Propositioned? (Hotaru is Searched)

Fort Weyr - Center Bowl

The wide center of the bowl is often bustling with activity as riders come and go. Off westward can be seen the entrances for the candidate barracks and the guest weyr, while to the east is a large opening that leads into the dragon infirmary. The bowl stretches off both to the north and to the south, where the sheer stone walls rise steeply to the sky.

There's been quite a snowfall lately at Fort, which can lead to plenty of wintery fun at Pern's oldest weyr. However it also means that there is more work to do, as after every night the paths need to be reshoveled and snow cleared from here and there so as not to disrupt any of the bowl traffic. Which means a lot of the older brats and some of the drudges are woken up especially early to head out and clear. Most of the main areas are clean, but Hotaru is left outside with a handful of other brats clearing away the less trodden paths. A nice path from the caverns to the stack of logs used for the fires, for example. Hotaru is taking a break right now though. She's somehow managed to climb onto the stack of logs without causing a massive tumble, and sits high above drinking klah from her thermos.

It's a pretty dark blue dragon, all watery-looking of tropical depths that circles into the Fort bowl this winter day, to land lightly in one of those packed-down areas with a chuff of pleasure for his feat in grace. He flies nicely if he does say so himself. His rider is not so pleased. E’gin is dressed in flight leathers but all hunched down in such a way that speaks loudly of his discomfort with the temperature. His knot marks him from Xanadu and he's pulling off gloves, stuffing them under his armpit to unclip first his harness, then his delivery. With the box under one arm, he slides down to land with a grunt in the snow. Looking around uncertainly, he spots Hotaru and sidles her way. "H-hey," his voice is soft, "Do you know where the b-barn is?" Doh! "I mean- can you please show me where the barn is?"

Hotaru is red through the cheeks, but shoveling is hard work and tends to keep one warm. But the klah is also helping. Plus anything hot on a cold day is good. She spots the blue making a dainty landing in a pile of snow and chuckles to herself a bit. She looks a little surprised when the bluerider heads over her way, asking for direction. "The barn? If you're looking for the stables, they're over there." She points. It's somewhat helpful at least? "Looking to trade in your dragon for a runner?" She giggles. "They're not that good in the snow either. Haven't you ever been to Fort before?" She's just surprised he doesn't know where the stables are.

E'gin squints over the way Hotaru points. "Uh-huh," is the vague comment E'gin makes. Whether that is his reaction to the stables or his answer to both of her questions is unclear. "Hold this," he says gingerly handing her the box he's got. "It's glass. Be careful." Then without further explanation he wades back out to his dragon, climbs back up and removes two more, sliding down with one under each arm to land with a cringe on the snow, head cocked, apparently listening for the tinkle of broken glass. The hefty sigh is one of relief and he brightens. Whew! "Okay, this way then." And he turns to start the trek to the barn with a box still under each arm. He's expecting her to follow him.

Hotaru hops down from her perch after securing her thermos. She wrinkles her nose at the box, but takes it on the bluerider's instruction. "I'm not really authorized to take deliveries from other weyrs, you really ought to talk to the… Where are you going?" She follows him closer to the dragon, at first assuming that she'd been stuck finishing up the rest of the bluerider's delivery. "Oh. What exactly is in these? It seems bad to have glass things around animals that jump and kick." Hotaru doesn't much like to participate in chores that shouldn't involve her, but now she's curious as to the contents of the boxes, so she follows along.

Poor Mazunth! He doesn't WANT to be traded in for a runner! He makes a sound of protest in his throat as he turns to follow the pair. E'gin just blinks over his shoulder at Hotaru as she catches up to him. His adam's apple bobs as he tries to decide if she's asking him a trick question. "To… to…the…barn?" he answers slowly. He thought he'd covered that already. "Oh these," he says with a shy smile, "are jars for holding medicine and some are tubes." His lips clamp shut after saying 'tubes' and his blue eyes dart away nervously. "This way," he repeats resuming his forward movement. The dragon whuffs impatiently and keeps pace, the rider giving him sidelong looks now and then.

A runner would be a pretty disappointing downgrade. Hotaru gives E'gin a look. "I thought you were leaving me here with your delivery." Needless to say she would not have been pleased. "Ah. Tubes, eh?" That's enough to make her lose interest. She was hoping for wine or beer or tranquilizers or something. Though she does give him a curiously look at he starts to look nervous again. She shrugs and shakes her head, following him out to the barn.

Fort Weyr - Stone Barn

Fashioned from the same volcanic material that houses the caverns, these square-cut stones have been laid by a mastercrafter stonemason turns ago to house the implements necessary in caring for Fort Weyr's stock. Large enough to stable several runners, there are also stalls for ailing herdbeast, with straw-covered stone floors within the stalls, the aisle outside swept clean. Overhead is a loft full of hay, grain bins, and other supplies. Large double doors open wide on either end and smaller windows higher up along the walls allow for light and the free flow of fresh air.
At either end of the structure are two work stations, one for leatherwork and another for healing: the waist-high counter of stainless steel with shelving above contains gadgets and tools, jars, bottles and boxes of salve, potion and powders - some of it fairly scary-looking like saws, clippers, clamps and needles. Mingled with the scent of animals and hay is a pungent medicinal smell that marks this as the healer area. The other has a wooden workbench with a rack of snippers, blades, mallets, awls and an anvil beside which are pegs with strips of leather, half-finished harnesses, whips, aprons and wide-brimmed hats. Overhead, shelves with jars of finish - dyes and oils, boxes of coiled rawhide thread for stitching and handtools indicates this is the leatherwork station.

For Mazunth, maybe. Darn dragon is -always- making him do stuff!! Tranquilizers might actually do the nervous bluerider some good if anyone ever slips him one - he'd never think to take one otherwise. It's a long, awkward walk to the barn, unless Hotaru fills it with chatter, though E'gin is confused at her assumption, shooting Hotaru a look as he walks in through the open barn doors. Leave her with his work?! "No? I wouldn't do that because I need you to- what?!" This last word sort of yelped aver his shoulder at Mazunth waiting out there. He pales, then glances at Hotaru wide-eyed. Gulp. "H-here," he says, leading the way to the beastcrafter's healing station like he’s known exactly where he's going all along. Once there, he places his boxes one after the other gently on the workshelf, then reaches for hers. There's a clibboard hanging on a hook, which he takes down, checks off his delivery and manages a shaky signature. Then he says, "Wait," and scuttles to a stall, opens the door and comes out with a tiny, day-old baby calf. He "Here," he says sidling up to her, handing over his bundle to her.

Hotaru probably fills it with chatter. Mostly about the snowfall and how she's hoping to go sledding now that there's plenty of snow on the ground. It's at the forefront of her mind right now. She peers at him. "Well, I don't know you. So maybe… what is it?" She blinks at the bluerider. The red-head is starting to think the man might be a bit loopy, and is considering ditching him and the package and going back to what she was doing before. She sighs as they head down into the healing station and she hands him the box. And then again as he tells her to wait. Now what? "Aack! What is this!" She yelps as he hands her a baby herdbeast. Even at a day old they weren't that tiny!

He IS loopy, just ask anyone back at Xanadu Weyr, they'll titter and affirm he is one odd dude. E'gin shares an eyeroll that says 'dragons are SO weird!' and in what he hopes is a reassuring answer for her and says, "Mazunth." That ought to explain it, right? This herdbeast is tiny though. Well, it's as big as a medium-sized canine. E'gin just backs off and watches Hotaru's reaction to the herdbeast. "M-Mazunth wants to know what you th-think of it." Gulping once again, he sends a 'did I do it right' look back down the aisle to where the dragon is waiting outside.

Hotaru stands there cradling a tiny herdbeast and peering at E'gin. It doesn't really answer all her questions, but then he's asking questions of his own. Hotaru blinks and rearranges the herdbeast in her arms a bit so she can look at it. "I dunno? I guess it's cute. But I think it's probably cold and needs its mother." At least she didn't say that it look delicious? "What does Mazunth think of it? A snack between meals?"

Awww, see E'gin melt when she says it's cute but needs its mother? He must think the danger of getting punched for handing her a critter without so much as a warning is over because he sidles back to her side. "Mazunth thinks he needs to grow up," says the bluerider, his mind dancing away from what happens then. "But he thinks you'd be a great mama too." He draws a deep breath and his face works as he tries to get the words right: "W-will you be a m-mama for me?" From outside there's a disgruntled groan and he peeks back over his shoulder. What? He shrugs, turns back to Hotaru and gives her an ingratiating smile, "What do you say, I can take you home today and we'll get started?"

Hotaru adjusts the critter in her arms. "Well, not too soon. Or I won't be able to hold him. But he's right, it's probably worth waiting for him to grow." Especially before eating it. Hotaru eyes the bluerider when he says she'd be a good mother. "…what?" The second time doesn't seem to go any better, and Hotaru wrinkles her brow at him. "Are you hitting on me?" The last statement combined with that smile earns the bluerider a nice slap. And then she shoves the calf back into his arms. "I'm not going anywhere with you! What kind of girl do you think I am!?"

E'gin flinches, ducking too late from that slap because he didn't expect it. What?! He gave her a compliment! He backs up a few steps, one hand rubbing his cheek dazedly as the girl asks that question. Hitting on her?! He looks horrified, "N-no! I w-was just asking y-you if you w-w-would like to try being a mama to a baby dragon. F-for the clutch at Xanadu Weyr. Mazunth thinks you'd make a good one." He shrugs about what kind of a girl she is. "A female one?" Is that right? Squint.

Hey man, he was the one asking Hotaru if she wanted to go with him to start working on becoming a mother. How else was she supposed to take that? She's looking a little flustered even after he explains himself. "Well shards and shells why didn't you just /say/ that! I thought you were propositioning me for sex!" She wrinkles her brow at him. "Yes I'm female!" Now that the misunderstanding has been corrected, she starts to calm down and actually pay attention to what he's told her. "I.. what? You want me to stand at Xanadu?" Did she hear him right?

If she thought E'gin looked nervous before, he's downright confused now. "I did," he says of asking her to stand, then thinks to clarify and does so hastily, "N-not the s-se- - you-know - part." His face flushes beet red he skitters away from the topic like an ice cube on a hot stove. He reaches into his pocket and withdraws a white candidate's knot, sighing, "Mazunth says I never say it right." He takes another very deep breath, then asks in a rush, "Would you- ahhh… what is your name?" He adds, a VERY tardy introduction, "I am E'gin and my blue out there is Mazunth. And he wants to take you back to start learning how to be a mama for the eggs. O-or one of them."

Poor E'gin probably couldn't hit on a girl to save his life. Though if he wanted to what he just said might work on some girls! Just not Hotaru, apparently. She lets him stumble around the topic and snatches the knot from him. "Well, starting with the word 'stand' would probably be helpful. I'm Hotaru. And yes, I'll come stand at Xanadu. You can tell Mazunth not to worry, I've stood before here at Fort. You want to put that calf away, or are you taking it with you?" Hotaru looks at him and tilts her head. "You don't win a lot of flights, do you, Rider E'gin?"

Probably not. And if one ever hit on him he'd probably expire right there on the spot. "Ho… oh yes!" (Did he just call her a ho?) He gathers the calf tenderly, choosing to focus on the animal's proximity rather than the girl's. "Hotaru," he says again, getting the name committed to memory as he's heading back to the stall with the calf, greeted by a lowing from the mother: 'How dare you take my baby somewhere, give him to me!' He's actually quite good at soothing the cow and settles the calf with her murmuring quiet words about how neither of them will end up as food and both will live long, blissful lives in the paddock. Flights? Did she say the F-word? Lalala. When he emerges, he notes, "Good then you know the rules." He ticks them off on his fingers, "No fistfighting (does slapping blueriders count?), no getting drunk, be respectful and no leaving the Weyr without a rider escort." He takes a breath. "Want me to give you a ride to Xanadu?"

E'gin: good with cows but not with women. Some girls might find that endearing, but Hotaru finds it a little weird. At least it gives him a good excuse to ignore her for the time being. "You forgot no sex." She adds to his list. But somehow she'd not surprised that was the rule he left off. "Or are candidates at Xanadu allowed to have sex?" Now she's just trying to torture the poor rider. Slapping blueriders only counts if they're doing something perverted. "I've got to gather my stuff, and there are some people here I should say goodbye to. If you don't mind waiting, fine. But I don't want to hold you up and it might be a couple of hours. I can have someone drop me off there later."

"Oh! Ummmnn…" E'gin's looking everywhere BUT at Hotaru and he's sidling away from her for good measure before he says, "Y-you can do that. Just can't get p-pregnant. And be uh, discreet." WHY does Mazunth make him do this?? "I'll wait for you." He smiles then, and it's really quite a nice smile. "Mazunth won't let me leave without you unless I tell him firmly that you're coming along later. And then he'd pout for a week." And so while she runs off to gather her things, he'll visit the beastpens and pet the animals. He is a LOT weird.

Hotaru isn't going to slap him for explaining the rules! "Ah. Well, that's good I suppose." Hotaru wasn't about to be messing around yet though. She is grateful for the details though. She nods to him about waiting. "Well, alright then if you'd like. I'll try to hurry." Hotaru does indeed run off. Hopefully she can catch everyone she wants to make the announcement to in the next couple of hours.

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