To Be A Harper

Ista Weyr - Hot Springs
This cavern off the lower caverns is fairly large, and quite warm. As you step inside, you notice the dominating feature of this room, which is a number of large pools, filled with water from a underground spring. Steam rising from each of the pools speaks of the underground thermal which heats them to comfortably warm temperatures.
Around the room sit various benches and hooks for holding everything from towels to clothing. Near the pools are small containers of sweetsand for the folks that come in to not only relax, but wash. Several of the pools are set back in the wall, within small caverns to give privacy to the occupants. Near one pool, a crack emits a heated steam which mingles with that off the pools to cloud the air.

Well into night, it’s perhaps an odd time to find much of anyone at the baths, but then again that might be the point. Towel and clothing left to lay in folded in a neat pile on one of the benches, Zorya is found sunk into one of the pools of warm water. The water nearly reaches halfway up her neck as she leans her head back to rest against the edge of the pool.

Zh'ae is a night owl, and he knows all about how most folks avoid the springs like a plague this time of night. So what does the wingsecond do but find his way here to take his lovely, wonderful bath. Yes sir! He's oblivious too, because he doesn’t spot Zorya until he's already completely naked and dipping his toes into the tub… "Oh, Zorya… hi." erm….

Zorya, while not exactly a night owl by any means, was awake and knowing that most avoid the springs as well she opted for it. Sitting with her eyes closed she's quite oblivious to anyone having entered, despite the certainty of some noise having been made on the wet floors. Blink blink. "Hi…?" Eyes closing again rather quickly, as in the girl blinked, sinking just a bit deeper into the water. Eek! Could there be a more awkward run in?

Zh'ae is a guy, no modesty, so he simply flops into the baths and grins. "It’s just a bath, you don't hafta drown yourself over lil' ol me, Zory." he notes as he settles in and starts to scrub his flight weary body with soapsand. Hey, he doesn’t think it’s awkward in the least!

Zorya is a girl however. And it wouldn't be so bad if it were earlier and there were other people about, but there's not. And… Silence. "What are you doing here so late?" she finally blurts out, letting her eyes open once sound determines that he is actually in the bath.

Zh'ae shrugs a bit. "Just got home from Igen and Bitra, Zory. I'm tired and weary and in need of a bath to wipe the grime from my poor self." he notes to her with a grin as he sinks into the water with a groan. The fading bruises on eye and ribs are a lot more apparent now, even with the dirt of travel upon him.

Zorya winces at the sight of the bruising. It’s her fault about all that. "Oh… well how was I supposed to know that? It's late no one was supposed to be here." a hint of a whine in her voice. She was relaxing and now that's ruined. "And don't call me that."

Zh'ae doesn’t mind the bruising, obviously. He likes playing hero to the lovely young Shipton. "Sorry." he notes, scrubbing very gently over his chest and ribs and stomach, also showing off his hard kept muscles as he does so before sinking back into the water. "You weren't. Just like I had no idea you were going to be here, my sweet little cousin." Yes, he gets more and more irritating all the time, no?

Oh he has Zipalla to blame for that. The talk she and her little cousin had this morning, well… Zorya leans her head back against the edge of the pool again, letting her eyes close. Well almost. Sinking down so the water is level with the crease of her lips. She sits without saying another word for a minute longer. But Zo and silence just usually don't end up working so well.

Zh'ae arches a brow at the girl a moment and shakes his head, "Don't be shy, it doesn’t fit you well." he comments, dousing his head briefly before starting to scrub away at the thick mat of hair. Mmmm, hair.. soap. Wheeee.

"What you said," Zorya starts, stretching up a bit so that her mouth isn't in the water as she tries to speak, "do you really think so?" Oh yes, what he said. Could she be any less clear on what she means? He's said alot of things.

Zh'ae nods his head, looking deliberately at her with those dark brown eyes of his, calm and warm. "I've meant every word I have said." he notes to her, a small smile touching his lips then. He scrubs a bit more, then rinses his hair out, letting the silky, shiny mass fall back to his shoulders after shaking it once briefly.

"About me bein a harper I mean." Zorya clarifies even after he's answered. Just to make sure maybe. She's just going to continue to sit there. Awkward, self conscious.

Zh'ae smiles then and relaxes a little. "Yes miss. I think you'd be a grand Harper, if that is what you truly want, go for it. I'll support you every step of the way, as I'm sure any of the rest of us here will."

Zorya sighs. He's not helping! "I don't know. I mean it's so far away.." And until not so long ago, what was it now barely a month?, she'd never been beyond the hills that surround Shipton. "And… Well Ah never had any real learning either."

Zh'ae simply shakes his head and smiles. "Lil bit, be a Harper. You dance better than they do. Its your calling. I'm not going to force you of course…" he comments, eyeing her carefully.

"But what about Uncle L'ton, and Zipalla and…" Zorya begins. Making excuses? Maybe. "Shipton's aren't harpers Zh'ae. They don't dance and they don't sing." Which sounds more like something that's been drilled into her head by family than something she'd say herself.

Zh'ae shrugs, "What about them? They're on a different path. You dance, you sing.. and prettier than I've ever heard anyone, pet." he comments, tilting his head to the side a bit and peering at her.

Zorya closes her eyes, sinking in the water again. "It was just a silly dream…" she mutters. He's still not helping! He's supposed to tell her no, like everyone else.

Zh'ae shakes his head. "What do you really want to hear from me, because it’s not 'follow your heart'." he gives her a funny little smile and shakes his head. "All I can do is repeat myself or tell you what you want to hear… So tell me what you want to hear from me, silly girl." he teases her gently.

Zorya shakes her head lightly, her toes curling together at the bottom of the pool. "I don't know. I guess I'm just so used to hearing 'You need to stop acting like a child and grow up.' 'Dancing won't get you anywhere.' 'Singing doesn't put food on the table.'" Everything a devout Shipton would scold at such a young woman. "Before when you asked for more… If I got caught before.." If she could hold her breath for any length of time she might sink beneath the surface.

Zh'ae ponders this a moment. "Alright, let’s look at the world. Hmmmm." he pauses, as if in thought. "I know. They need to open their minds to the world. Dancing will get you everywhere, as good as you are… and singing will put food on the table." He pauses, then peers at her, his dark eyes watching her closely. "You can tell me, I won't hurt you."

Somewhere she knew that. She had to or she wouldn't have kept at it. Zorya turns her blue-eyed gaze back towards him, "I just told you." What does he mean she can tell him? Isn't that what she just did?

Zh'ae pauses a moment and nods, "It’s late, I'm mishearing things. I'm sorry, Zorya. I should get to bed, and so should you." It’s not a demand or an order, simply a statement. He climbs from the water and wraps himself in a towel, quickly drying then dressing himself. "See you soon, little one." he comments, offering her a smile and a wave before trodding off barefooted.

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