Do YOU want to have a Shipton?

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.


Every so often Zi'on actually stops in the bathing caverns proper to catch a bath. Even if he's got his own private tub at home. Why? So he can chit-chat, or because he wants to lay out and soak comofortably. He is quite tall, after all. Also… has he put on some weight? He looks a little pudgy around the chin and the belly. Sympathy weight, no doubt. Mostly for his weyrmate, who is getting large by the day. The weyrleader is chatting with a couple of the weyr's drudges, men oddly enough, but they get up and get out and Zi'on is left to relax by himself. He shuts his eyes and… maybe dozes off a little.

Kayse has always been a little body-shy, and two years of on-and-off presence at the Weyr has yet to cure her of this. So when the young woman enters the caverns she's wearing a robe and has a stack of clean clothing tucked neatly under one arm, clearly intending to change into the garments immdiately after bathing. As the drudges clear out of Zi'on's pool the crafter heads over to take advantage of the space, setting her clothes in a spot far enough away to be safe from incidental splashing. The robe is doffed quickly and Kayse enters the pool with similar haste, ducking into the water before she really looks at who she is joining. When she does, there's a brief look of consternation, quickly hidden by virtue of pulling her hair forward for scrubbing. Trying to be polite she offers a brief "Evening, Weyrleader" by way of greeting.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a tub at home. Many still must venture to the hot springs themselves and Keely is one of them. The bluerider is looking rather large herself- quite close to the end of this whole pregnancy thing, even. To say that she waddles in would be rather accurate, holding fresh clothing as she makes her way to a bench to set it down. Outfit is soon stripped off and she turns slightly as Kayse speaks, pale eyes glancing over those present for a relaxing, hot bath.

Zi'on has never been body shy. Even in his chubby form, he's comfortable being naked in front of people. Well, as long as he's just milling about the baths and not like… dancing in the living caverns or something. Then he might feel a little shy. Might. At least he's got his eyes shut and can't see Kayse undressing? Zi'on's eyes open up as someone gets into the pool with him. "Evening Kayse. Long time no see. I hope the pirates didn't drive you out of Western." He's only half joking! A wave is given to Keely as she sits down. "Hey. I heard Rou popped. Not you yet though I see."

Kayse makes with the washing, rising out her hair first before moving on to scrubbing her body and using the whole process as an excuse to not look at anyone. Zi'on's words earn him a rueful smile and shake of her head. "No, I've just been in and out with my training," she replies, continuing under her breath, "Not that I didn't have nightmares for a while." The wave and words to Keely briefly draw her attention that way but the moment Kayse notices that the rider is getting undressed she turns her gaze right back to her own scrubbing.

Keely has to sit down to undress. No youthful acrobatics for removing clothes now. Not for a bit, at least. The bluerider finally gets herself disentangled from the remnants of her clothing and joins the others in the bath. "What? Rou'x? No, not yet. That I know of at least. Last I heard she's just been buried under paperwork." There's a wry smirk for the Weyrleader. "Funny how I try to keep her in a decent relationship and somehow she submits to the tether of work for you."

Zi'on grins to Kayse. "Ah. Which craft are you again?" He can't remember. "I don't think you're the only one. I'm sure at least Iris did for a while." Zi'on though had felt a huge rush of relief after clearing that whole mess up though. The bronzer leans back and laces his fingers behind his head. "No? Huh. Thought I heard that. Just a rumor I guess. When are you guys due again?" He raises a brow at the bluerider then. "Eh? What's that supposed to mean? I haven't forced her into anything she didn't want." He grins. "She's free to delegate. Kiena can use some paperwork. She's too big to ride anymore, and she gets antsy."

"Wood," is Kayse's prompt reply, paired with a slight relaxing to her shoulders as Keely enters the bath and thus is no longer totally exposed, at least to Kayse's reckoning. "I don't doubt it," she agrees on the subject of nightmares. Discussion of Rou'x workload is largely ignored, though she does raise a brow slightly when Zi'on volunteers Kiena for paperwork. "Do you think doing paperwork would really help? I would have thought it's the not being able to move around freely that is a bother."

There's a soft snort, "Kiena's not as far along as we are and Rou'x still has us ride." Which may be why Keely is sinking into the water and soaking up the warmth so. She's so tired! All the time. "We're due… soon. Maybe two more months?" A small shrug and she reaches for some soapsand. To lazily bathe with. This is gonna be a slow process. "I've tried telling her to delegate, but…" Shrug.

Zi'on nods to Kayse. "Ah. My da is a woodcrafter. Now that he's older and doesn't have so many weyr duties he's getting back into it again. He made me a crib for Kiena and I's little one on the way." He shrugs a bit. "I don't know if it'll help. But she needs something to occupy her. Otherwise she wanders around and gets cranky." Zi'on peers at Keely. "None of you ought to be riding now. Consider yourselves all grounded. Unless there's some sort of emergency. Kiena's only got three months left. She's not far behind you two. And I think Enka is due any day now." Sigh. "Well, she'll learn the hard way, then. Ila'den and I will pick up some of the extra sweeps when we can."

Kayse nods thougtfully as she settles in to do a bit of soaking, now that the scrubbing is done. "That's good to hear. I know the craftmasters are always happy to have a rider who has a craft get back into the swing of things when they have time. So he does carpentry, then?" she asks of Zi'on's father. The discussion of pregnancies slowly pulls more of her interest and she notes, "There's a lot of pregnant riders right now. Does that cause a lot of extra work for those doing sweeps?"

"Enka is ahead of us," Keely affirms, musing to herself as she tries to sort out just how much so. "Kiena's that far along? Hunh. I thought it was a bit longer… she did well hiding it, then." Or maybe any additional moodiness wasn't noticed as being abnormal. The bluerider huffs a bit, "She's not gonna like being grounded… but it's kind of a relief. I feel barely awake half the time it seems." She glances over towards Kayse and shrugs, "Probably does. Or at least gives the ones that feel like they don't get enough notice a better chance…" To show off, that is.

Zi'on gives Kayse a blank look when she asks about the details of what his father does for his craft. "Uh. I dunno. Sure? I've seen him do all sorts of things. I don't know if he specifically does that, or if he just did it for me." He nods a bit then. "Unfortunately three of them are in the Search and Rescue wing, so it will make more work for the sweep riders. It's nothing we can't handle though. Western still has plenty of riders, and we've got new weyrlings all the time." He rubs his chin a bit. "Well, we didn't know right away. About Kiena. And Enka didn't bother to tell me at all, even though it might be mine." Kiena tends to stubbornly hide any flaws. Like morning sickness. She didn't even want Zi'on to know. "I figure Rou won't like it, but better to be safe than sorry, I guess. She'll have no excuse to get the paperwork done."

"Oh," is Kayse's not at all elegant response to Zi'on's expression and reply. "Well, that was nice of him to do," she offers after a moment of thought before abandoning that subject in favor of the discussion of dragon related stuff. "There certainly are a lot of weyrlings, but wouldn't that be causing more problems rather than helping? I mean, don't you have to assign more riders to help with training when you have a lot of weyrlings underfoot? Or would that be underwing? I know Orraeloth isn't set to contribute much, but the weyrlings from Miraneith's clutch won't be done training when Shadhavarth's eggs hatch, and I would think it would be difficult to train both sets at the same time, being a couple months apart and all."

"I tried getting Enka to tell you sooner…" Revealing that yes, Keely knew of the Weyrwoman's pregnancy before Zi'on did. Hey, ladies with bumps gotta stick together, right? The bluerider sinks a bit more into the waters, pondering. "Would be good practice for the weyrlings once they're into mounted flight… pairing up with more seasoned riders for sweeps." She gives a small shrug. "Rou'x… /hates/ the paperwork, but loves her job." A snort, "Geimhreath is still furious that we didn't get picked for it, but I'm damn thankful. I don't want all that crap."

Zi'on isn't quite ready to let the subject drop though. "So what's your specialty then? I've been looking for someone to make toy soldiers and things for my kids. I don't know if that's your line of work, though." He shrugs. "We've got plenty of riders. I'll just have to pull them from other wings. Some people might find themselves working a little extra, or picking up classes to teach the weyrlings and the like. Or keeping an eye on them. Seems most times we have clutches one right after the next with an overlap. So it's nothing new." Zi'on grunts a bit. "Well, in the end it was Rou who let it slip. Obviously I wasn't too pleased, though you already knew that. Not that I mind, I just felt left in the dark." he snorts a bit. "You should tell your dragon to be careful what he wishes for."

"Ah, I'm afraid I'm not who you're looking for," is Kayse's rueful response to Zi'on's question. "I'm training in forestry. I have only the very basics in woodworking, and I wouldn't call any of my carvings identifiable." After a moment of simply listening to the riders talk she ventures another comment. "I didn't realize dragons make plans for things like that. I guess that makes sense, I just haven't ever thought about it. So Geimhreath wants you to be a wingleader?"

Keely is totally unknowing when it comes to crafting stuff. She'd considered it, sure, who hasn't? But nothing ever appealed enough to her. "People sure do let slip to you a lot, Zi. You been putting something in your liquor to get that effect?" She's smirking, though. The last brings about a snort from her, too. "I bet Geim dreams he's a bronze at night. I love his fat butt," she's gonna get pouted at for calling him that later, "but he has far more lofty goals than I do."

Zi'on looks at Kayse with the confused look now. Apparently for all his years with his father, he knows basically less than nothing about the woodcraft. Probably because in an act of defiance at a young age decided he wasn't interested. "Forestry? What's that? You make forests? Or chop them down?" Zi'on chuckles. "Not all of them do. Or if they do not all of them make it known to their rider. If Suldith had any ambitions of me being weyrleader he never shared them. The only reason he cares at all is that he get to be with Miraneith. They're close." Mostly because they shared a weyr for a long while. He grins to Keely. "What else has been let slip to me? I guess people think I'm safe. Or maybe I distract them." He wraggles his eyebrows. "Or was that a comment about me getting girls pregnant? Because that's only happened… well. I guess Four times now if you count Enka this time."

"A little of both, actually," Kayse replies readily. "Forestry is mostly about sustainable logging. Woodcrafters want to be sure there is enough wood for any project, so we have to keep the forests healthy enough to produce the wood we need. That means not only do we monitoring logging to be sure a forest isn't wiped out by cutting down too much at one time, we also have to make sure new trees are planted to take the place of the mature trees that are harvested." Talking so much about her craft seems to have exhausted Kayse's interest in speaking for the moment, as she settles back to just listen to the riders talking now. The responses to her question get a nod of acknowledgement, but she doesn't speak further for the moment.

"Didn't someone tell you that Rou'x might be pregnant, back around that time?" Keely asks, glancing over to Zi'on. "Just seems to be a… I dunno, thing. Around here. As for you getting girls pregnant… maybe you /should/ slow down." Smirk.

Zi'on rubs his chin a bit. "Well, I suppose there's need for that now that we make a lot more things out of wood. I don't even know if people make things out of the trees around here though. I suppose they do. I figured they weren't good for anything but growing fruit." And the weyrleader figures the tree population is best left to people that have a clue about it. "Someone perhaps did. I don't remember who, though. News generally floats to me, I guess." Talk to enough people and you eventually hear everything. "I don't remember who told me Rou was pregnant." He grins to the bluerider then. "What? Does that mean you won't be having my babies, Keely? What about you, Kayse? You want some Shipton babies?"

"There's quite a lot you can do with wood, and different types are suited for different projects," Kayse responds, resting her head back against the lip of the pool. "You have to harvest wood for everything from ship lumber to furniture and wooden toys and utensils, and not everything needs a tall, thick trunk to work out," she adds with a smile. When the question of babies is posed the girl raises her head and gives Zi'on a disgusted look. "I'm not even twenty, and I'm still quite busy learning my craft. Having a baby right now would absolutely kill my chances for advancing, and it would take up all my free time. Why would I do that to myself?"

There's a snort from Keely who sinks a bit more into the water. She might even make some bubbles with that snort if her mouth dips below the water line! "Zi'on, you know before Kiena came along, I'd gladly have slept with you. But babies? No. I don't think I ever want to be pregnant again." She snorts somewhat at Kayse's response to the question.

Zi'on gets a sly look on his face. "Oh, trust me. I -know- what -I- can do with wood." Yes, that's a lewd comment coming from the bronzer. Surprising? Not really. "Do you prefer trees with long, thick trunks, Kayse?" Don't answer that. Unless it's with a smack. He laughs. "I didn't say right this second. When you're done with your crafting maybe. Eh? Eh? Besides, you can always foster." The bronzer grins to Keely. "And now what? You don't like me because I got fat? Or you're afraid of Kiena's wrath? You say that now, but when you have a cute little one you might change your tune." Zi'on grins smugly. "Anyways, I don't need anymore kids right now. I'm going to have my hands full as it is."

Kayse sighs, resting her head back against the pool. "One of these days I'll figure out a snappy reply for your silliness, but today is not that day," she observes. "Well, I haven't met a Shipton yet who I would care to have a child with, and I don't really see the point in deliberately having a child if I'm just going to foster them, so I'd say that's a no." She closes her eyes and settles a little lower in the water, sighing softly as she shoulders get low enough to soak out a bit of muscle soreness.

"Afraid of Kiena's a good way to put it," Keely points out with a slight snort of amusement. "We'll see how I feel later, but I'd really prefer just to have fun with ya… Not have babies. Those lead to work and responsibility. I need more fun in my life."

Zi'on chuckles a bit at Kayse. "I'll have to come up with new material if you end up coming up with some sort of snappy reply to me." He raises a brow to her then. "You've met other men who you'd like to have babies with?" But no Shiptons? Sad day. Sad day for Shipton mens. "Heh. I'm afraid of her, too. Which is why we can't have any fun. Sorry. You're free to have fun with Kiena though. I don't mind sharing her a little. As long as you don't wear her out. Also don't tell her I said this." Speaking of fun, since Kayse has her eyes closed, it's time for a little fun at her expense! He puts a finger to his lips so Keely doesn't squeal on him, then dips down under the water. Kayse will then feel someone grab at her ankles.

Kayse snorts in unconcious echo of Keely, not bothering to open her eyes to reply to him. "I don't think you have any worries on that front. I've really no cleverness with words. As for the men… no, not really." The discussion of sharing Zi, or Zi's weyrmate, has the crafter shifting uncomfortably, still not really sure how to respond to such a relaxed arrangement. So she says nothing, keeping quiet… right up until someone grabs her. There's a startled shriek and much flailing, sending water splashing onto the floor around the pool. Whoever has a grip on her might just get kicked if the aren't careful.

"Already been there," Keely says blithely, of fun with Kiena. "Are you going to start grounding Suldith during flights, then? To avoid any risks?" She asks as if she already knows the answer, but you never know. Zi'on doesn't have to worry; she doesn't blow his cover, only watching with bemusement.

"Hm, that's a shame." Zi'on says about Kayse's lack of suitable male counterpart. "Maybe you prefer women, then?" He doesn't stick around for her answer though, too busy playing a prank on her. Really Zi'on's offer of his weyrmate is mostly in jest. If Kiena was running around with other people it might start to get under his skin, even if he didn't mind it at first. He'll try to dunk Kayse under the water, then he'll let go of her, probably earning himself a kick for his efforts. But he still comes up chuckling. He coughs a bit then and looks to Keely. "I can't do that. It wouldn't be fair to Suldith. You all just need to start taking your tea. Or I'll force whoever it is to between afterwards."

Kayse finds herself beneath the water in a rather unexpected manner, still flailing away. Once released she gets herself back above the waterline, coughing out the bit of water she accidentally inhaled in the first moment underwater. Zi'on's question doesn't get answered as she's too busy reorienting herself, then giving the Weyrleader a very put-out glare. "You… man!" is all that she can manage to say before she drags herself out of the pool, muttering to herself about Weyrleaders who can't keep their hands, and other bits of anatomy, to themselves. In her huff she fumbles the towel and it takes her several tries to actually start drying off.

Keely watches Kayse escape, unable to contain her snickers now. Ah yes, there's the Zi'on she's more used to. There is a snort, however, for the Weyrleader. "I doubt Geimhreath is gonna be glowing anytime soon. I don't see us ever finding ourselves abed from a flight."

Zi'on grins to Keely. "No, likely not. But strange things do happen." Though the bronzer isn't going to press his luck. He's already gotten himself into trouble before with Kiena and isn't likely to do it again. That doesn't mean he's not going to tease and flirt though, apparently. He blinks at Kayse's glare and feigns innocence for a second. Then when she's getting out he pouts. "Kayse! Come on… I was just kidding around." He gets out then to follow her, grabbing his own towel on the way and wrapping it around his waist. "Don't be mad. I'm sorry."

Kayse spins to face Zi'on, forgetting her towel for a moment as she rounds on him with an expression of frustration. "Maybe I don't like it when you kid with me," she snaps in reply, glaring at the bronzer. "You sit there and you tease, you leer, you poke at me to see what I'll do. But I'm a /person/, Zi'on. I'm not a toy for you to play with. I'm not here for you to poke and prod and torment! How do you expect people to feel when you, the Weyrleader, mess with them like that?"

Keely looks rather surprised at Kayse's outburst. She doesn't say anything, just keeps silent and perhaps focuses on bathing. Yep, just clean up and get out. Probably best at this point.

Zi'on furrows his brow at Kayse. "Shards and shells, Kayse. You make it sound like I set out to torture you. I didn't do anything to you I wouldn't do to anyone else I considered a friend. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset you, or make you feel like a toy or anything. I was just trying to have a bit of fun." He sighs. "I guess I'm just the weyrleader to you. Anyways, don't worry. It won't happen again." Zi'on gives a wave to Keely as he heads towards where is clothes are, pulling his towel free to dry himself off a bit better.

Kayse starts to say something further but Zi'on's words bring her up short and she's left blinking after him for a moment. There's a soft growl of irritation as she rubs her face with the largely forgotten towel, then follows him. "You're not 'just' the weyrleader, Zi'on, but it's not like we've spent a lot of time around each other, either. And almost every time we have done more than nod at each other in passing you've teased me. Shards, you barely even /knew/ me when you started teasing me," she says, standing behind him with the towel held to her chest in a feeble attempt at some sort of modesty. "I'm holdbred. People at home don't treat each other the way you weyrfolk do. It's a lot more formal, even among family, and only siblings really tease each other at all - and they certainly don't tease in the same way. You just don't say the kinds of things to other that you joke about here, and it's sharding difficult to get used to." She shoves her hair back from her face in a reflexive motion, wincing when her fingers catch on tangles. "I was told to watch the weyrleaders for an example of how to behave when I was being posted to the Weyr. But shardit all, you're a tough role model! Nothing you do makes sense to me."

"Y'just can't take him seriously," Keely calls to Kayse as she starts removing herself from the bath. It's not easy. She can't just spring out of it. She does catch sight of Zi'on and blinks. "You're getting fat." Yes, so smooth. "Mebbe you should use Ila'den as a rolemodel instead. He's generally all stuffy and boring these days."

Zi'on turns to Kayse with a frown. "Fine. Just ask me to stop, then. There's no need to bite my head off. If that's the way you feel, then that's the way you feel. But you won't find me as formal as some of the other weyrleaders. Maybe it's because I'm young and stupid. In fact it's probably mostly because of that. But it gets lonely if everyone just knows you as the weyrleader. And sooner or later you realize that you're the last to hear things because people are afraid to talk to you. So I'm sorry if I treated you disrespectfully. I won't do it again. Next time I'll be as stuffy as the other weyrleaders, if that's what will make you comfortable." There's a frown to Keely. "I know," he says about getting fat. "Anyways. I have a pregnant weyrmate to get home to. Crafter. Rider. If you'll excuse me." He nods to them and then heads out of the baths.

Kayse watches Zi'on walk off, trying to find something 'right' to say and failing miserably. "Oh, shards, that wasn't how I meant it," she mutters to herself, sitting down on the nearest bench with a decidedly dejected posture. "It's not that /simple/. I was just a kid when I got here. I didn't know I could ask him to stop. And with how stressful things have been lately… it just didn't come out right. Bother, I'm going to have to apologize to him, I think," she says to herself as she finishes drying off, then gets dressed. Before anyone else can comment to her on her behavior she heads off as well, making sure Zi'on is well clear before she crosses the bowl back toward the dorms.

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