Who

Zalara, Tallel

What

Tallel finally decides to venture to the baths. Even with a familiar face there, awkwardness ensues.

When

It is evening of the twenty-second day of the first month of the second Turn of the 12th Pass.

Where

Public Baths, Igen Weyr

OOC Date

 

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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.


Zalara comes in with a towel to get out of the cold and get a nice hot bath. She moves towards one of the ones in the back and she undresses before she slips into the water. She sighs softly as she feels the warm seeping into her bones.

Tallel has had quite enough of the pervasive chill today; it's in his bones, too. In fact, it's enough that he's decided to sate his curiosity and venture to these baths he keeps hearing about. He's not an antisocial guy by any means, but he seems to carry his bag of clothes and cleaning supplies like a shield against anything he might…see…as he ventures in and starts along the walkways in search of an unoccupied pool. The rise in temperature invigorates him as he moves along, the fact that he hasn't spotted any bare skin yet encouraging. Finally, he spots one in the back - not all the way back, but close. He strips quickly and plops into the water, tugging a little sack of sweetsand with him…and sighs at the almost immediate evaporation of most of the chill from his muscles. With a grin, he submerges, coming up with thick black hair plastered against his head…and only once he's cleared it out of his eyes does he notice the figure in the next pool over. It's Zalara he spots on just the other side of the wall separating them, and while he knows very well it's a bath - a public bath - he can't help but avert his eyes. "Uh…hello," the Zingari boy says, clearing his throat and becoming very interested in scrubbing his arms.

Zalara looks over as she hears a familiar voice. She gives a warm smile. "Hello Tallel! How are you doing? Had the same idea I did to get into the baths to avoid the cold?" she asks as she turns to face him, but the wall separates them so all he can see is her face. She pushes a stray hair out of her face.

"I…ah…" Tallel clears his throat again, mentally kicking himself. Yes, he's Zingari, and his people have their particular sense of propriety, but they are in a Weyr now, so this sort of thing is something he just needs to get used to. Summoning up a tilted bit of a grin, he makes himself look across the wall at Zalara. "I suppose I did! Doing alright, just…" He gestures around them. "Not used to a setup like this. Otherwise, I'm fine." Nice and vague.

Zalara smiles. "That's good to hear that you are doing all right." She ahs. "Well if you need me to close my eyes just ask. I won't peek, I promise. Just try not to stare too hard; it's rude, although some girls like to flaunt what they have." She shrugs a bit.

"Wha-? I'm not going to stare!" Tallel blurts, almost defensive. "I mean, not in here. Not- There's-" A little flustered and not sure where he's going with this particular defense, he frowns and scrubs at his hair. "You don't need to close your eyes. I won't…peek..either." He reddens slightly, which only looks like a subtle darkening of his cheeks with his dusky complexion. "And if there's anyone here who wants to…flaunt…warn me, would you?"

Zalara hmms. "I didn't say that you were going to stare, I was just warning against it. I don't care if you look or not. I'm more worried about your comfort." She looks around. "No one around here will flaunt it, so you are safe."

Tallel wrinkles his nose a little, scrubbing at a shoulder. "Right. Fine. But I still won't look, even if you don't care." That Zalara would be more worried about his comfort is a bit strange to him, and he tilts his head at her slightly. "I appreciate it," he says, smirking. "I mean, I don't mind if there's a pretty girl or two around, but…modesty is a good thing. Except in a place like this, where seeing more than you might want is always a risk, I guess." He clears his throat yet again, eager to move on to another topic. "So… What's new in the Weyr, Zalara? How go your studies?" Those are safe subjects, right?

Zalara shrugs. 'It's up to you," she says. "I don't think most young men think like you do; it's a nice change." She smiles. "It's going good. I'm helping out with the flamethrowers, repairing, replacing and making new ones. It's so very exciting."

Tallel grins a bit roguishly, rinsing his arms. "Most young men aren't Zingari," he points out. "We've got eyes, though our parents try to teach us to keep them for the girls we're bethrothed to. And if something happens that breaks the betrothal, like with me, well. Some habits die hard." His eyebrows arch a bit when she mentions flamethrowers. "You think flamethrowers are exciting?" he asks a bit dubiously. "Not that playing with fire isn't fun; it just seems…I don't know. Not the Zingari sort of fun, for certain." He dunks his head again, coming back up and shaking it out rather than slicking it back. "A rider came and told us we'd have to be helping on ground crews if we're going to call Igen home. I'm guessing we'll have to be learning to use those things?"

Zalara smiles. "I could get to like the way the Zingari think. I'm a smith; playing with fire is what I do and what to learn about." She nods. "It would be appreciated, but it can be dangerous being on ground crew. I'm on the ground crew. They are not that hard to learn. I could see about getting those that want to learn a lesson."

"Not everyone appreciates the way we think," Tallel observes with a shrug. "The Oldtimers seem to have the most trouble with it. Even I don't agree with everything, too…but tradition is something to be respected." He sounds like he's quoting a bit here, probably his own father, and it's said with a shrug. "The rider said we'd be having lessons. Might be nice to get them from those who make sure our equipment works, though," he adds, sending a bit of a wink at the Smith girl. "After all, the riders fight with their dragons. You and I - we get the things that might be less reliable."

Zalara hmms. "Well, I must say that I don't like most traditions because honestly they treat me like I'm not a person. I hate that. I hate that most people view men better then women just cause they are men. I'm sorry; I don't mean to just lay it on you like that. I'm a female smith and I find more acceptance with the Oldtimers than the people born nowadays."

Tallel shrugs eloquently. "It's alright," he says. "I think it's stupid to treat women like they're not people when they clearly are. Only a fool denies it. I think women ought to be free to choose what they want to do…but they can't grumble if they choose to stay somewhere they'll be scorned. If it's something you really want, you'll grow the steel in your spine to fight it, or you'll move on to something else. Things don't change overnight, right?" Working up the lather in his hair, he gives a nod. "The Oldtimers have the right of it, in that case - being accepting of choice. I don't agree with everything they do…but letting women do what they're best at is something I do admire."

Zalara looks at Tallel and she goes to give him a hug tightly. "Really? I'm so glad that you think that way, Tallel. So many boys think they are so superior to girls." She smiles brightly before she lets him go. "I'm sorry about that."

Zalara has to reach across that bit of wall separating their pools to give Tallel that hug, so that catches him off guard in addition to the act itself. "Uh…" is his lame response at first, and he freezes under her touch, his face quite obviously reddening now. Eventually, he lifts a hand and gives her shoulder an awkward pat. "It's…alright," he says, grinning sheepishly in return. "I…uh…" Remembering that he needs to rinse his hair, he does so, giving himself a moment to gather his wits again. "It's not a popular notion among the Zingari. Though Willimina may be set to change things up a bit; I don't know."

Zalara smiles. "Well, Willimina sounds like a very smart woman." She says as she blushes a bit, "Sorry I got a little excited. I'm sorry if I embarrassed you."

"Didn't embarrass me," Tallel lies, straight-faced. "I just…well. Since you don't seem to mind being seen and whatnot, I suppose I shouldn't be worried for you, then." Right? "You seem pretty…passionate, about these things. How old are you?" As if age has anything to do with anyone being passionate over something.

Zalara smiles brightly. "I'm glad that I didn't. I don't, and if you don't I'll join you." She gets up and moves to join Tallel in his pool. "Me? I'm sixteen." She smiles up at him. "I do tend to be passionate about things I like."

Well, that's not something Tallel meant to have happen. The fact that he'd been lying about being embarrassed manifests itself in a deeper blush - Faranth, he hasn't ever had cause to blush this much! - as Zalara crosses the partition into his pool, and he averts his eyes. There may even be a bit of muttering going on under his breath until she settles back in the water. "Sixteen," he says, looking at the petite redhead sidelong. She looks like she could easily be younger. "How long have you been an apprentice?" He'll just latch onto that for a bit.

Zalara nods, "Yes sixteen. Five years now I've been an apprentice." She leans back and relaxes. "I'm finally starting to get some respect."

"I was on the older side of ten when my father apprenticed me to learn healing," Tallel notes a bit absently as he works to clean the rest of himself. "So I suppose I know a bit of what that's like. Good that you're gaining respect. I'd expect it to start happening here, of all places."

Zalara nods. "Well I had to fight to learn my first couple of years and my father, a journeyman Smith, had to pull a lot of strings to even get me apprenticed. That should not have had to happen." She hmms. "Want me to wash your back for you?"

Tallel nods, humming a bit in thought. "Sounds like your papa wanted you to be able to do what you wanted," he observes with a smirk. "It shouldn't have had to happen, but at least it got you where you are now." At Zalara's offer…Tallel's gaze snaps over to her, eyes widening. "Wa- Uh…no!" Reflexively, he scoots away from her slightly, forcing himself not to go too far. "I mean. I appreciate the offer and all, but you're… I mean… We're not…" He scrunches his eyes shut and scrubs a hand over his face, not really sure how to explain.

"Well how else are you going to get your back clean? I mean your arms can only reach so far." Zalara watches him scoot away and she frowns a bit. "Tallel, just because I wash your back doesn't mean you are doing anything inappropriate to me. If it has something to do with your family's traditions, I'll understand, though."

Darn her for putting a practical bent on it! "I know; it's just…" Him doing anything inappropriate to her? That's a little backward! Tallel scoops up some water and dashes it against his face. Time to use his words now. "It's…got to do with tradition, yes," he gets out. Then he makes a face. "I know you don't mean anything by it; it's just that for us…that's something kept between a man and his wife." So somewhat major connotations there! Still, his expression turns a bit sheepish, and he rubs his shoulder out of nervous habit. "Sorry. It's nothing to do with you, I promise."

Zalara nods. "Okay, I understand. A man and a woman touching naked is something only married couples do. I can respect that. I have been thinking I've going to wait until marriage as well."

The Smith girl's frankness has Tallel's eyes widening a bit again, but he nods as he lathers up a washcloth and whips it around his back, grabbing it with his opposite hand and pulling it back and forth over his shoulderblades. This is how to wash your back without help! "Uh…yes. I mean there's plenty you can do before marriage. Fun stuff, and even the other thing you don't necessarily have to…" He trails off, his face scrunching up again. Why is he even discussing this with her? He falls backward into the water - as much to rinse his back as to escape for a second. Maybe he'll get lucky and a hidden undertow will pull him to the bottom and into another pool.

Zalara watches him. "Well, yah, you can do it that way, but when you have someone else wash your back for you, they can scrub harder. They can even give you a massage. It's much more enjoyable then just doing it yourself. At least I think so." She gives Tallel a smile. "You could try it. You might find that you like it."

"Oh, I'm not worried about not liking it," Tallel counters, sputtering water away from his lips before returning his gaze to the red-haired apprentice girl. "I'm just… We just met not long ago, and you're nice and all, but I'm new to this Weyr stuff, and I'm not…" He cuts himself off with a frustrated noise from his throat, kicking himself for not being able to say what he means exactly. Maybe he doesn't even know what exactly he means! And he's certainly not used to being at a loss for words. Pushing himself over to the edge of the pool, he reaches up and snags his towel, holding it high overhead to keep it from touching the water. "I think I'd better go," he says a bit lamely. "I'll, um…I'll talk to you later, Zalara." He rises, quickly whipping the towel around his waist before too much can be seen, and gathers up his things, slipping around to an unseen corner to pull his clothes back on before he flees the baths.

Zalara smiles. "It's okay," she says with an easy smile and she does turn away so to give him the privacy that she can. "Okay. See you later Tallel. Stay warm out there."

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