there. He's a hunter. With a big bow." She adds with a giggle.

"What's what?" Ladek asks of Daranyl, as he blinks a little, and flushes when Nae arrives to talk with Hotaru, and he heaves a low sigh, "Mmmf, just people, Hotaru, and the other gal treats me horrid, she started telling a friend that I was like a touched person in the head," he adds, as he shrugs a little bit, and leans back, sinking into the waters.

"My ears are burning…" Nae says with a wicked sort of grin as she catches the tail end of the coversation, shooting another wink at Hotaru. She takes the hand and slips into the water, quickly wrapping an arm around her weyrmate before smiling at the others. "Good to see you again, Ladek. And lovely to meet you, Daranyl. And your… big bow." She giggles and shares a conspiratorial glance with Hotaru.

Daranyl coughs a cough that sounds a bit much like a dissatisfied grunt at Nae's words and reaches for more soapsand, "People usin' ya, Ladek. That happen often roun' here?" It's a simple enough question, man! He glances at Nay and Hotaru together, then turns his attention to wetting his soap and then scrubbing it into his scruffy, uneven hair.

Hotaru tilts her head at Ladek. "Who is this other girl? Maybe you should tell her to shove off, if she's going to be mean to you. Or Nae and I could do it." Hotaru leans in to give Nae a kiss hello, wrapping an arm around the greenrider in turn. She grins at Nae. "Ladek wants a dance partner, but I told him I can't dance. I wasn't sure if you could or not. At least that sort of dancing." Hotaru grins a bit at Nae, then looks over at Daran. "Why, you looking to be used, Daranyl?"

"It's normal a bit for me, I don't trust many women, but Nae and Hotaru are wonderful, and it's alright, I still kind of like her, then there's the others that want me to bed them and then run off like I was worth little," Ladek answers, as he relaxes a little bit, and splashes Nae and her weyrmate with water, "In any case, you all been alright?"

"I'm about as transparent as they come." Nae says with a grin, cuddling with Hotaru. "When I use people, they know it." She giggles a little, returning Hotaru's welcome kiss. She settles and cuddles in the warm water. "Yeah, who is this mystery girl?" She enquires, grinning. "You know, there's a secret to dealing with women. It's realizing that we're not that much different from you men."

Daranyl's expression is downright dismissive as he turns to look at Hotaru, "Hardly. Jus' tryin' ta get an idea of the place. 'N' who I might want ta avoid." He glances at Nae when she states that girls aren't that different than guys and snorts, putting more gusto into scrubbing his hair. "Seems like Ladek has the right idea: jus' avoid the ones what ain't got time to treat ya like people."

Hotaru chuckles. "I think we both are pretty transparent. At least we try to be?" She gives Nae a squeeze. "Oh, is that what's been going on? And here I thought you actually liked women…" She teases. She raises a brow to Nae. "Don't tell them that. They might stop worshipping us and start treating us like people." She says with a wink. "Besides. There are some key differences. But that doesn't make us another species. What about you, Daranyl? You got a special lady in your life?"

Ladek leans back a little and seems a bit thoughtful, "It's kind of hard with you both here to think of you as anything but women," he says, as he chuckles a bitm, and offers to Daranyl, "Thank you." The youth heaves a relaxed sigh, "Mmmf? Ya they have names! Oh, by the way, Hotaru said I could come and visit Nae, if I actually tell you guys first." He seems enthused.

"Sounds like a wise approach." Nae says with a grin at Daranyl. "Fortunately, I don't think there are too many of those around here. Half Moon is a pretty lovely place, with lots of lovely people." She squeezes Hotaru in return, then smiles to Ladek. "Oh, is that so?" She giggles a bit and glances to Hotaru. "Should I be expecting a visit, then?"

Daranyl glances at Hotaru, then gives a sharp shake of his head, "Jus' m' sister. Never really had time fer anythin' like that." He ducks under the water's surface again, this time allowing it to rinse the suds from his hair before he surfaces, leaving the whole thing a sopping mess, but a clean one, "Y'all are… mighty open about alla this."

Hotaru chuckles. "Well, I hope it's hard to think of us as something other than women? I'd hate to end up… a canine, or something." She raises a brow at Ladek. "Well what are their names, then?" She nods to Nae about Ladek visiting. "Apparently we should. But he was told to give us advance notice. So we can at least clean up the weyr a bit." Hotaru coughs a bit when Daran says 'his sister'. Then she realizes what he meant and breathes a sigh of relief. "Oh Faranth. I thought you meant you and your sister… nevermind!" Hotaru chuckles. "Sorry. It's a weyr thing, I guess."

Ladek gives Hotaru an idle look, then he glances at Daranyl, "Don't worry, I feel the same way, just let it flow man, and you'll get used to it," he says. He's maturing maybe, or he's tired of weyrfolk looking at him funny, and then he adds for Nae and Hotaru, "Nah names, but with any case, one ain't even from around here," he mentions, sighing a little, "Oh well, and yes I'd like to visit, you both are the best friends I have."

Nae gives Daranyl an almost wicked sort of grin. "We're open about a lot of things, with the right people." She says with a little giggle, slipping sort of onto Hotaru's lap so that she can lounge and drape herself upon the redhead. Her grin turns upon Ladek. "Aww. That's very sweet of you to say."

Daranyl stares at Hotaru, utterly dumbfounded for a moment, "Scorched eggshells, no! What kinda man do ya take me fer? Faranth's egghole, woman!" He reaches for more soapsand, but instead of wetting it to put it to its intended purpose, shifts enough to sling it towards Hotaru.

Hotaru smiles to Ladek. "I don't mind you coming up for a visit, Ladek. And that's sweet of you." Hotaru leans back as Nae slips into her lap. She wraps her arms around the greenrider and rubs her back a bit, then leans in for a kiss. She giggles at Daranyl. "Well you shouldn't have responded with your sister first! Ack!" She says, shielding herself from the sweetsand. "Anyways, I knew what you meant! No more flinging! You'll put someone's eye out!"

Ladek watches as that sweetsand makes a way towards them, and chuckles a bit, reaching for it, "Thanks to both of you, for being my friend," he says, as he grins a little, "I'd hope I was sweet, but alas I don't get to lapsit?" he asks with a playful tease, and leans back, washing his hair a little which bristles a bit with silken strands, then he washes that.

"We're always happy to have company." Nae agrees with Hotaru, lounging in the vinter's lap. She starts to answer Ladek. "Well, I… eee!" She gets cut off by the soapsand flinging, inevitably caught in the crossfire by sitting in Hotaru's lap. She ends up pelted. "Eeee!"

Daranyl hurriedly claps his hands over his ears, scowling at the high-pitched squealing as if it actually causes him physical pain. Or maybe it's just a chance to escape this horribly confusing conversation.

Hotaru laughs at Ladek. "I don't think my lap is big enough for two. Sorry. You'll have to fight Nae for it. Though she gets first dibs, since she's my bread and butter." Or something. Hotaru rubs Nae's sweetsand pelts. "Now now! No more throwing things at my weyrmate!" At least Hotaru is tolerant of the squeals. "So. Daran. We should have an archery contest. You and me."

Ladek frowns a bit, "Awww, come on, you can both sit on my lap," he teases, "Not that, I'd survive… Wait, I'm not saying your fat!" he corrects, as he seems a bit panicky, and heaves out an exasperated sigh a bit and shakes his head, looking to Daranyl for help.

Nae makes a little 'bleh' sound as she brushes the lingering soapsand from her, sticking her tongue out childishly at Daranyl before winking and lounging against Hotaru. "Archery contest, huh? You guys have to bet something fun on that…" She looks over at Ladek and smirks. "You better not be." She assures with a wink.

Daranyl tilts his head to the side, his lips curling into a smirk, "Fair 'nuff. You win, I won' throw anymore stuff atcher lady frien'. But what do I get if I win?" He glances at Ladek, then shrugs. He knows better than to touch it, but there's no fixing it from him. He would probably only dig deeper.

Hotaru blinks at Ladek, then chuckles. "I dunno. I'm pretty comfortable here. And I don't want you to die…" She grins at Nae and rubs the greenrider's stomach. "I dunno Nae… Maybe we should lay off the desserts for a while. Between my mom telling me I'm skinny and it looks like your metabolism might be slowing down a bit…" Hotaru ponders. "Hmm… What to bet on that…" She grins. "If you win you can come up and spend a night with Nae and I."

"Archery sounds wonderful," Ladek mentions off-handedly, although he blinks a bit at the conversation between those two and Daranyl, and just frowns a little, as he rolls his shoulders a bit and leans back, seeming relaxed as he does so, his hands brushing about at his arms to clean them, then leaning back, "In any case, you both look beautiful."

Nae grins a little bit mischieviously. "Thank you." It may be blatant flattery, but the greenrider soaks it up anyways. Greenies do that. She glances back to Hotaru and giggles at her proposed bet. "Oooh. Now that is a magnificent prize indeed…"

Daranyl looks truly confused as he glances at the two women, then over at Ladek, then back to the ladies, "Is there a reason seeing your Weyr would be interesting to me?" Someone may have missed the point. "I mean, I'm sure it's a nice place'n' all, but…" Yeah, totally missed the point

Hotaru smiles to Ladek. "Thank you." She's not as good at the flattery bit, and looks a little embarrassed. Clearly not a greenie. She grins to Nae. "I thought so…" But apparently Daranyl does not agree so much! She blinks at him. "A whole night… With us two girls… with dinner and glows and wine… and we'll see where it takes us."

"Wait, when can I get that offer?" Ladek asks thoughtfully of Nae and Hotaru, looking a bit like he's taken aback, and hmphs, as he folds his arms settling back into the water and glaring at Daranyl, then he flashes him a tender smile, "We should hunt sometime, friend! But only if I can bring the sword."

Nae gives Daranyl another wicked, almost disbelieving sort of smile. "There are all sorts of ways we could have fun. Trust me, Hotaru and I definitely know how to have fun…" She giggles and winks before looking over to Ladek. "Are you much of an archery, then?"

Daranyl tilts his head a little further, then pauses, uttering a soft, "Ah." He reaches for more soapsand, taking his time to wet it before reaching under the water to scrub at his legs, "I suppose that might be a worthy prize, depending on the meal." Daran sounds earnest, which is all the more odd, "not gonna assume anything else'll happen."

Hotaru chuckles at Ladek. "I dunno. Can you shoot a bow? You could challenge Nae to a game of dragon poker. Don't expect to win though. I know I sure didn't." She laughs. There's a grin offered to Nae. "We sure do know how to have fun. And we'll be sure to at least give you a good meal and dessert before sending you on your way." She says with a chuckle.

"I know how to shoot a bow or I wouldn't offer and hunt with him, what did you think I was planning when I asked him?" Ladek asks, as he knits his brows together a bit, and then adds, "I'll also beat Nae with that, I'll become the best," he adds, folding his arms, as water rivulets about his form.

Nae returns the grin from Hotaru, nodding in agreement. A little giggle escapes her before she looks back to Ladek. "Oh, you will, will you? You should be careful. Hotaru thought she could beat me, too." She says with a wink.

"Fair 'nuff, it's a wager." Daranyl shifts to his other leg, determined to actually get clean, it seems, "Well, Ladek, you're welcome ta 'compny me, but I'm not very socia'ble on a hunt, just so ya know."

Hotaru peers at Ladek. "I dunno. Track? Blow gun? I thought you had a sword. Maybe you're a crazy swrod-hunter." She laughs. "Seriously. I think she has a way of cheating that undetectable. I got stuck in the rec caverns naked because of her." Hotaru grins and nods to Daran. "Alright… I'm getting pruney. Wanna head home, love?"

"I'll compete when it comes about," Ladek offers, as he moves from the water, dripping in rivulets of water, as he moves for a towel and wraps them about him, drying himself, then he offers, "Well, in any case, I'm glad seein' both of ya, thanks," he adds.

Ladek says "And ya, Daranyl."

Nae gives Hotaru a wicked grin. "Thought you'd never ask, love." She also moves out of the water, giving Ladek and Daranyl another wink before grabbing her towel to dry off. "It was quite nice meeting you both."

Daranyl manages to nod to Ladek as he reaches for more sweetsand himself, "Y'all jus' let me know when ya want to have our little comp'tition, eh? Be glad ta school ya in th' use of a bow."

Hotaru grins. "You better bring it, Ladek! I'm not kidding, Nae whooped me." Hotaru climbs out of the pool as well, grabbing a towel to dry off. She grins to Daranyl. "I'll be practicing, but expect it to be soon!" Hotaru scoops up clothes, then links arms with Nae to slip out of the baths.


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