As a present for making Ace, Aubrey gives Alain a surfing lesson, and they make a bet.
Location: On the Water -- Scorpia
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1068
Aubrey dragged Jigger down to the beach this afternoon, with the promise of a special present for his becoming an Ace. Of course there will be a beach party too, but since he's her favorite wingman, this is just for him. The Picon is in a bikini with a yellow top and aqua bottom, but the top is currently covered with a short-sleeved rash guard.
She rented a couple of surfboards, a long board for Alain and a shorter model for herself, got him into a rented rashie and board shorts, and then taught him how to put on his board leash and has did some drills on the shore to figure out if he's more comfortable with his regular (left) or goofy (right) foot forward. There was also practice for popping up, by sort of doing a push up and moving your lead foot forward to stand. Going to ones' knees is bad, it's harder to get to your feet that way.
after that, they paddled out past the line of whitewater and are sitting on their boards, bobbing. "So, this is where you get to learn to read the surf. They call this the whitewater. We're just behind where the waves are breaking, which means when you sense one, you need to paddle forward to catch it, then drop down over it. The first time you'll just stay on your stomach and ride it in."
Alain knows how to swim -- that's certainly a start -- but being that he's Gemenon, surfing wasn't exactly a hobby he learned about previously. He's wearing navy blue shorts, looking happy to be out in the sun. He's mostly trying to emulate Aubrey, giving her sidelong looks and using her as a model, adjusting his hold on his board, or dutifully listening as he figures out he's better with his left foot, but a little wobbly on the standing -- taking several spectacular nose dives into the water, accompanied by laughter when he resurfaces.
He's more relaxed and at easy by the time they paddle further out, resting on his board, head tilted back to enjoy the sun. Her words draw Alain's attention towards the surf, staring intently. "Sounds deceptively easy," he comments with a grin shot towards the Picon woman. "Why do I get the feeling you're going to watch me faceplant again in a few minutes?"
Aubrey looks totally at home straddling a surfboard, her hands moving now and then in the water to maintain her position. It might be a little bit creepy, the first time out, not knowing what's going on beneath the surface, way down deep, where the sunlight doesn't reach. The waves in this spot are mild, only 1-2 feet, perfect for a beginner to learn on. In other spots around the bay, they can get up to 6 feet high, but still nothing like back on Picon, where during a specific season you get the real monsters, dozens of feet high. Aubrey went out yesterday on some of the larger waves Scorpia has to offer.
She chuckles at his question and shakes her head. "You'll be fine. You just point your board towards shore and hang on with both hands. It will kind of feel like flying without a Viper. It's pretty amazing. Once you get used to that feeling, we can work on you trying to stand up. These are baby waves, Jigger, I promise," she assures him. She glances over her shoulder. "Set is coming in. Lie on your stomach and when I tell you to go, paddle as fast as you can with the board's nose pointed towards shore. When you feel the wave kick the back of the board, hang on." Pause. "GO!"
Alain seems oddly at ease, for all these unknowns -- but probably, since he keeps glancing at Aubrey, emulating her where possible -- he has faith in her teaching and presence. He takes a deep breath, then laughs: "Baby waves. Now I'm really hoping to the Gods I don't make a fool of myself." He glances back over towards the sea, brow furrowed in concentration as he shifts onto his stomach. He gives the thumbs up -- habitual pre-fight ritual -- then when she calls it, starts paddling furiously. His angle is a little off-center, but some quick correction on one side has him pointing directly at the beach just as the wave picks up.
There's definitely a whoop of delight from Alain as he successfully rides the wave almost to the beach -- not unlike his victory joy whenever he splashes a toaster. He comes off the board in the shallows, but manages to fling himself onto it before the water can take it back out. Standing in the shallows, he watches Aubrey come in on her feet, looking impressed, grinning as she nears him: "That was amazing! Is it always like that?!"
"It is, and it gets better as you do!" Aubrey promises. "Might be tough getting a lot of practice in while in the CF, but if you work on your core, upper body, and legs enough, then getting time in on leave will work out for you." This time, she teaches him how to slide forward on his board when a wave comes, and to tip it down, diving beneath it, to save him time and effort from fighting against the constant push back. She settles into the whitewater again. "I hope this is a good present. I couldn't find a place for a cake here, that wouldn't be a mess at a beach party."
"So basically, pretend like I'm back in the marines?" Alain groans, only half exaggeratedly. "And here I thought becoming a pilot I could let myself go," he jokes, flashing her a grin. He takes her further lesson just as attentively, emulating her a few times until he feels comfortable with maneuver. He squints a little bit out in the sun, glancing her way with a sudden grin. "It's a great present. I mean, it would've been way better if you suddenly produced a booby-cake from somewhere and offered me a slice out here on the water, but you know, I guess I'll settle for this..."
Aubrey laughs at that and splashes some water his way. "Everyone on the ship saw that image on the booby cake. It's the not seeing it that is the thing, they don't even notice in the showers." Communal living is weird. "By the way, surfers tend to develop a sense of unsafe conditions. If you're heading out one day, and someone is coming in and tells you it 'feels sharky' out there? Go home.
"No, it's not the seeing it, it's the eating it," Alain corrects with a big grin, that fades at her next words. "Feels sharky?" he echoes that bemusedly. "Like, for real sharks?" he glances over his shoulder, at the deeper water. "How do you... know?"
"Instinct mostly, but there are some ways to be sure you're safer. Don't go out at dawn or dusk, don't go out after dark, if there are a lot of feeder fish in the area, or anything bleeding, stay out. And never surf alone, ever. You might also want to check for news reports in the last month of frequency of sightings and attacks. You're more likely to get struck by lightning, but lightning doesn't bite off a limb and leave you to bleed to death, you know?" Aubrey smiles at that, she doesn't seem afraid at all, at least not here and now.
His face kind of twists the more things she lists. "I had no idea it was all this complicated. I saw people surfing in movies and they kind of made it look, well, easy." Alain shakes his head ruefully at the latter. "Um. Yeah. Think we could call SAR out to pick us up, claim it was a toaster?"
That gets a chuckle out of the brunette. "Oh come on, Jigger, you're tougher than that. In a pinch you can use your board leash as a tourniquet, and your board will float, even if it's chomped in half, so you can use it to get to shore, provided the shark follows the general consensus that humans aren't fatty enough and taste like hard-boiled ass." She winks.
"I prefer to be a wimp when it comes to my digits," Alain counters, holding up his hand and wiggling his fingers. "Kind of need them to be a hot-shot pilot, you know. Plus, I need them to try and beat you to double-ace."
"Good luck with that, Flyboy. I was with the Wolves nine days when I got Ace. I'm a rising star," Aubrey faux boasts, putting a hand to her chest like she might swoon at her own greatness." She grins at him. "Where did the callsign 'Jigger' come from anyway?"
"Care to make a wager over that?" Alain throws back at her, boasting just as much. "Um," he looks a little awkward at the latter question. "Truth is, I'm a terrible dancer. One night, not long after I graduated OCS, we got thoroughly drunk, and apparently I danced on a bar. Thankfully there's no video, but to this day every time I see anyone who saw me that night, I go bright red with embarrassment."
That has Aubrey giggling hard. "I can picture that I think. I'm not much of a dancer either, don't feel so bad. As for a wager, what did you have in mind?" She peers at him with a mischievous glint in her dark eyes.
Alain looks grateful she doesn't ask anything more about his own callsign. "How about yours?" he asks, with a tip of head. "Oh, I'm thinking," his eyes go skyward for a moment. "If I get there first, you're buying me a surfboard. And a bottle of the best liqueur Picon has to offer."
"Oh hell, I'd like to think it's because I scream over the comm when I pop a toaster, but if I'm being truthful," Aubrey leans in so she can whisper to him, "I was in some surf gear commercials back on Picon and I had to scream at the top of my lungs in them. My class got a hold of those before graduation and Banshee was born." She arches a brow at him. "And if I win?"
"I've heard a lot about these commercials. Maybe you should also throw in a copy of the commercial when I smoke you," Alain says. As for if she wins, he gestures towards her, gallantly, "I'll let you decide. Gemenon makes a mean brew of wine."
"If I win, you pay for me to have a spa day on the next planet we have leave on that has an actual spa," Aubrey decides with a smirk. And some of that Gemenon wine. AND I get to see that dance you did on the bar." IT IS ON!
"Shit. That's cold Banshee," Alain winces at that last requirement. "Okay, fine. You're on." He paddles his board closer to hers, then holds out a hand to her to seal the bet.
Aubrey takes the hand to shake, and she smile. "This is going to be the easiest bet I ever won," she intones ominously. In all likelihood her beginners luck will run out and he'll win, but who knows?
Alain snorts at her confidence. "There's something to be said for burning out fast and quick, you know," his gives a little tug of her hand, as if to pull her off balance, grinning suddenly.
Aubrey wasn't expecting that, and goes tumbling off her board with a shriek, then grabs his board and tips it hard in revenge.
Alain has about, oh, three seconds of joyous laughter at the results, before she tips his board and he goes under with a splutter of breath. Moments later, he surfaces, coughing, but still grinning completely unrepentantly. "Last one to the shore buys the other a beer?" he asks, with a rise of brows as he bobs in the water.
"Deal! " Aubrey yells, before she paddles hard for a wave, drops into it, and rides it towards shore.
Alain is slower in getting onto his board -- but he paddles hard to catch the same wave as Aubrey. They're neck-and-neck as the wave takes them nearer the shore, where Jigger bails off the board and starts to run through the shallows to the beach.
And that's where he catches up and passes Aubrey, in the surf. "I totally let you win!" She hollers with a laugh, though she totally didn't. "Come on, I spotted a cute little beach bar near where we have to return the rentals!" She jogs off through the sand.
"You're way to competitive to let anyone win," Alain counters quickly with a laugh, as he does a little victory jig on the beach, before bending over to catch his breath for a moment. Straightening, he brightens at her words: "Perfect. Let's start with something with an umbrella in it!" he jogs off, matching her pace towards the bar.