==== January 25, 2014
==== Cerise, V'dean
==== Well… a consensus of a sort is reached

Who Cerise, V'dean
What Well… a consensus of a sort is reached
When There are 0 turns, 1 month and 15 days until the 12th pass.
Where Baths, Southern Weyr

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The steamy fog of the baths could be an entirely different world, transitioning from the well-lit brilliance of the inner caverns: a different world entirely, one wrought in dreams and humid fog. Steam lifts from hot waters, obscuring those who bathe within, drenching any who dare enter. Well-maintained, well-stocked, the baths offer pre-netted portions of soapsand in various scents, fluffy towels in orderly rows, and five separate spring-fed pools, all of differing temperature: from scorching hot to soothing chill.

It is the seventy-fifth day of Spring and 91 degrees. A passing storm thunders overhead. Lightning flashes and thunder booms.

Let the weather rage outside- in here all is cozy and warm and…dry…wait.

Start over.

The bathing cavern is doing what it does best, cradling volcanically heated waters in stone pools, reducing life to the slow, lazy drift of steam over blue-green ripples. The two hours after the midday meal aren't the busiest here in the baths, which means that the steam is left to its own devices for the most part. There's an old man with a face deeply seamed by life in the hottest of the pools, and a young couple stealing some cuddling time in another- their murmurs are quiet but now and again one or the other will gasp so there's no mystery as to what they're up to- but otherwise those who arrive are enfolded by warm, humid peace. Cerise looks as if she's already jumped in, though she's only just stepping into the chamber. Her hair is plastered limp and lifeless to her cheeks, her clothes heavy with water from the rain outside. The leather satchel dangling from her shoulder has protected the change of attire she's brought and she wastes no time in hanging it safely away in a curtained alcove. It's there she swaps out sodden clothing for a towel and pre-measured soapsand, the latter dangling loose from one hand, the former wrapped loosely from breasts to upper thigh as she pads towards the largest of the pools.

V'dean is in a steam-shrouded corner of the large pool, the billowy haze thickened by proximity to the old man's hottest of waters. His skin is already pinkened, some combination of being cooked and scrubbing, but he's just now getting to his hair. A few floating paces in from the side, he stands crouched with his back turned towards the edge and knuckles working a lather into the soap-spiked length of blonde. The sound of nearby feet draws a partial glance over his shoulder, but if he manages to resolve Cerise's figure within the heated mists, he gives no ready sign. His own towel is in a neat fold a ways back from the lip, the mostly-used soapsand bag perched at the water's lip.

Ever a social sort of creature, these signs of occupancy draw Cerise- the curve of a bare shoulder, the folded towel, the in midst of being used soapsand. Not six feet away, she arranges her own items similarly, the towel stripped off for folding and revealing a body with pudge granted by lack of exercise and entirely too much whiskey rather than the toned acrobat's physique she boasted months ago. Some small effort is clearly being made to return to previous glory but it's a work in progress, and a relief for the vain creature to be covered by the water again- why else hurry as she does to drop feet and then body so quickly into the pool. It's a quick dip and then a surfacing complete with fuzzy plume of spray, hands scraping back newly wetted curls…and gaze turning with casual interest towards her partner in washing. "Oy," she greets before steam and suds shift enough to recognize just who claims that blond hair. And then? Then oy becomes, "Oh."

It's a slow look that turns towards the splashing greenrider, one arm dropping submerged into the water to get his elbow out of the way while his other fingers linger to massage suds against his scalp. There's a slight slant of his brows and squint of green eyes, but that's mostly in avoidance of the trickle of soap trying to escape down his temple. "Oy yourself," V'dean returns in rather bland greeting, just the tug of a twist wry at one edge of his mouth. Then he plunges, a dip of knees slipping him quick beneath the scatter-light surface. When the bluerider reappears it's after turning more fully in Cerise's direction, head tipped back at first to help the slick of cleansing water through his hair before a squeegeeing of his eyes with thumb and knuckle returns his gaze to her. "Forgot your rocks again?" That is just a bag of soapsand in her hand, right?

"Y'mean the bean bags? The little bags? Filled with beans? That babies use to learn to juggle?" Throughout V'dean's turns and contortions through the water, Cerise keeps an eye on him. At turns wary and annoyed, though the latter emotion is clipped behind a look of bland when she thinks to hide it. "The ones I threw at you as a joke, 'cause…" Oh, nevermind. She flaps her hand at him- and shares a spray of droplets when her fingers connect with the surface- before turning to rest elbows on pool's lip with hands busied at tugging her 'sand bag open. "If you thought me serious about the rocks, you're dumber than I figured you for," she goes on to say, adopting the breeziest tone she can muster- the one that once served her well, in playing the spoiled Holder's daughter a'stage.

Noooo, not the bean bags, the slow turn of his scruffed chin starts to answer. There's a reflection of her wariness to be found in the more washed-out green of his eyes. As for being dumb, or maybe for being accused of it in that particular tone, V'dean stretches an eyebrow into a loft. He watches Cerise move at the edge from his own unchanged position, hands making an idle scull just under the water's surface. "I thought you were beyond throwing tantrums," he makes reply with a hint something hard laced beneath the typical laziness of his tones. "But I was dumb about that, too."

"Tantrums." Cerise says the word as if tasting it for the first time, directing a look over one shoulder that- between the lift of eyebrows and the rumple of her forehead- asks him, "Really?" without benefit of words. "Tan/trum/ that began in jest, thinking you wouldn't leap from seeing me for the first time in weeks to kicking me at my lowest. I knew you weren't the best of men, V'dean, but I never figured you for that sort. Not with a friend," she says, alternating between easy speech and the sort of tight-jawed intensity that comes of controlling some deeper emotion. She keeps her face turned from his though, after bringing sandy hands to her head to work the suds down deep against her scalp. "Suppose that makes us both dumb, aye?"

V'dean is watching the softened line of her shoulders, not fully lifting his gaze to meet the one she turns back towards him. Further mirror comes in the slight fold he has between his brows and the firming of the line of his mouth and shape of his jaw. The quiet snort of his laughter is a caustic thing, but maybe it's mostly diffused by the soft lap of water and drift of steam. "If you really wanted honesty, Cerise, you wouldn't think of it as kicking," he says, languidly disparaging. Larger ripples are pushed by the gliding start of his movement, an angle taken towards the pool's lip that's meant to keep him just out of range. "It was dumb to think we could be friends," is perhaps offhand confirmation of her last.

It's time to dip, to rinse, but Cerise lingers, digging fingertips against her scalp. It has to sting, the way she works the sand against her skin, but still she keeps at it- until finally one sharp breath is released through her nose. "No, you're right in that. I wanted someone to drink with me and fuck me and let me feel better about being alive for an hour, maybe two. Which you're too good for." She's revolved while speaking, to face the bluerider cast adrift. This time it seems more authentic, the flat aspect to her expression, the loss of heat to her words. Somehow, some when, she's found a distance that allows her to look him up and down- from water's surface to moisture licked hair- and say, "You're a coward. You're a coward and you're small and you don't matter at all. And if you make Nora feel anything like you made me feel, I might well be back with the rocks." Impassive or no, by the end of it the words are all atumble, all rushed, to give her a chance to see them out uninterrupted. Then she turns her back to him and lets her knees hinge, seeing her beneath the water.

Cool green eyes level upon Cerise as she faces towards him, the words certainly putting no ease to his jaw. They do twist a rather sickly approximation of a smile upon his lips. Between being too good and being a coward, V'dean huffs another humorless laugh through his nose. The latter attributions do seem to fit more comfortably, so much so that he barely gives a flicker of reaction for the rushed threat that the greenrider ends with. If he starts to take a breath for reply, the words are drowned by her dunking rinse. Instead he finishes his retreat to the pool's edge, the wetted lift of his palm giving a final rinsing slosh through his hair before he sets the heels of his hands to haul himself out.

In the rush of water that follows, the settling waves and dancing ripples, Cerise reappears. That's one way to earn the last word in an argument, though the lack of full breath before submerging leads to some sputtering. She blats out the water that made it through mouth and nose, and tweezes dripping locks of hair that do their best to cling tentacle-like to her face. It's only after she's dragged knuckles over scrunched eyes that she's finally opening them to spy where the bluerider's gone. That he's left the pool entirely earns her version of a tense jaw, a thin press of lips to feign a smile. "Clear skies, wingrider," fits the technical definition of parting words, even if her tone makes it a less than gracious wish.

V'dean may be out but he's not in particular hurry, methodical habit typifying his walk and reach for his towel. He's turned to re-face the pool through the mist swirled by his passage, pale terrycloth unfurling before him as he uses the top edge to blot at his face and scrub back across his hair. "For a little while longer," he presumes of the skies with his own brittle stretch of smile. His expression is muted otherwise, something deeper stirring slight movement upon his brow as he finishes the quick patting away of clinging water. But other than that, the bluerider will offer a dip of his head and slight widening flicker of mouth that doesn't reach his eyes before turning to pad off through the steam.

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