A Flirty Face ... ?

Xanadu Weyr - Clock Tower

Once located in the forest, now thanks to an ice storm that took out the trees between it and the main area of the Weyr this square clocktower stands at the far edge of the clearing. The structure is made of a dark gray stone, and each corner is framed by a thick wooden beam. Beside the clocktower, behind a fringe of trees, a large lake has been dug. It's obviously an artificial lake, as it's shaped too perfectly oblong-shaped.
The tall, towering structure rises up easily past the leafy growth of the forest behind it, three sections of bare gray stone walls stacked atop each other, each one slightly smaller than the one it's built on top of. Each one of these "sections" is joined with more of the same dark wood that frames the corners of the tower. The wood forms a framing around the top and bottom of each section. Near the top of the structure, right under one of the clock's faces, there's a ledge with railings. This ledge is big enough for a dragon to land upon.
There are no windows in the tower, merely one slit in the middle of each one of the four walls that make up each section. They look like they could be used to mount an attack from the inside. There's only one door in the place, it seems—a dark wooden door that matches the beams that frame the clocktower. It seems to be the only entrance to the tower.
A loud ticking sound permeates the air from above, not so loud that it's painful, but enough that it's heard well. It's not overly loud, but it's loud enough to be heard. The clock at the top of the structure keeps near-perfect time; it strikes the hour, every hour…one strike at one, two strikes at two, etc. But at noon and midnight, it strikes eight times, a melody from old Earth, before striking the hour.

It's a brand new morning. Nice and bright, cold and glistening. Things have turned icy on Xanadu, with small flurries of snow frequent, though today the sky is clear and a picturesque shade of blue with thin clouds high in the atmosphere. Here near the clock tower's base, the seconds tick by rather literally, though the sound is not as obtrusive as it is when one scales the structure towards its large face. Such a large mechanism does need is tune ups and oiling or cleaning from time to time, and who else better to send to do such mind numbing work than one of the more capable apprentices? Thus, Ka'el is here, leather jacket bound with a wool beanie-like gray cap pulled upon his head and over his ears. For now, fingers are gloved as he carries a shoulder bag towards the clock's base.

Hotaru can't pretend that she's a huge fan of snow, but after dealing with Fort's winters for so long, Xanadu seems like a break. Hotaru, too, is sporting a beanie-cap, black with a rim of dark pink. She's in her long rider's coat, gloves without fingers, saggy pants and of course her red-tinted spectacles. She is also approaching the clock tower, carrying two cans of what must be oil of some sort. She squints as she realizes that the other person there is none other than Kale. "Sticky? -You're- the guy doing maintenance on the clock?"

Kale peers up at the ledge above. Big enough for a dragon to land upon. Someday, will he be upon dragonback, soaring to places like this to where his mechanical prowess is needed? Fixing clocks. Mending weaponry. The rider smith of Pern? … He catches himself smirking, at the notion, and he shakes his head as his gaze lowers to the door that leads into the tower. But before he can go, he needs a few more supplies. Ah, there! Eyes alight upon the approaching girl and her oil cans, and when she's nearer, recognition flashes just before she speaks. "/You're/ the one they send to help? Or are you just doin' deliveries today?" he asks, smirking a little as he steps forth to take those cans from her. "An' yes, I'm the one doin' maintenance on the clock. What, you think I can't handle workin' with the timepiece of Xanadu?"

That ledge was big enough for a dragon? Hotaru would be skeptical if she knew that. Maybe a green. There are other rider smiths around. Just none at Xanadu maybe? Maybe there was. Hotaru grunts at Kale, then laughs. "Stop looking at my cans! Anyways, I switched chores with some other 'brat who was going to come instead. He said I didn't have to do anything, just fetch this or that and I didn't feel like mucking stables today. Or any day. But if you think I'll be a nuisance I can just leave my cans here and go do something else." She thumbs behind her, in some random direction. "No, I just thought you liked to pound metal and be around fire is all."

Kale feels his face grow vaguely warm at the mentioning of her cans, though thankfully there's no overly noticeable added hue to accompany it. He moves to set those oil cans near the door. "I'd rather you than someone else," he says in reply. "At least with you I could tell you you're bein' a nuisance without feelin guilty of hurting feelings. Made a kid cry once." He pauses, wrinkling his nose. "I didn't mean to yell at him, but he was more trouble than he was worth. I like workin' alone. Usually." A look to her. "Besides, I'm glad. Was going to look for you after this anyway." He retrieves his bag. "You're right. I like the blacksmithing part most, but most think that's all smithcraft is. Clocks, explosives, chemistry, jewelry. They're all specialties. Subcrafts, I guess you'd call 'em." He nods to the door before picking up both cans. "Will you get the door, please?"

Hotaru blinks. Then she shouts, loud enough for any passers-by to hear. "KALE STOP GRABBING MY CANS." Then she giggles a lot for a while. She shrugs at the notion of calling her a nuisance. It's not like she had a clue what they were going to be doing anyways. "You won't make me cry." In fact, releasing her would mean she'd be done with her chores for the day! "What did you say to him that made him cry?" She peers at him then. "Look for me? Why?" She moves to open the door for him. "So what kinds of things do you like to make? Not just runner shoes or something boring like that I hope."

Ack. "Hey!" he protests at her shout, grinning as his eyes dart as if expecting to see accusatory eyes glaring at him! There are none. He laughs. "You're a shardin' pest, you know?" he remarks with an exaggerated roll of his eyes as he carries the gear through the open door and into the hollow building. Not much to see but stairs! And not much to hear but that ticking sound that has grown a little in volume. "Ah, I don't remember," he says in regards to what he said to the kid. "Most words only hurt for a while, anyway." He pauses at the base of the stairs, gesturing with his chin for her to go up first. "There's a workspace two flights up." Or was it three? "And no, runnershoes aren't hard. I learned those turns ago. I like makin' weapons most. But I like workin' machines too. Things like this." A gesture to the clock tower itself. "I like seein' how things work, and taking things apart, and puttin' them back together in different ways." His smith's cot is a treasure trove of odd contraptions! As for why he was to look for her, he makes no comment yet.

Hotaru laughs. "I know." She says matter-of-factly. Being a pest is one of Hotaru's specialties. But she must be a lovable pest, because no one has strangled her yet. She heads up the steps. "I guess. Did you ever apologize afterwards? Or did you just let him stand there crying, with his whole childhood ruined in one single moment?" She nods a bit. "Ah. I thought things like this was more a techcrafter deal. I guess there's no electronics or whatever here though. I never really took to a craft. My grandpa said I'd have been better off as a trader. If I don't impress this time I might try my hand at being a vintner.' She stops when they get to the workplace. "Here?"

Kale smirks. "Apologizing is my specialty, Hotaru," he informs as they head up the spiraling staircase. Kale himself seems in no hurry. Anyplace inside is far better than outside in winter! Plus, the longer he takes with this, the smaller the chance he'll have of having some stupid Candidate chore like wiping tables in the Caverns. "I did. The fact that he decided not to take up smithin’ was probably very unrelated. Besides, there's no cryin' in smithcraft." The workspace is a .. well, junky area of knick-knacks, gears, sprockets, broken and bent clockhands, and worktables. The only area that looks orderly is a living space that looks very unlived in. A sofa and a few chairs. "Yeah, over there," he says, nodding to a table on which rusted gears of varying sizes have been laid. "Already took out the bits that need oiling. Replacement gears are in to keep the clock running, but they're temporary." He sets the cans down near that table, and drops his bag to the floor with a small clatter. "Tech an' smith craft work together on a lot of things. The techs are just .. the weirder lot." He smirks. "A vinter? You mean, I could get all my wine from you, free of charge?"

Hotaru looks back to raise an eyebrow at Kale. "What does that mean?" Hotaru doesn't seem to mind. She's not in a hurry to head back to the caverns. Idle candidates are prime suspects for doing extra chores. "I see. Not even if you whack your thumb with a hammer or something?" She asks about the no crying smithcraft rule. Hotaru peers around at all the junk all over. It's probably useful to someone, but to Hotaru it just looks messy. She heads over to the table with the rusty gears on it and picks one up to look at it idly. "Ah. Heh. Maybe they are. And I wouldn't count on it, bub. Vintners gotta eat, too. While they're not drinking. Can I get free knives from you? It mostly just seems like it would be fun to make wine."

Wacking one's thumb? Ouch! "Especially not then," says Kale who speaks as he works, kneeling to unzip his bag and retrieve from it a cloth, which he tosses to Hotaru without warning. "The unrusted ones can just polished and oiled," he instructs before draping a rag on his own shoulder, pulling out a wire brush for himself. He rises then, setting one of the oil cans on the table for her. Keeping busy, he moves away from the table, rummaging for .. aha! And old looking bucket, which he brings back to their work area and begins to pour a clearish fluid in, retrieved from his bag. "Free knives for free wine? Sounds like a trade to me .. unless you're plannin' on usin' those knives on me," he says with a smirk that lingers a while. He pulls off his gloves. ".. Yeah so, my apologizin' specialty? Feels like I owe you one. For the other night.'

At least a cloth doesn't hurt when it smacks Hotaru and then tumbles onto her foot. She picks it up and shakes it off. She pops open one of the tins of oil and picks up one of the gears that is just dirty, setting down the rusty one. "What's that?" She asks about the clear fluid. "Acid? If I drop something in there will it disintegrate?" She laughs a bit. "I'd like to learn how to throw knives. It seems a useful skill. That way I can always hide a few on me. The bow is too clunky for concealment." Hotaru rolls her eyes at him. "We were in the baths. You don't have to apologize for looking at my cans. Relax, Sticky."

Kale snickers as he peers at the liquid in the bucket. "Yes, an' no," he answers her questions consecutively. "Acid, yes. Phosphorous. Takes off rust like a dream. Dangerous? Hardly. This is diluted enough that I don't need gloves for it," he explains as he begins to drop in the rusty bits. Her talk on throwing knives interests him it seems, for his eyes stay on her throughout, nodding in agreement with her thoughts regarding the bow. "Yeah. Small weapons are better, I agree," he says, pausing to bend down and slip the tips of his fingers just below the hem of his boots, pulling out the handle of a blade to show. "Ever since that murderer was rumored to be on Xanadu a few turns back, I figured it'd be smart to have this on me, always. I like crafting knives." He rises, and continues to put metal in the bucket as he speaks. "I do have to apologize," he counters. "An' that isn't the only thing I'm apologizing for, but it's the main one. That wasn't … eh. I stared. And I shouldnt've, baths or not. That wasn't how I was raised to treat a woman, and so I'm sorry."

Hotaru nods. "Ah. That's sort of disappointing though." She polishes up the gear she's got with the oil and the rag. Oooo, shiney. She blinks at him then. "A murderer! I would be sleeping with more than that for a murderer! I can use a sword, I just don't generally. But seriously. A murderer? I'd be walking around with a cleaver strapped to my back. I could use a good hunting knife. My little pocket knife just doesn't cut it for some jobs. I don't have much cash anymore though. Xanadu has no pool table in the tavern, so I lost my secondary source of income." She wrinkles her brow at him. "Well… You're forgiven I guess. If it'll make you feel better. I still don't think it was that big of a deal… Also you're embarrassing me by talking about it here and being all nice and sweet. I don't know if I want to hear the rest of the other things. If you keep letting me call you Sticky we can call it even, how about?"

"If I'm embarrassing you, then I should just keep talkin' then, right?" counters Kale, lips quirked up. "For all the times you've embarrassed me?" With all the rusted pieces in now, he stoops by the bucket, and with gloveless hands, uses that wired brush to begin scrubbing at the iron oxide that colors the metallic pieces a shade of bronze-red. "You'd keep callin' me Sticky no matter what. We both know that," he points out, sounding humored. "And alright, alright, let me finish sayin' my piece just to clear my conscience, then I'll shut up about it an' you'll never hear word of my 'nice and sweet' side again, eh?" The scraping of metal bristles against metal is a sharp sound, but he dilutes it a bit by putting both objects beneath the solution. "I haven't known you long, an' I'm afraid all you've gotten about me is that I'm a prat who'll flirt with any girl who passes. Not etirely true. My second an' last apology is for how I acted in the baths with Soriana. I felt as if I ran you an' Idrissa off, and it isn't fair or right of me to make anyone feel like they've to leave a place because they feel.. uh, uncomfortable. So. Sorry for that." Done!

Hotaru eyes Kale. EYES. "When have I ever embarrassed you?" Try a few minutes ago, yelling about cans. She peers at him as he starts scrubbing. "Are you -sure- you shouldn't be wearing gloves? It just seems… bad to be doing that. If your hand shrivels and falls off don't expect Sori and Rissa to pick up the slack." She snickers. "Yeah, I probably would. It just fits you so well. Fine fine. Get on with it." Hotaru braces herself for nice and sweet by busying herself polishing gears. Hotaru sighs a bit when he finishes. "Well, I do think you're sort of a flirt, but I don't think you mean to be most of the time. But I'm way worse than you are most of the time so I can't really fault you for that. And anyways Soriana's gold is, or was, proddy. So I figured it was mostly that. I left because I didn't want to get involved in your already… somewhat complicated love-thingy." She wriggles her fingers at him and makes a face. "Really you ought to apologize to Idrissa. She's already scared that you and Soriana are going to impress and leave her behind. Eh… I really shouldn't stick my nose in I guess, since I don't really understand it all."

Hmm. Kale pauses and lifts one of his hands from the liquid, peering at it, as if waiting for his skin to begin melting off. "Well, if Sori and Idrissa don't, maybe you will," he points out, grin playful before he gets back to scrubbing, quieting to listen to her. He's a flirt? Well this is news, and the sound of scraping slows considerably as he considers this. She's right with one thing, he doesn't mean to be. Most of the time. "You're worse?" he snickers, lifting a brow. "Ah, well maybe you are. With Muir and Mikal. Y'know if you're not careful, you're gonna give those kids a heart attack," is his tease as he turns a gear in his hand, though he sobers as she continues, his humored look turning contemplative. "What do you mean, 'dont want to get involved'?" he asks, brows furrowed in question. "You don't fancy me, do you?" he asks, the question half playful, half inquisitive, though his tone is nothing but joking. But when it comes to Idrissa, mirth leaves him and a sigh takes its place. "Idrissa worries about things she needn't. But you're right. I should apologize to her, and I will."

Hotaru wrinkles her nose. "No thanks. Two girls is more than enough for one hammer. I don't share well, either. I'd end up yelling at Idrissa and knocking some of Soriana's teeth out or something. And I don't want to do that. Soriana has nice teeth, and if I made Rissa cry I'd feel horrible the rest of my life." Hotaru peers at him, then laughs. "Yes. I flirt -on purpose-. I don't flirt with Muir… do I? Maybe a little. Mostly with Mikal." She ponders this for a while. "You know what I mean. Don't play coy with me Muscles-McHammer. Besides, you're more like a brother to me than boyfriend material. Sorry to burst your bubble and all." Hotaru nods with a sigh. "She does, but still. She needs more encouragement than Soriana does, I guess?" There's a clink as another gear is set down and another picked up. "So uh… how'd that end up happening anyways?"

Hm. Toothless Soriana? "I like her better with teeth myself," muses Kale. "Though I think the both've you'd come out of it missin' a few. She's tougher than she looks." But just as tough as she sounds. He lifts up a gear that looks miraculously rust free now, and settles it upon a table upon the rag that he now spreads. On to the next one. "Actually, come to think of it, you don't have much to worry about with Muir. He thinks you're crazy. Actually, I don't think he's too far from the truth of it," he says in banter. The mentioning of 'brother' gets him snickering. "If you're what it's like to have a sister, then I'll think myself lucky to have none. You'd drive me nuts!" Though somehow, it's said affectionately. His scrubbing remains slow and deliberate as his thoughts touch on Idrissa, then Sori, then their origins. "Well… I met'm both a long time ago a few months after I moved here and started apprenticing. We were friends. Think we were.. thirteen, fourteen then. Then, uh .. Sori started dating some guy. Dunno if they were 'dating' or .. what, but they were together. I asked out Idrissa. Then the guy did somethin' Sori didn't like, and they broke up. .. I asked Sori out a while after. Told her I always liked her. And … well, that's it."

Hotaru laughs. "Me too. Also that is probably true. And I like my own teeth. They're my only weapon if someone attacks me in the baths." Hotaru picks up the gear from the table that Kale sets down. "Cool," she says about its lack of rust. "Heh. Muir does? Why? I've only talked to him like three times. Anyways, I don't have any siblings, so I have to adopt them as I go. You got brothers then? You're holdbred, right?" If he was that means he has siblings. Holdbred people always seemed to. "You would drive me to driving you nuts." She listens to his story and mulls it over. "Hm. I see. So you're the instigator, is that it?" Hotaru oils quietly for a second. "So did you and Sori get down to business the other day or what?"

"Five," Kale answers in regards of siblings. "Five brothers. One's a rider," he says, brows raising as if .. just … remembering that. "Kei'lan. He has a blue named Azrith." His brows furrow as he shakes his head. "I hadn't thought of askin' him about all of this at all. Candidacy and what it's like bein' a rider. I don't see him much. Not any of them, really, since I left." Blue eyes flit to her. "I couldn't imagine havin' no brothers at all. Even here, when I came it was like tradin' one set for another with the other apprentices." He raises up the large gear he scrubs, but it still has traces of rust. Back to scrubbing! As for him being the instigator, he smirks. "I guess. But…they both said yes," he points out." But then, the item in his hand is nearly dropped at her question. Down to what now? "Uh.." His eyes are on her again, and he isn't sure why the answer is one that he's having trouble finding words for. So, forget being honest! Question for a question. "Would you even believe me if I said no?"

Hotaru blinks. "Five brothers! Are any of them cute? How old is the rider?" Hey, Kale might be taken, but if he has a brother… "Where's he ride at?" Probably not Xanadu if Hotaru had to guess. There's a bit of a frown from the red-head. "Candidacy is almost over, I guess. It's sort of sad to think about. My parents are both riders, and they always tell me different things." Hotaru wipes down the gear she's picked up, then coats it good with oil. "There's that look again. That flirty smirk. Hey if they both said yes I guess it's fine. Neither of them complain. Yet." Hotaru peers at his 'answer' to his question. Then she laughs. "I -would- have, but not anymore! Most places don't let you do that as candidates. But no place will let you do it as a weyrling."

Why is that always the first question regarding his brothers? "I've no idea if any've them are cute!" remarks Kale, recovering from his mental stutter. "They're my brothers. They're … brothers." And brothers don't get a 'cute' label from other brothers! "Ask Sori. She's seen him. More than I do now because've her dragonhealing thing. Kei's twenty…somethin'. One maybe? I dunno. Too many to keep up with. They're all older than me. And he rides about everywhere. Deliveries and messages." Regarding the evening's activities, Kale looks amused now as he gives her a knowing look. "Well then no. Nothing happened," he says, his expression coy. "And I don't have a 'flirty' smirk. That's just my regular face." And who can help how their regular face looks? No one, that's who! He sighs, depositing another gear. "If she impresses, or if I impress…" The sentence trails off, unfinished, and it's with knitted brows that he looks at her. "Do you have a boyfriend?"

Because Kale talks about his brothers to girls. That is why. "Sure you do, but I'll ask Sori. Twenty-one! That's not too old. I like older guys." All too much information about Kale's recently adopted 'sister'. She rolls her eyes at him and waves off his denial of him and Soriana doing the do. "Psh. Whatever. Liar. Also, fine then. You have a flirt face. Your whole face is flirty. Good luck with that, Flirt-face." She snickers at him. Perhaps a new nickname? Likely not. Hotaru is still rather fond of Sticky. "Or if you both impress. You must both want to be riders." Hotaru shakes her head. "No. Well… kind of. I dunno. My guard from Fort and I decided just to sort of let things play out. If I impress it's not like I can have a boyfriend anyways. And if I don't I'll be heading back to Fort maybe. So we'll see how it goes. We're not really official or anything though… I don't think." Hotaru seems to know so much about Kale's love interests and yet so little about her own!

She doesn't have a boyfriend. She … kind of has a boyfriend. But they're not official…or so she thinks. My my, someone's sounding a bit indecisive! Kale looks amused by it, and with the spotlight off of his own love life, he'll happily shine it upon her own. "If you impress, it might be easier for you to have a boyfriend who's weyrs away instead of like … two cots down," he points out with lifted brows. Again, not mentioning what predicament he may be in if he and Sori impresses, or what did or did not happen within the steam of the hot baths. This is all about Hotaru, now! "What do you mean 'your' guard? If you're claimin' him like that, then he's your boyfriend. Or …" he eyes her, "are you some official heir or something who needs a guard to follow her around at all times?" He really doesn't know much about her! This could be very likely!

Hotaru isn't indecisive! She… just doesn't know exactly what to term her relationship with Yurolt, the guard at Fort. "Yeah, well… true enough. Or possibly two girls and also the girl who flirts but doesn't make good on anything." She laughs. "I dunno. I told him not to wait for me and all, but he said I was I dunno. Worth waiting for or something." Which, given the color of Hotaru's cheeks, made her embarrassed. "What? There are lots of guards at Fort, I'm just distinguishing him from the rest. Since I'm only sort-of-dating one and not-even-sort-of-dating the rest!" She gives him a droll look, and clanks one of the gears onto its pile. "I'm not any sort of heir. I'm weyrbred and my parents ride green and brown. Sori is the heiress. So I don't need a guard. Also he wouldn't be doing a very good job if he was all the way back in Fort and I was all the way here in Xanadu."

Kale pulls his hands of the liquid and gives them both a shake, eyeing the now rust-colored concoction. Her first comment does earn a smirk and a look, but he keeps quiet, waiting to hear more of the mystery that is Hotaru's Fort life. The bit about waiting draws a contemplative look. That has been a common word as of late. Waiting. To wait. It's a noble notion, and considering the pinkish hue to her cheeks, one that pleases her. So obviously waiting is and was the right thing to do. "How long does weyrlinghood last?" he asks. "Just because you're far apart doesn't mean y'can't still…date. Just without .. the dating part." He squints his eyes. Yeah. That sounds weird. But! Knowing how long is still relevant, so he doesn't retract the question. "Are your parents weyrmates? Or did they meet on a flight an'…" You know. Hit and quit, as flights tend to go.

Hotaru peers into the rust colored concoction. "Save that. Tomorrow night we'll dump it into the toilets so that when people get up to use them they'll think there's something wrong." Hotaru smirks to Kale. Yes, this is a prank. Perhaps a bit late in the game, but still! She shrugs a bit. "A turn and a half at least. Sometimes two turns, depends really." The red-head peers at Kale. "Oh yes, that will be so much fun. He should be out dating if I'm stuck here being a weyrling. We've only been out like twice." Hotaru works at getting one of the real grimy gears clean. "My parents? Ah, well. See, I've never met my biological father. My parents are both women. I got two moms. My biological mom, she's the greenrider, met a bronzer on a flight after they decided they wanted a baby. My grandparents I was fostered with are actually my other mom's parents. I guess it's probably strange for you." Hotaru laughs.

Kale peers back at the rusty liquid and snickers at the suggestion. Noted! Late or not, a prank is a prank. "Done," he promises before going back to scrubbing the smaller pieces that are left, reddening the water further. He can't help the fall of his expression at the span of time that's given though. Possibly two turns of .. no dating? Two turns of none of the perks that come with dating? He'll be NINETEEN before he can touch a girl again? "They should change the name from Weyrlinghood to Torture," he says, eyeing the wet sprockets on his palm. But before he can delve to deeply into despair, his attention turned by this bit of shocking news. Hotaru has two mothers? A quizzical look claims his expression as he watches her, listening to the explanation. Strange doesn't even begin to describe it, and the look on his face is borderline comical. "So … you… do your mom…-s live together?" His mind is still trying to wrap itself around this, you see! "And when you say 'fostered with', you mean that your mom's..your other mom's…" He shakes his head, trying to clear up his thoughts. "Your grandparents raised you?"

Two turns of no dating. No kissing. No snuggling. Even hugs aren't a very good idea. At least none of that until towards the end. Hotaru chuckles a bit. "Don't look -that- horrified. For a lot of that you're so busy with your lifemate you just come back and pass out. But yeah it's pretty much torture for a turn or so. Up until mating flights. Then it gets better." Yes, Hotaru has two mothers. SCANDAL. Hotaru peers at him. "They're weyrmated. They've been since before I was born. My other mom. The brownrider, Cs'ra. I was fostered with her parents. So yes, my grandparents raised me for the most part, but I still saw my parents a fair bit." Hotaru is a real weyrbrat! With all the crazy family goodness.

Kale tries not to look so horrified, but he's gotten so used to those things! It'll be like …. giving up smoking, cold turkey. Or never taking a drink again after years of being an alcoholic. Can he do it? Well, that's not really an option, is it? He'll have to, if any of the dragons out there see him fit to be their rider. The smallest bits are deposited on the towel with a small clatter, and one last sweep of his hand prove that there are no mre left to be scrubbed. "I didn't know two women could … be weyrmated," he admits. "Well .. I did, I guess. But I suppose I never really … thought of it." Visiting Hotaru and her family most definitely would make an interesting trip someday! "Hey. Just so it's out there, I know you've got someone to go back to, but … if you don't Impress, it'd be cool if you'd stay here. I wouldn't like seein' you go."

Perhaps Kale should have thought of that before accepting a candidate knot! "Don't worry Kale. We'll all suffer together. Anyways, I heard you wouldn't have the time or stamina anyways. At least at first. You gotta chop meat all the time, or shovel dragon doody. Along with learning how to be a rider and taking care of a baby dragon." It's like being a parent on steroids! Hotaru takes up the clean ones and gets them oiled. It's quick since they're already cleaned. "Heh. Well… surprise! They can. And my parents are." Hotaru nods to Kale. "Well, we'll see. I mean, it's easy to make promises now, but later if I'm left standing all alone and everyone is busy being a weyrling… I might change my mind. I do like Xanadu though. It's come to feel like home to me."

Kale rubs the rag over the bits and pieces that are not quite dry, wrinkling his nose at the mentioning of dragon poop. Poop of any kind is … gross. Well he's not going to think about poop right now. Or weyrlinghood. Because what's the point when the chance that he won't impress is just as good as the chance that he will? He'll cross those bridges if and when he gets to them. Today, his task is to this clock. "I get that," he agrees. "If this wasn't Xanadu and I was someplace like .. Fort, I dunno if I'd be willin' to stay if my friend were all weyrlings. Guess that's another thing that goes to 'wait and see' huh?" The edges of his lips vaguely quirks up just as the clock strike an hour. It's a near thunderous sound here, one that reverberates through the body and causes ripples in the rusted liquid. Kale, apparently used to it, only slightly stiffen as it rings out. "Woah, is that really the hour?" He eyes the work they have completed. "You don't have to stay for the whole of this, if you don't want. I can finish up. Putting these back where they belong takes some time." A grin. "Or you can stay and waste time with me, an' after get some lunch?"

Poop is indeed gross. But if it must be shoveled, so then it must be. The goal really is to get them to do their business in the pits dug for such things until they can between for it. Hotaru tries not to think about her chances of impressing. It was what it was. And really candidacy has been too fun for her to complain. "Yep, toss that into the wait and see bucket. At least the eggs are getting close, so the wait won't be too much longer." Hotaru tosses the gear down and covers her ears as the clock strikes. "AAAA! IT'S SOOO LOUD IN HERE!" After the horrible noise stops Hotaru looks a little rattled. "Well, I probably won't be much use to you anymore. But I'll stick around to be a nuisance, and you can teach me about clocks. Then we can get lunch." She peers at him. "That look is close to the Flirty-face. This is not a date, Sticky."
"Every hour," says Kale with a grin. It couldn't be that he was hoping the clock would eventually strike, right? … Naaah! Of course not! And now that Hotaru is properly deaf, he dries off his hands and sets the bucket aside for later prank plottage. When he turns back to her, it's with a wholly exasperated look. "I've told you I'm not flirting with you!" He cocks a brow at her. "Someone thinks highly of herself. A guy accidentally takes a look at your chest an' suddenly you think you're a glowin' queen." A smirk follows. An unflirty one at that, and he saunters back to gather up the larger of the gears and sprockets. "The cool thing about clocks and time pieces are all the small pieces that make it work," he says, apparently not irked enough to not inform her on the joys of clocks. "C'mon. We'll go to the face. It's up higher, and we've an hour til it chimes again, so your ears'll be spared." He doesn't mention the ticking though, which can be soothing or maddening, depending on the person! Clock maintenance, a little getting to know you, and a not date lunch. It's a good day!

"Jeez! It's so super loud in here!" Hotaru is too busy trying to keep her ears from ringing that she doesn't really notice Kale grinning away at her expense. "Does that water look like blood you think?" Hotaru raises a brow at Kale. "I dunno. That all sounded pretty flirty to me. Asking me to stay then out to lunch…" She snickers and then pokes him in the ribs. Then she gathers up whatever's left she can carry. "Even the small gears look pretty big to me." Hotaru has tuned out the clock ticks. Since it's a regular pattern it's easy to ignore after a while. Even if they are loud. "Thank Faranth." She says about the clock chiming. "I should have brought something to plug my ears with…"

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