Roughly fifteen minutes later, Ysani returned with a double armload of bounty. It was probably wise not to ask where she'd kept her money for such purchases. "Open up, I'm loaded down!" she sang out, a cold mug dripping moisture in each hand and two thick towels tucked under her arms. There was a pair of cheap, hot pink leather sandals under there somewhere, too. Just the barest hint of one sole poked out from behind the towels.
Hammaryn warily accepted a drink from Ysani, and took a sip. She tilted her head to the side, then smiled. "That's actually pretty good."
"Yeah! They make the best drinks, if you know what to ask for. That's an Alcaz Island iced tea." She took a sip and peered into the frosty glass. "...I'm pretty sure there's not actually any tea in it."
Hammaryn shrugged and downed a large gulp. "Tastes like tea." She got up from the bed, and the sarong on her waist almost slipped off. "Ysani. What are these clothes?"
"They're beach clothes. Lightweight, comfy... they'll help keep you cool. And they dry fast if you get 'em wet. They're, um, really good for meditating and prayers, too. Because of how comfortable they are. Yeah." Ysani grabbed the ends of Hammaryn's sarong and untied them, re-knotting them just above her hip, yanking sharply to make sure it wouldn't slip. "There. Are you ready for another drink?"
Hammaryn barely paid attention to what Ysani was doing with her sarong, taking another large chug of her drink.
"I'll take that as a yes." The redhead pulled a loose shirt on over her teeny suit and dropped the pink sandals on the floor in front of Hammaryn. "Put those on, and drink this potion. It'll keep you from getting a sunburn."
Hammaryn slipped the hot pink sandals on, and pointed at the potion in Ysani's hand. "Is this for our communal with the Light?"
Ysani shook her head. "Not really. Like the comfy clothes, it's just something to protect us from the elements while we do our thing. Just like you'd dress warm and cover your face in Northrend, you know?" She opened the tiny vial and tipped it into Hammaryn's drink.
Hammaryn downed the contents of the vial and the rest of her drink in one gulp. She hiccuped, covered her mouth, then frowned.
"What's wrong?" Ysani smiled and put her arm around Hammy's shoulder, guiding her toward the door and grabbing her towels and key with her free hand.
"Tastes funny. Are you sure I need this?"
"Yep! Let's go!" The door slammed behind them, no doubt pissing off any number of inn patrons sleeping off the liquor of the previous evening. The day was officially theirs.
* * * * *
The clear blue water lapped on the shore of the beach. Ysani had picked the best one in all of Stranglethorn; it was peaceful and quiet, with a nice breeze, a long shore filled with white sand, and a secret.
"C'mon, we gotta get there before someone else finds our spot!" The girl could move, and her deep red hair bounced behind her as she rocketed along the slippery, dry sand in her green sandals at a pace that was just shy of a run.
Hammaryn trudged behind her, her flip flops coming off her feet for at least the twentieth time. "I'm trying, but I don't know how the hell you walk in these damn things!" She kicked one a good ways into the distance, grumbling under her breath. "I don't need shoes."
Ysani made a quick detour to fetch the sandal and regrouped, holding out her hand for the offending shoe's mate. "You'll need these later, I'll just carry 'em for you. It helps if you clench your toes!" Then she was off like a shot again, making a beeline for what was slowly becoming identifiable as a cove nestled between two craggy hunks of wind-worn white stone. Scraggy bushes and beach grasses clung to the cliff face, moving slightly in the breeze. Ysani dropped her stuff in a pile under a cluster of stunted palms.
Hammaryn mumbled a string of epithets directed at her shoes as she followed Ysani down to the palms. "Stupid shoes. I should have brought the ones Alanth gave me."
Meanwhile, Ysani shook out their towels and spread them out in the sun, periodically pausing to pull her bathing suit out of her butt, for the hundredth time. Their ice-bucket sat under the trees, slowly melting around their cache of booze. Hammaryn's eyes traveled over to Ysani's hands. "For Light's sake, why didn't you just bring two of these ridiculous skirts?"
Ysani stopped her site preparations for a moment and shaded her eyes, looking over at her friend. "Why?"
"You've been messing with that...piece of fabric all day."
"Well, you try keeping these things steady when you keep running and stooping and bending and--there! All done. Now we can start our meditations!" The redhead stood for a moment to survey her handiwork, hands on her bare hips, then dropped down onto the sunniest towel and sprawled out, sunglasses reflecting the strong midmorning sun.
"And you're sure we don't need books for this?" Hammaryn folded her arms over her chest, and eyed the towels dubiously.
"Mmhmmm. Just lie down like this and get comfortable."
Hammaryn sighed, and lowered herself slowly onto the towel. "How long does this usually take?"
Ysani sighed too, only hers was of a much more dreamy variety. "Until you can't bear it anymore. Now close your eyes and take nice, slow breaths. You can say your prayers in your head if you like, or you can just think about how warm the Light is, or you can think about nothing at all and let the Light just flow right on through you. Or whatever."
Hammaryn took a deep breath and closed her eyes. She waited a few seconds, then let it out slowly. Something was poking her in her back. She wiggled, felt underneath the towel with a hand, and found a piece of driftwood. She casually chucked it a few feet into the distance, towards the water. She lay back down on the towel, trying to focus on her breath. Except she could feel the sun through her eyelids. She rolled over, groping for the sunglasses Ysani had purchased for her. She rummaged through their things for a minute, finally finding them, and put them on her face with a satisfied smile. Now she was ready to commune with the Light. Except she felt something on her leg. Hammaryn sat bolt upright, finding and squashing a small bug crawling on her ankle with smack from her open palm. Now she was ready to lie down again. Deep breaths; time for some quality meditation.
After a few minutes, Ysani was certain she could hear the faint sound of snoring from the towel next to her. She smiled up at the perfect blue sky, eyes closed, and settled more firmly into the soft sand under her towel.
Things were going great.