==== September 24, 2013
==== Aife, Alyei
==== Aife attempts to get to know Alyei.

Who Aife, Alyei
What Aife attempts to get to know Alyei.
When There is 1 turn 1 month and 24 days until the 12th pass.
Where Laundry Room, Southern Weyr

Aife3.jpg aly9.jpg


Laundry Room
Slippery pillars point past the pools towards the commercial cleaning… or what was once? Hard to tell, with the dirt and the crumbling cloth in the corner.

There’s few people in the laundry room this evening, giving Aife all the space she needs to have her clothes all draped out in a corner to dry while she works on scrubbing a pair of pants. Her usual mass of curls is tied up into a ponytail with curly strands clinging to her sweaty face while she works, and it might be somewhat obvious that she’s also eavesdropping on a pair of ladies paces down from her, who are busy talking and gossiping up a storm. Which is pretty typical.

Hard as it may be to believe, Alyei does own more than one pair of clothes. And she sometimes needs the ones not currently on her back to be washed, which is why she drags in a little laundry bag, letting it trail on the floor behind her. The chatter of the two ladies deters her at first, has her skirting around the edge of the room and trying to avoid attracting the attention of the gossip-mongers. She stops cold after a few steps, leaning backward with her eyes caught upon a crop of curly hair. Hrm, she looks at Aife, at the ladies, at Aife, and she frowns with her brows knitted - is Aife a part of this gossipy fiasco?

Aife sets the long scrubbing brush down to wipe an arm across her forehead … right in time to see Alyei looking from her to the gossip ladies. She straightens up and wiggles fingers at her to invite her over, noting the frown before she quips, “One of these days, I’m going to get you to smile. I might make a mission out of it. Every time I see you, you’re scowling about something.” She flashes Alyei a welcoming, crooked grin and pats the bench beside her. “Come over and save me from the tales of lost loves and female loneliness.” Evidently, that’s been the topic of the gossip she’s been listening in on.

"I'm not scowling about something, I'm scowling because it looked like you were part of the…" Alyei trails off, waving her fingers at the gossiping women. And stopping halfway through the gesture to hold her hand out in the air between them, looking at suspended there, then saying, "That splint got in my way." Just to clear that up before Aife asks. The dragged laundry bag trails behind her as she dares to come closer, eyeing the women warily on her approach to Aife's bench. "Why're you even listening to them?"

There’s a snicker as Aife eyes the finger without the splint done by her and states, “What do I have to gossip about? About how good I can separate good needlethorns from bad ones? Yeah, I bet those broads over there would find that more riveting than about how they heard one of the laundresswomen having a shouting match in the bowl with their greenriding weyrmate.” Back to scrubbing though, nodding for Alyei to come closer, “I listen because I always hope to hear something interesting,” she explains to her. “Something useful. Maybe they’ll grow bored of talking about Miss Gruna’s dramatic life and start in on whether or not there’s a price drop on drinks at the tavern. Now that shit’s useful.” The laundrywomen pair did hear her right then, and didn’t look so pleased to be mocked, sending both healer and herder apprentice hard looks before they get up as one with their linens and move further down out of earshot. Aife doesn’t even look apologetic, but she does send their way, “So that’s a no on the price drop? Drats.”

The deep shrug is all that Alyei has to answer what Aife might have for gossip, beats her, accomplished while she sits down on the end of the bench, then proceeds to dump her laundry into a shapeless pile on the floor in between her feet. "If you want to know about that, though, you could just go ask. You don't have to - " And there she goes, sending her parting jab toward the women even while they move away, leaving the last part of her comment lower. " - encourage them." She kind of kicks and picks and sorts through her gear, vaguely interested in getting the job done. Just far less interested in having clean clothes than she ought to be. Bummed, "Don't suppose they'll offer to do my wash now."

“I’m weird like that,” Aife is easy to admit. “Why ask when you can eavesdrop? Oh, it’s alright,” she adds with a brief glance in the gossipers’ direction before she pulls out her scrubbed pair of pants to examine a part of it. “I needed something to pass the time of my-“ she gestures toward her damp clothes draped at odd angles around her as she gets up from by the washing pool. “You want them to do your laundry? I wouldn’t trust them not to cut holes in them by the looks on her faces.” Of course she was the cause of those looks, but, one might say that Aife’s either oblivious about it or just doesn’t care. Moving to drape the pants near a same-color shirt, “You could maybe get one of the candidates to do it for a mark?” she suggests. “If you’re not private about folks touching all over your stuff. How’s it going, anyway?”

Alyei has a face for that logic, why ask when you can… But she doesn't put up an argument, what with her pretty much already having said her piece about gossiping, even in the most passive sense. As for wanting them to do her laundry, she points out, "Well, I don't want to do it myself. And I don't want candidates doing it either," with the utmost conviction. "Just because they give a person a white knot and a chore list doesn't mean they're actually qualified to do any of those chores." In much the same way that giving a girl a laundry bag and a laundry room doesn't make her qualified to wash her own clothes, hohum. "How's what going?" It's a distracted question, 'cause now she's trying to actually figure out what to do about her laundry, looking over at how Aife's managing to try to pick up some pointers.

“So you came in here thinking that somebody was going to wash your dirty clothes for you,” Aife surmises, dropping back down and straddling the bench with a chuckle. Grabbing one of the shirts that’s been drying and laying it out before her, “How were you going to manage that? I am dying to hear, girl.” Really. The erstwhile healer is all ears, even going as far to clarify her question with, “With you? How are things going with you? With what you do? But answer my question on that, first,” and she’s pointing right towards that laundry bag Alyei’s dragging.

Nodding slowly, then more quickly, Alyei confirms that was pretty much her plan, yep, which she goes on to clarify: "You just go up to the oldest woman in the room, explain that you need a little help getting your things washed, and then let her take over. But then you go insulting them all and." She cuts off with a whistle and a throat-slash pantomime, the end of her brilliant plan to get some well-intentioned auntie to help save the poor little dirty-laundried wretch. "You always wash your own?" With no further clues as to how best to start, she just foot-shoves all her stuff into the laundry pool, watching the dingy browns-and-grays darken as they soak up the water.

Brow lifting, “That’s all it takes?” Aife looks a little skeptical, yes. “Just, walk up to them and act innocent? I suppose that particular plan wouldn’t work for me, anyhow.” Insulting? Who’s insulting? The healer shrugs in a way to suggest that that’s life with laundrywomen, when Alyei shucks her clothes right into the pool. She stares hard at them before she rushes forward towards the edge of the pool. “Whoa, whoa! Not like- you mean, no one’s taught you?” She glances over at her, almost wide-eyed. “Like, yeah. I’ve always had to wash my own. You did your own back home, and I guess I sorta kept up with it at the Hall. With the way those boys pranked, I’d be a fool not to look out after my things,” and there’s just the small, fond smile. Nostalgic. It’s brief, turning to waving her over as she uses her scrubbing brush to fish her clothes towards them. “Anyway. It’s not hard,” she goes on to explain. “You just get them wet, add that stuff over there and scrub until you see the color they were supposed to be before. Wet, scrub, repeat.”

Alyei nods. Shrugs. Pretty much all it takes. She follows the gesture for 'that stuff over there' and vacates the bench to fetch some, looking more puzzled than anything about this whole idea of a bunch of healer apprentices looking after all their own laundry. Hence the remark, "Shouldn't you've had more important things to learn about than laundry? Like, I don't know, not killing people?" She comes back with some of That Stuff <tm> and stands at the edge of the water, eyes on her clothes to point out, "That is the color they were supposed to be before." Brown, beige, some black, not much of a feast for the eyes on this fashion plate.

While Aife fishes Alyei’s clothes out of the pool to drape over the sides, she answers on the Hall and laundry with, “Of course we do. I did it, though. Well, sometimes. I didn’t trust those boys I was going to classes with. Might have been one of the reasons why I was in trouble all of the time there…” She might as well have been talking about her favorite pet. Looking her way though, “And I got my work and studies done,” she adds firmly. “I liked staying busy, and I still do. It’s in the past, anyway, and if you’re planning on dying sometime this turn, I’ll make sure to keep that from happening. The point is, I’d learned. You can, too.” The answer on the colors of the clothing earns her a shake of her head as she grabs one of Alyei’s shirts and slap it down on the scrubbing board. While doing so, “You know, you never did tell me where you’re from,” the healer notes idly, taking a handful of The Stuff<tm> and dropping it onto the shirt before she sets to scrubbing.

It's an observation, not a criticism. That bears mentioning, since the way Alyei says it is completely sans malice. "You talk very a lot." So saying, she perches on the very edge of the bench, not so much sitting down as waiting for the next time she needs to get up and do something, dutifully attending the lesson she's getting in how to scrub a shirt. "Did you get in trouble for that, too?" Talking a lot, she means. Holding the rest of That Stuff out at arm's length, so Aife can reach it iffen she needs to, she adds, "I don't remember you asking me where I'm from." No, really!

Aife only pauses to consider Alyei’s observation with a thin-lipped look, but she does say after a moment, “So? You’re still here, aren’t you?” It might bear testament that the herder still is. “And for the record, I got in trouble for being opinionated. Guess they didn’t much like what this talkative female had to say.” There’s a half-hearted shrug to that before she then points out, “You talk very little and evade like a harper. It’s ever gotten you in trouble?” She scrubs and shows, taking more of That Stuff from her and pausing only to drop more onto the shirt. That last gets a snort and a ‘see what I mean?’ sort of look from her, but in words she says, “I asked in a roundabout way, that first time. So how ‘bout it?”

Alyei is still here, it's true. So is her laundry. She drops her eyes to it for a second, but refrains from pointing out that important tidbit. A face is made at the idea of getting in trouble for having opinions, she hears dat!, which also probably answers for whether or not it's ever gotten her in trouble. "Has talking very little ever gotten me in trouble, you're asking?" It strikes her as an odd question, obviously, so she skips it and answers frankly and in the least interesting way possible, "Keroon."

Aife seems to be one that tunes into nuances, and so despite her odd question – something she seems to have a lot of – the nod when Alyei makes a face on opinions is one of mutual understanding there, and once she scrubs through half of the shirt, and she angles the handle of the brush over towards her to take. And to try. “Keroon,” she echoes, saying it much the same imitation as the herder. That’s it? Her face is comical in saying it. “Oh-kay,” she spells out, straightening up as she runs fingers to push strands from her face. “How about you tell me something, and I tell you something?” It’s only served to intrigue her, that much is certain. “Give and take. Unless that’s too much for you to handle.” Pointed look, and the she’ll try to poke Alyei’s arm with the blunt end of the scrubbing handle if she hasn’t yet taken it.

"You asked," Alyei insists defensively, like somehow Aife is to blame for the fact that she got the least intriguing answer ever. Of all time. The brush handle gets a frown before she takes it, after it goes pushing her in the arm (people've been punched for less), trying to use it kind of the way that the healer did and succeeding… in using it the way one would if they were, say, brushing a horse. Not a dirty shirt. Baby steps, right? "What, you mean like, I tell you - runners can't vomit? And then you tell me something like, what's the technical difference between fingers and toes?"

“That I did,” Aife is casual in returning, not denying it. She’s watching how Alyei handles the brush more than anything, frown slightly at the way she’s using. She leans forward and imitates the proper way to scrub – as if she had a brush in her hand – but her response given is on the last. “I was going for something more personal in the ‘getting to know you’ category,” she states wryly to it, “but as I’ve said. If you can’t handle all that. It takes someone into a challenge, and’ve got the balls. Do you really want to know from me the technical difference between fingers and toes?” Chin drops and that look is put to Alyei in wait.

Alyei, bewildered, tries to imitate the way Aife's doing it but… yeah, not so much with the working well for her. Clearly not enjoying either the chore or her inadequacy, she just kind of bats at it a few more times and suggests, "Clean enough, now what?" The same bewilderment meets the clarification, and she pauses to consider Aife and her suggestion - not disparagingly, just confusedly. "I can handle it fine, but what do you mean, personal? What is it you want to know?" 'Cause the girl's likely to be just about at good at randomly volunteering personal factoids as she is doing her laundry.

Clean enough? Aife eyes that poor piece of clothing and just shakes her head, even as she answers her with, "You squeeze the water out of it as best as you can, and then, hang it somewhere to get dry," in explanation. "Well, you can maybe get one of the ladies here to keep an eye on them for you while they dry, and then you can always come back and collect them." It sounds so easy, right? Especially the way she briskly puts it out there. "Although," and now she pauses to eye the effort done on the piece of clothing, "your original plan might be the best course." Getting someone else to do them for her. "Besides those two old bats, there's bound to be another one to come in here soon to ask. So long as you grab her before the bats do." Aife is so helpful! Now she turns to the other topic at hand, answering the query with an easy, "Well you know, stuff. Tell me about your life in Keroon. Who your parents are, of if you have any parents? If you have any siblings, or, what got you into being a herder here? Why the Weyr down south and not some Weyr up north near Keroon? You know." She's back up, going back to where her own clothing is draped partly over a bench to start straightening it out.

With a firm nod, Alyei decides, "I think I'll just wait it out." And sit on the bench, with her hands on her knees, watching to see if anyone who looks like a likely target to do her laundry comes strolling into the room any time soon. As for that other topic, her head tilts as she points out to Aife, "That was a lot of questions all at once." So she tries to tackle at least some of them, though it doesn't have the ring of a very exciting story to it. "Of course I have parents, and I've got a brother and a sister." Her eyebrows climb questioningly, is this really the kind of stuff Aife wants to know about? Really?

Holding up the shirt for her own examination as she settles on the bench, "If it suits, babydoll," Aife gives breezily while doing so. She only pauses when Alyei does at least answer some of the questions, looking her way in time to catch that 'look'. "I do want to know about you," she states, letting the clothing drop back on the bench. "Is there something better I should be asking? I thought it was pretty standard fare. I mean, I could ask why you get so huffy around dragonriders like my brother, but, you have this uncanny ability of side-stepping questions like a rabbit. It does limit me to what I should ask." The clothing still looks wet, but not drenched; she starts folding it up, adding with an arched look towards the herder apprentice, "Or, if that's all there is, you can tell me about why runners don't vomit. I'm almost done here." With her clothes, that is.

The details are probably as dull as Alyei makes them out to be - probably - but her reaction to being called huffy is at least mildly entertaining. She sits up straighter, pursing her lips, and argues, "I didn't get huffy. But I don't know your brother, and he doesn't know me. I didn't figure he wanted me hanging around while he talked about whatever his problem was any more than I wanted him pestering me about how I broke my hand." So there! "Besides, aren't healers supposed to respect privacy or some such? You're not supposed to talk about people's problems in front of other people, are you?"

"Is it the same with the sundressed weyrwoman, then?" Aife is quick to return, almost dry. "Or did I breach some sort of privacy clause there, too? But fine," and the erstwhile healer clicks her tongue as she finishes up folding her clothes. "Whatever you're guarding, or seeming to guard, must be big. I've grown bored asking with nothing but wet clothes to show for my efforts." It's seems, for now, that she's given up. It's lofty at best, and she goes on to add, "We can talk weather until I've gotten this stuff squared, or you find your laundresswoman. Or not talk at all."

Alyei, again on the defensive, "I was perfectly polite to her. I just don't like the idea that everyone's clamoring to be a dragonrider, and no one'd ever dream of saying no to them." With a frown that's gone from bewildered to defensive to now aggravated, she stands and explains, "I'm not guarding anything. You're just nosy." She crouches at the edge of the water and starts picking her soaking wet stuff out of it, sloshing water over her feet while she collects her clothes. It'd probably be a more impressive storming-off if she could actually, like, storm off, but she does need to deal with her sopping laundry before she can stomp around looking for some soft-hearted sap to help her.

Leaning back and folding her arms, “Oh I see,” Aife states, lips quirking up. “Hate that they all got a stick up their butts, or something? I’m not clamoring to be a dragonrider, but I’m sure there’s plenty of folks out there willing to turn one down.” On the nosiness, there’s a roll of her eyes as she quips back, “I didn’t know getting to know somebody was considered being nosy.” She abruptly gets to her feet then, grabbing up the folded shirt and the bag that was stashed underneath the bench in quick succession. “The mistake was mine,” she continues to say as she moves around, collecting up her clothes one by one and stuffing them in. Only once she’s done does she turn with her bag to stare hard at her for a few moments and says, “I’m going back to the infirmary.” Lips part to add more – as if she could add anything else – but then her lips just press back to together and she’s heading out, the bag swinging over her shoulder to slap against her back on her way out.

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