Naomi, Papen


Small talk amid the steam in the baths.


It is the fifty-eighth day of Winter and 34 degrees. It is a clear night.


Igen Weyr Public Baths

OOC Date 17 Feb 2016 08:00


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Public Baths

Stout walls have been erected around several naturally formed pools, serving to provide a semblance of privacy and protection from the harsh wind and sand. Above the pools, well cleaned walkways criss-cross beneath tiled arches and descend with a stairway or two leading down to each pool to provide one means of slip-free access through the area. Surrounding the pools there are benches, receptacles to put used clothing and towels in, and areas to get sweetsand and towels from - if you didn't bring your own.

All is quiet in the baths, lightly occupied as the rest of the weyr finds food and warmth in the living caverns. Not to mention the necessity of traversing the bazaar at such a late hour being a huge deterrent as well. That is a problem easily dismissed for one such as Naomi, who currently occupies the pool two temperatures below the hottest one. She is alone in occupying it, with a few bazaar merchants occupying the two hotter ones. There may be some attempted leering on their part, but Naomi is all but oblivious to it as she leans her head on the edge of her pool, eyes closed and body fully submerged. Rising steam clouds any effort on to see anything beyond one's own pool.

Papen has picked his way through a chilly bazaar with some decidedly brisk steps. Eyes down, legs moving is how the Harper likes to go about his evening business. Once he slips into the bathing cavern, he makes out a few submerged shapes in the pools and the soft murmur of private conversation. Being unable to make out any specific features, Papen is pleased to see his favorite pool only occupied by one shady silhouette. As he shucks his clothes and grabs some sand, he slides into the pool on the opposite side from the person shape, fully submerging with a whooshing exhale as his eyes squeeze shut with pleasure. Once he's up to his neck and settled, he peels them open just a hair to see who the other person might be. Startled, his eyes zing open as he espies a naked Naomi across from him, or at least, naked from the neck up in all this steam. "Hey!" he offers rather clumsily, running a hand along the back of his suddenly very warm neck. "Fancy running into you." Really. He didn't stalk you into the baths where you would be all naked. Really!

One of the benefits of the constant steam is that there is certainly no chance of peeking, though Naomi has found that most folk are decent enough to not leer. Openly, at least. The sound of somebody else entering the pool causes her to peek one eye. Sleeping? Not her! It's only a cursory glance for the other figure, slightly shadowed by all the steam as they were. It is certainly not enough time for her to recognize who it might be. With a stretch, though, she does sit up just as she hears the other person speak. And somewhat familiar it is, too. Naomi turns her gaze to Papen and recalls their meeting, though her expression doesn't say as much. "Good evening," she greets simply, apparently not as perturbed by the presence of a naked Papen, nor the fact that she is also naked.

Papen sinks a little deeper, not out of embarrassment at the whole naked thing, at least not on his end, it's more on her end, and he doesn't want to seem inappropriate in any fashion, despite her apparent ease. Turning, he fusses with his bag and pours some sand into one hand, popping a foot out of the water and into the mist for some intensified scrubbing while he steals a glance at the guard without, you know, stealing a glance at the guard. "How was your day, Naomi?"

Embarassment about her body is a thing of the past for Naomi. And when you frequent the public baths, well, one's bound to get used to it at some point. And as might be evident from the half-filled sweetsand pouch beside her, she's obviously finished our daily scrubbing and is quite apparently just relaxing now. She'll get pruney sooner or later. Arms lift out of the water to rub her neck, slightly sore from having leaned against the edge of the pool for so long. As for Papen's question… "Uneventful." She replies, which is probably a good thing for the young guard. "Yours?"

"Also uneventful, but that's not terribly out of the ordinary for me." He's being humble of course, he came across a cache of old thread fall records and was fascinated for most of the day. This, he knows, is uninteresting to almost anyone else, so, yeah, uneventful by outside standards. Toes are scrubbed a bit more, as is the heel while he bobs about. Papen peeks over while he scrub-a-dub-dubs. "Favorite color?" He does small talk… strangely.

Naomi observes Papen curiously as talks. Not staring, of course, but it almost looks like she has an unspoken question behind her eyes that she doesn't quite voice. Instead, her gaze drifts slightly at Papen's movements before going to meet his eyes. Whether or not she finds his small talk odd, she certainly doesn't comment. "Silver." She replies, arms dropping back into the water before submerging most of her body back in the water for warmth. This time, it looks as though she's staring for a moment before she goes and asks, "What did you do?" Totally meant what he did that day.

Papen makes a face. Silver. That was such a good answer. He moves his scrubbing to a muscular calf, fingers working out knots as he continues the circular motions. "I found some really old record of threadfall, it's amazing how detailed these things are." He's not pausing, he's just going for it, so is his excitement. As he continues rapidly talking his cheeks begin to turn scarlet and his voice becomes reedy with lack of oxygen. "I mean, everything from wind variation of flight pattern to abnormalities to regional averages and source point data. I mean, this stuff is not only brilliantly maintained with a little upkeep but can apply directly to this very pass. I mean… I mean…" Wheeeeeze. Hack. He stops to gulp air, realizes how long he's been talking, and peters out to scrub the other leg. "Anyway… what did you do?"

Though Naomi was aware of Threadfall and it's effects, anything beyond when it was supposed to pass overhead was lost to her. Nonetheless, she listens quietly to Papen's excitement on his discovery. A hand lifts to push aside some wet hair, but she's otherwise motionless as she watches him. His words are pretty much gibberish to her, making little sense but she can definitely see how passionate he is. There's the slightest of smiles on her lips when he pauses, vying for oxygen now that he's stopped long enough to do so. When the question is asked of her, she shrugs, though not visible as her shoulders are still underwater, but it does cause a ripple on the surface, in addition to Papen's cleaning. "Not much. Patrolled the caravan." As per usual. "Like I said, uneventful." A pause. "Much more so than your day, so it would seem."
Papen blushes, but looks pleased with himself. "Yeah, it was actually a pretty good day." There's something he wants to ask Naomi, but he's not quite sure how to do so, he opens his mouth a couple times and backs off with a yawn or an awkward cough. He settles to scrubbing one large arm as he sinks a little further and lets his legs float upward, newly scrubbed toes peeking out as he squints at Naomi and loses his nerve. "Favorite kind of bubbly?"

Twenty questions until he has the nerve to ask the real one, or more likely, twenty questions that lead to nothing because… Papen. "Fair," is his response as he takes in her collarbone, looks quickly away and scrubs his other arm, somewhat exuberantly. "I bet I could find some archival info on previous guards, if that would be of any interest?" With the entire archives at his fingertips, and a fiendish nerdiness that allows him both the patience and exuberance to go after records, he's really prepared to give her just the unexciting thing he offers. Thrill-a-minute over here.

And as odd as it might be, Naomi might answer all twenty. Given that she doesn't become a prune from soaking in the water for so long, that is. Though perhaps a bit curious, she doesn't quite ask him why he's asking all these questions. She wasn't the best conversationalist, anyway, so maybe this was just how most people … got to know each other? The quick shift in his gaze does not go unnoticed, but she is momentarily distracted by his offer. "Oh?" There might be some audible lift in her voice. "Do you think you might find some on methods of training?"

"I mean, yeah, I'm sure I could. If you dig enough you can find anything, really." A pause, a scrub, a clearing of the throat, more scrubbing, total casual segway… "if you wanted to maybe come down to the archives when you're not, 'guarding' you could, I mean I could, I could show you what I found… over bubblies… or something, or, yeah." He looks miserably awkward and slowly just submerges under the water until he's completely disappeared for a solid three seconds before surfacing… just the nose, forehead and eyes, ready to sink under again if the worst plays itself out.

There is an undeniable spark of interest in Naomi's eyes now, though it is very slight. Very few things can elicit a change of expression in the young guard but the fact that it has to do with her career choice, well, it might not be so surprising. She waits quietly for whatever Papen says next, almost visibly eager. Whatever awkwardness he might feel is not felt on her, barely even registering anything strange in the way he phrases his suggestion. Not even bubblies in the archives (do they even allow that there?). She does sit up a little straighter though, "Ah. Yes. I'll stop by when I have a moment, then."

Papen grins, like an idiot. "Well that's great… I'll see you, you know, then. Just give me a heads up and I'll have bubblies and wine—klah. Klah." Because, you know, slow down! Or, something. He's now scrubbed and thoroughly embarrassed so he makes a big show of noticing his fingers are pruney. "Well, I should get going, lots of work, finding guard tid bits and all. I'll see you soon!" He's giddy, and terrified, and pruney, so… there it all is.

"Right. Shall I send a firelizard to notify you?" Naomi asks, still completely oblivious to his fumbling or the sort. She nods when he prepares to exit the pool before glancing down at her fingers. Probably more pruney than his. "Ah. It's late… shall I accompany you out the bazaar?" Naomi offers, remembering the dangers of traversing it at such an hour. Then she's moving to grab her towel and leave the pool as well. Regardless of his acceptance or refusal of her offer, she needs to get out of the water and head back to the caravan, anyway.

Papen has nothing to say as she gets out of the water all naked, e's somewhat flabbergasted as it is, but with some semblance of adulthood he pulls a towel towards him and starts pulling clothing back on. "A firelizard would be fine. Do you have one?" Yet another round of twenty questions. As far as accompanying him, weeeell… he nods. He may have just awkwardly asked out the guard, but he's not going to fool himself, fully aware that she's far more qualified than he is to deal with anything this late in the bazaar. "That would be great, thank you." He's all man, this one.

Naomi is unabashed as she proceeds to dry herself off and don her clothing, once more oblivious to Papen's flabbergasted state. "No," she responds in regards to his question, "But I can borrow one." There were plenty of them flying around the caravan at all times… she was sure somebody wouldn't mind lending her one for a candlemark or two. Once she's dressed and gotten her things in order, Naomi turns back to Papen with a nod. "Alright. Shall we head out then?" And so Naomi leads the way, guarding all six feet and two inches of the manly Papen safely through the sketchy bazaar.

Papen trots after her, all 6'2 of him.

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