A River Bath

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Fffffffffffffffffffff. Svarshan blows the water from his nose as he emerges on the banks of the river. Sludge rolls off of him--bits of it, from leftover grime and soot from the traveling waterway. So do leaves, pieces of twig, and summer riverslime. He grasps the edge of bank a moment, his eyes still screwed shut.

"Dragonfather, but it gets worsse during the. End of Spring," he says. He gives himself a shake. Another, before opening his eyes.

As he makes his slow way down the road, Zeke notices the odd form on the edge of the river, and in spite of himself curiosity draws him forward. Then, as the other sith begins to draw out of the moving water Zeke recognizes him as who he is and stops short. Svarshan is given time to be on the bank of the river in silence. For the water to roll off of his scales and only after Svarshan's eyes open does Zeke offer a deep bob of his head to the other in a very unsithlike manner that nonetheless seems very natural to Zeke. "Peassce on your nesst."

"Peasse to you, sshaman," Svarshan replies comfortably. He hauls himself from the river, water sleucing down his form. Water and sludge, thanks to the river traffic, and time of year.

"One thought. To take a sswim," he says as he straightens. "...and ssee what was. Beneath the ssurface. How are your travels, today?" he asks of the other.

Zeke has the grace to look embarrassed, but he does not know how to... He observes the sludge and shakes his head. "A bath might be better taken elsssewhere warrior-caste." He makes a small dismissive motion as to the events of his day. "Thisss day hasss been uneventful; busssy, but well. Sssvarssshan..."

The blue-scaled sith begins something, starts to say, but his green eyes trail away and his words trail off. Leaving him uncomfortably silent. Then. "Thisss one isss not sshaman-casste." It is so gently spoken that it is almost inaudible.

The other tilts his head to the side. "...you are sshaman-caste," he says, low-voiced and warm. "...hrhnnn. But what one has been through. Without proper casste...ssa. One was there." The words are distant, though comfortable. A horrifying memory that one has had the time to tame, to comfort.

"...but that was. Ssome time past." The tail curls and uncurls at its end. Curl, uncurl.

"Huhhhrrrm," he says, comfortably, and looks towards the grass, towards a place a small ways away, where a swiftclaw stands. Green, with faint golden markings, she looks towards the two of them and then away, quickly. She wears a saddle, and saddlebags. Around her muzzle is a bosal and mecate.

Green eyes blink in surprise, and Zeke actually looks at Svarshan. His heartrate kicks up slightly, but he emulates calm. Looks toward the beautiful swiftclaw with her faint golden hue and... firms his stance on the ground. Steadies and grounds himself. The air is good and clean even if the water of the river is not. "One... You, were without caste?" It is gently questioning, the sort of thing that could easily be ignored if Svarshan wished it.

“...one..." Svarshan starts to say. He signals with tail and shoulder that he is to head to the swiftclaw, and invites the other along. "...the tradition of brightsscale was lost to the People, for a time. One thought one had no choisse."

"...sso one ssought the wisdom of the ssoftskins, and lived years among. Them." He looks to Zeke, the expression warm and quiet. And...troubled, by the subtle shiftings around the muzzle. The way he looks away towards the swiftclaw for a moment.

"It is like wearing sscales that. Do not fit."

The blue-scaled sith follows in Svarshans wake slowly, his quarterstaff helping him along somewhat. The others words, this... Zeke can understand whole-heartedly having lived among other races for some time himself. "Thissss, mussst have been difficult. Thisss one, undersstandss in oness own way." It was an eloquent way of saying that he had lived much the same way, but that living the same experiance, did not /make/ for the same experiance. Two people could live through the same thing after all, and have two very different reactions to it. Two different perspectives. "Perhapss thisss one hasss been too long from the People, to feel that... thingsss are sso sstrange."

"One felt at home for. Ssome time. ...one lived among the Myrrish, within a ssmall House. I held ssome rank. Ressponsibility. ...but there was always."

"...the sscales did not. Fit. ...One is poor with words," the other says, and a faint, warm smile chases the statement. "The language iss. Different. The sscents. The..."

"...ressponses. The heart. ...they do not undersstand caste. They...hrhhhm. Ssoftskins will ssay, the differences are only as deep as we let them be. ...but sshaman. Were you to lissten. You could hear my blood in your heart. Were you to ssing, it would beat for uss. Both."

Zeke hangs back slightly, feeling... old. He always moves slowly, but now his steps slow even further until he's barely walking at all. "You are good with words Ssvarsshan. Thisss one hearss your meaning." The other races, they did /not/ understand caste, but then... Zeke felt as though perhaps he did not either. Perhaps being that he had never in his long years been a part of one, it was something that he had lost the ability to /be/. Like, if by closing ones eyes for long enough they would forget how to see.

"Thisss one thinksss, perhapsss thisss one hasss gone deaf." He says it with weak humor, humming in the back of his throat and picking up his pace slighly. Proving that he can move faster if he chooses to. "Or perhapss like my... body, thisss one isss sssimply broken in thiss way too. Thisss one wasss well-named.

Suddenly Zeke's mouth slams shut. Something not meant to be said. Something he should not have let slip. His body tenses to a stop and his green eyes are sharp on Svarshan to see if the other caught this slip or not.

"Hrmmmm...perhaps. Perhaps one might embrace thiss hurt, insstead. One hears ssuch things, whisspered by sshaman-caste." The warrior stops near the swiftclaw. She pretends not to see them. She points her great head the other way, and blinks; jangles her bosal and halter.

"That to...become angry at one'ss pain. Or ashamed of a weakness. Does violence to the sself. Hrrnnn..." Svarshan says. He reaches up and grasps the head halter, and draws the swift's forehead against his own. Closes his eyes. "To be among the People is to accept. We ssimply...are. If you are sshaman. If you are warrior. You are sshaman. You are warrior."

"You are already. Complete. You have. Importansse and. Family."

"Thisss one... Thisss one will." Zeke thinks, then nods to himself. "Talk to sshaman-casste. Perhapsss they will know more about it. Sshaman-cassste are healerss."

They were so like... that it hurt to be around them. He does not say how much he avoids shaman-caste. That this is another thing he shares with Chay though for not all the same reasons. Yes there is the risk of being touched, but there is also the risk of knowing them. Of being close to them in the way he has only begun to trust Chay. To trust them... more. It is a terrifying thing. His fear rides the air.

Zeke is perhaps too keenly aware of the fact that his emotional reaction is being noticed. He reigns in the fear like a wild horse threatening to bolt from him and it does as little good. It ignores him utterly until that small sense of peace comes and then the fear in him is soothed and in a way he could never fashion for himself, and it slides off. "You have nothing to apologizsse for warrior-casste." Zeke nods low to Svarshan, a very human method of respect.

"Thisss one isss glad to sshare wordsss with you again, to have you here." He does not smile, but he allows himself to seem amused by Svarshan's statement. He is after all a little amused. It's mostly Svarshan's laughter though; the sound of a sith-makar laughing is one he has not heard often enough, and it makes him feel better to hear it. "Find yourssself a good bath warrior-casste. The templess are full of ssoapy water thesse daysss."