That Could Have Gone Better...?

Xanadu Weyr - Workshops
Some crafts are ill-suited to being tucked away in a cavern, too loud or too dangerous to be desirable. They've been clustered here, out in the meadow away from others. The central building is made of stone and glass, the roof shallow as it slopes away from the thick central ridge that holds forges and kilns for smiths, glassworkers, and others.

The smith forges are loud, dim and hot; windows here are covered with soot or have been replaced for safety. The large common area holds the main forge lodged against the central wall, with bellows at the ready and a chimney rushing high to open in the ceiling outside. This is the area that the apprentices are taught in and are able to use. The nearby wall clasps a vast and unspecialized collection of tools, while the built-in shelves of another wall host jars of nails, crates of wood and metal scraps, spools of wire, sacks of sand, and heavy bins of Cromcoal, all decorated with a fine coating of grime and sawdust. To the other side of the main forge, set against the outer wall, there are separate forges for Journeyman and Master use, each one kept clean and neat, even when in the midst of a project.

Further back there are heating systems and molds for metal and plastic alike, and a set of machines used to grind gears and cast various parts. There's a pump to bring up water for quenching, though it won't stay cool for long given the heat this workshop holds even in winter.

On the other side of the broad central wall is the glass shop, brightly lit through the heat-resistant fixtures and many windows that show off the skills of the crafters of Xanadu Weyr. That central wall and the one opposite it are both lined with kilns and glass forges for the glasscrafters to do their work. The portion of the room near the main entrance seems to be devoted to teaching, as a number of mobile diagram boards have been erected there with desks arranged in semicircles around each. The central portion of the room serves as the production area, with barrels of sand and various additives arrayed beside several long tables and charts, and finally, the back wall is made up almost entirely of cabinets and storage shelves.

There are other workshops scattered nearby, smaller buildings for the various other crafts that are better suited to be where the wind sweeps out over the sea and carries fumes and smoke with it or for those who need to catch their breath after the din of the forges.

The forges are not the place to be in the height of summer! Unless you have to be there, which is the unfortunate case for any Smithcrafter wanting to fulfill their quota. Ru'ien's presence isn't unusual, given he held a Journeyman rank (for a hot minute) prior to Impressing. What has the others eyeing him warily is that it's around "that time" that the greenrider is given a 'temporary leave of absence' from being anywhere near those forges. FOR GOOD REASONS. Proddiness and hot metals are a Bad Mix, folks — especially if you're a greenrider like Ru'ien is and have known fixations that lead to disruptive distractions. Everyone needs to relax (or so Ru'ien probably quipped)! His business there is brief, having swung by just to pick up a few extra materials and tools from his station to bring to his home weyr. Sure, he can't take on any big Blacksmith projects! But that doesn't mean he can't keep at his jewelry in the comfort of his home — IF he can focus.

With his materials and tools neatly bundled and tucked under one arm, he gives his farewells (lecherous winks and blown kisses which probably earn him a few impolite gestures when no one is looking) to those on duty and then flaunts strides right on out! Only to stop by the entranceway outside where even the summer air is decidedly cooler to fan out the collar of his shirt. Ugh, sweaty and hot! And not just from the proximity to the forges moments before.

Woe be to Shiloh, he knows not what he is heading into. Alas, despite having lived at the Weyr for nearly a turn (or is it two by now? It's all a blur, really) his dealings with proddy greenriders have been minimal — perhaps absent entirely — or at least the sort of thing that he has not picked up on. Surely, he knows of this phenomenon, at least in a theoretical sense. But it is one thing to know, and another to experience and, of course, no two ‘riders are quite the same. He would have no reason to suspect that anything is amiss, and so perhaps his ignorance can be forgiven as he strides rather purposefully toward the Smith's workshop and, having spotted his quarry, right on over to Ru'ien without missing a beat. How lucky is Shiloh that the object of his intention — the smith for whom he is here to see — happens to be right there to meet him (Run. Shiloh. Run while you can?) He at least maintains a respectable distance, wincing in sympathy for the heat of the forge that he might not be able to feel but can well imagine. "Hey," is offered with all manner of polite, if reserved, cheer. "You're leaving," is his next observation, and this seems to bring him pause. "Are you busy?" Life would probably be easier if Shiloh would just cut to the chase but then again, what fun would that be?

It could have been worse, this little happenstance of crossed paths! Hopefully Ru'ien's flavour of proddy won't color Shiloh's opinion too heavily. If there is one silver lining is that he's not so far gone as to be too exhausted to care about propriety— hahahaha, who're we kidding!? HE NEVER DOES! It's true, the signs to those lacking the knowledge of what to look for, are subtle. Ru'ien's flushed appearance could be easily, and logically, assumed to be a reaction from the heat inside. The way his hands move idly, restlessly, to touch upon the edge of fabric of brush against the bare skin of his arms, can also be waved off as just a part of his quirky personality — for now.

Shiloh's approach is met with an amused smirk and narrowing of Ru'ien's eyes, as his gaze sweeps over in appraisal of the Beastcrafter. It could be recognition is a beat behind that, as his posture relaxes utterly into something far more lazily casual. "Hello again~" he greets, low voice but not quite purred (yet). He blinks, casting a look about the area, mouth drawing down in an excellent play of puzzlement. "Am I leaving? I suppose I am." LISTEN, Shiloh, he's a jerk sometimes. The facade melts with the sudden grin he flashes, the small wink to indicate he was teasing. "You caught me at just the right time! I am not currently busy." he muses, full focus now settling on the younger man with renewed interest that may be bleeding past the edges of mere curiosity of whatever it is Shiloh may be getting at.

Maybe Ru'ien is just having an off day? He's human, after all. Shiloh is totally willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Alas but ‘being proddy' does not even enter his mind, so woefully ignorant is he. So the sweep of Ru's gaze, the curious counter to a statement of observation (that he is leaving, But is he tho?), the little restless touches of fabric or arm… If Shiloh catches it all, he certainly doesn't seem to correctly connect the dots. If anything, it is a rather puzzling moment for the poor, naïve beastcrafter, frowning after the smith with fleeting indecision. Should he go? Was this a mistake? But no; while the flash of something in that expression might have him pulling up short and reconsidering his options, he decides to soldier on for… reasons. "Oh. Good." Great! That means he has time for Shiloh. Even if Shiloh is no longer certain he wants that time for himself. Hm. "I was hoping to talk to you about a potential commission," he admits. "I want to have something designed for Avi — it's a little thing. A trinket. Well. A jewelry… piece." Is he making sense? Does it matter?

Does Ru'ien ever have an off day? He'd probably hide it very well, where as right now, he's not even making an attempt! Poor Shiloh. Of all the proddy riders to get close to, it has to be him. That puzzlement or maybe the indecision caught is fuel to the mercurial-fire that makes up a large chunk of his overall personality — proddy or not. Surprise, he always has time for anything that tickles his interests! Luckily for Shiloh, he's ticking enough boxes that, even in his state, have Ru'ien content to stay still long enough to entertain him! "Well, well," he muses, low toned and treading close to a purred note. His look sharpens on the Beastcrafter, a not-so subtle reevaluation that has his mouth pulling into a slow, roguish grin. "Isn't that just the sweetest thing?" What is he assuming out of this? —everything— "How fortunate that I happen to dabble in trinket making." Maybe that wasn't the right word, Shiloh and Ru'ien's going to tease. Chuckling deep in his throat, he'll make a ‘shall we' gesture with a tilted-sweep of his hand. Walk with him? Where they currently stand isn't ideal — or really, it's because Ru'ien needs it and pacing in circles is counter-productive (and likely alarming to his current audience).

Is it better, or worse, that Shiloh is accustomed to dealing with skittish creatures? Not that Ru'ien appears to be skittish by any stretch of the word, but the practice does provide the beastcrafter with an eye toward details that might otherwise be missed. Even if Shiloh can't quite put his finger on what it is that is off about the greenrider. Those little hairs on the back of his neck are definitely standing up, that seemingly sixth sense that says ‘danger!' even if there doesn't appear to be any present. So there is a moment of hesitation in accepting that offer to walk with him, even if it was Shiloh who approached Ru'ien, with his proposition for trinkets. The word — or rather, how it is repeated back to him — spawns a tightening of his gaze, a little press of his lips into something not quite nice but not really enough to be upset. Just… unnerved, perhaps. But, whether it is because Shiloh is under the false assumption that it's all in his head, or because he's really invested in getting this trinket made, he accepts with a little shrug and a quick, "Sure," before falling into step with the greenrider. Ru'ien can lead; Shiloh will follow. More or less. But perhaps the nagging little voice in the back of his head is getting the best of him because, before launching into further details about this little trinket he'd like, there's another squint of his gaze at the greenrider and a rather blunt, "Are you alright?"

Surely it can't be the way Ru'ien smiles predatorily? What's so worrisome about that~ He doesn't look ruffled at all by the tightening in Shiloh's gaze or the way his lips press, used to people being unnerved around him (and doubly so when he's in the state he's in). It doesn't stop him because if he stopped to consider why, then he'd have to face things he doesn't want to see! Ru'ien's happy to lead, taking them on (SAFE!) public pathways but enough out of the way of main traffic. He sets a leisurely stroll but his natural gait tends to be longer strides and often have him adjusting — or he's trying to keep himself in check, here and walking a straight line. "Never been better!" he quips with a dazzling grin and a tossed wink at the squinting and bluntness from the Beastcrafter; which of course means he's lying (partially). "Must be the weather! … What's the term? ‘Feeling my oats?' Is that what's said?" To runners, maybe! Abruptly, he cuts right back to business, turning a too-curious sidelong look on Shiloh. "So! I'm guessing this won't be a statement piece. Something delicate, then? Simple?"

"Uh huh." Shiloh's not sure he believes him. It's very obvious that he's not sure he believes him. But he has (more than) enough manners not to push the matter. Even if he looks like he might be eyeing likely exits and planning a getaway. Or… maybe contemplating calling for help. For the sake of Ru'ien's health, of course (cough-cough). Public pathways definitely make a difference in Shiloh's willingness to stay through this strangeness, though ultimately, it's his desire to commission something for Avi that has him setting his teeth and weathering this unexpected storm. IT'S FINE. IT'S PROBABLY FINE. IT WILL AT LEAST BE FINE AT SOME POINT. So he'll walk with him, suspicious eyes still squinting and sliding the way of the greenrider, even as he's successfully redirected into discussing his entire reason for seeking out Ru'ien in the first place. "No," he agrees. "Something small. Uhm. About this big?" He'll demonstrate with finger and thumb, held about an inch apart from each other. "I was hoping it could be a working lock. I know it's tiny…" and he really has no idea if it can be done, "But… well…" And here he almost blushes, clearing his throat and squinting forward because, for some reason, this part is embarrassing. Maybe for its sentimentality. "I was hoping it could have a little key to go with it."

Poor Shiloh! He had his pick of Smithcrafter's with jewelry expertise and he just had to pick Ru'ien from that pack~ Really, the greenrider should come with his own disclaimer and warning! WILL IT BE FINE, THOUGH, SHILOH? WILL IT!? Ru'ien looks as happy as a clam and only mildly distracted as they continue along. He'll slow his stride further while Shiloh demonstrates, studying those fingers and hands thoughtfully. Does his mind also slide into the gutter? Probably. "A lock that tiny that is purely aesthetics would be doable no problem! But a working lock?" He clicks his tongue to emphasize the unspoken ‘it'll be a challenge' or even potentially impossible. "Might have to be flexible on the size of it." At least he's honest about his work? As for the key, well — Ru'ien's expression becomes a mask of giddy delight and he's refraining commentary by chewing on his lower lip. He could be resisting fawning over how adorable they both are (or in this case, Shiloh) too!

SO FAR SO GOOD! NO ONE HAS DIED YET OR ANYTHING SO YES. IT'S FINE. In fact, they've managed to make it a whole ten feet (at least!) without incident so… success? Or not. At least Shiloh's got those equally long legs so keeping up isn't really a challenge even if there's a bit of slowing down to approximate the size of things and explain what he wants. Ru'ien's mind might go places, but Shiloh's is definitely in the here and the now and very firmly on jewelry. "Hm," might be a note of disgruntlement at the idea of the lock not working (because this is apparently V. IMPORTANT). "I suppose it can be a bit bigger," he allows. "But nothing too big. It doesn't need to be a complicated lock." Maybe that will make it easier? It's all that giddy delight that has him looking awkward once again, and yeah, there's definitely a flush to those cheeks that has nothing to do with sunburn. Sigh. "I'm gonna assume by the look you're giving me that this is a great idea and Avi will love it." Did he have any doubts to begin with? PROBABLY NOT. "If you can pull it off." Ohhhh, is that a challenge?!

"Any functioning lock is tricky," Ru'ien corrects but from the way he broadly smirks, he's being contrary just to be a small thorn in Shiloh's side and only because the Beastcrafter is making it too easy. "Guess design factors into it too. You want a square lock or a different shape? Ooh, y'know? Round might be cute done small and dainty — but then, is the keyhole on the bottom or front face?" IS HE TALKING TO HIMSELF NOW? Partially. Shiloh's welcome to interject of course (or just witness in whichever emotional flavour suits him)! Of course, that LAST REMARK, does a sufficient job of pulling his attention fully back to the Beastcrafter. Excuse you!? The incredulousness is all in FUN, though! Since Ru'ien breaks into laughter a heartbeat or two after pinning him under that look. "Darling, there's nothing I won't try~ Do you want this commission or not? Because we can shake on it now and I'll see about getting you some sketches to start."

Shiloh is the picture of innocence. He's so innocent in fact, that he's clearly guilty. (It's the little twitch at the corner of his mouth, that unrepentant smirk trying to peek out, to answer Ru'ien's incredulousness). But whatever delight the beastcrafter may have taken, whatever smug he may have briefly held, it's gone in a flash because… "Shape? Oh. Uh. Well…" Cue throat clearing, awkward squint toward the horizon, and maybe even a bit more color to those cheeks of his. That's totally not a sunburn. "I was hoping it could be shaped like a heart." Because beneath that rugged(?) exterior, he's a big ol' softy. "I'm willing to have it be a little bigger if it can… be a functioning-" heart-shaped "-lock." Ahem. And seeing as Ru appears up for the challenge, Shiloh will have no hesitation about saying, "I do," and offering his hand for a literal shake on it.

"Heart shaped." Ru'ien's grin is so wicked then, so roguishly tilted with much implied under the way his eyes narrow as Shiloh gains a bit of color. "Of course, functionality will be kept in mind." Does it feel like signing an agreement with a devil, Shiloh? He'll slow to a stop, turning mid-step so as to grasp the Beastcrafter's hand in a firm grip. It'll be noticeable then, how warm he is and not just from the weather. A fever-like warmth. His fingers linger a half-second in their withdraw from clasping Shiloh's hand, Ru'ien's gaze focused on him as he smirks. "Then we have a deal~ Is there a specific timeframe you wish this completed? It won't take long for the initial sketches but I will be delayed in actually starting the piece."

Shiloh will spend the moment supremely uncomfortable while trying not to look like he's supremely uncomfortable. Even if it may be somewhat obvious with the way his gaze skips over the area and not the grinning greenrider beside him. "Yes. Well. Avi likes hearts." The things we do for love! Another throat clearing (perhaps he ought to go get that checked out?) and he regards Ru'ien once more, taking his hand without thought, though pausing a bit at the heat of it. A little twitch of a frown, a hint of question, but he's already asked if he was alright and it seems rude to ask again. But if Shiloh takes half a step back in the reclaiming of his hand… well. Perhaps that wariness is warranted, even if proddy isn't catching. "Timeframe?" This brings another frown before he admits, "I've no idea how long something like that would take. A month?" That seems reasonable to him, but he's clearly open to suggestions.

"Mhm. I'm sure he does," Ru'ien's voice is low and richly amused, almost purred on those last notes as he keeps his smirk in check — barely. "I guess I shouldn't be so surprised." Said with a note of fondness and not a strike against the young artist. Shiloh's twitch of a frown, the way he pauses just a bit earns a brief narrowing of the greenrider's gaze. He isn't certain, but it's in his nature to broadly assume when it suits him; so he does, as his hand withdraws: "I won't bite you~" Yet the way his mouth curves? That hint of flashed teeth? —that definitely suggestive appraising look— Suggests he'll bite the right person, in the right moment. IT'S A TRAP, SHILOH. He's gauging the reaction the Beastcrafter gives — or testing to see if he's bright enough to put two and two together. "Might be just a little over a month, but we'll see. Maybe the word I should have used was ‘deadline'. No special event planned? Important date?" he asks, as though the exchange a beat or two prior never happened.

Comments and teeth and looks. They definitely have his hackles up. Poor Shiloh. He means well, truly. But while he's not always an idiot (usually. He at least tries not to be. Success rate is somewhat fifty-fifty), he's not always the sharpest tool in the shed either. But can he be blamed if his life did not prepare him for proddy greenriders? Surely, he's heard of it before. How could he not? He's lived in Xanadu long enough. Yet, he's still eyeing Ru'ien like he might be contagious. He'll get it eventually. Just give him a moment. Two. Three. And then that light-bulb goes off; the ‘ding-ding-ding!' in his brain that finally gives him the answer to the riddle he didn't know he was trying to solve. But alas, the moment when he ought to shut up and act natural is an abysmal failure when the first words out of his mouth after having made this realization are, "Oh shit you're—" But hey. At least he manages to bite his damn tongue before he really screws himself over? Ahem. "Ah. Sorry." Cough-cough. Just ignore the blaze of red across his cheeks and the way he squints toward the… something — anything - that is not Ru'ien. "I didn't mean… things." Moving right along then. "Yeah. No special dates. Uh… no. Can't think of any." Probably because his mind just went blank and his brain has escaped him. It's a miracle he can speak right now. (So much for that moment never happening.)

There it is! Ru'ien's lips curve and press into a wry smirk as he observes Shiloh go through the whole process of figuring it out. He would have been sorely disappointed that if, after all that, the Beastcrafter just acted natural! This is fun, for Kihatsuth him, to witness so many wonderful expressions and emotional responses. He quirks a brow at ‘you're'. WHAT IS HE, SHILOH? Ru'ien's barely able to keep himself from splitting his face with a wicked grin. Barely. "Didn't mean what things?" he asks in velvet tones, suspiciously hushed quiet with an unreadable mask. Do tell, Shiloh? There's a thoughtful acknowledgement to his assurance that there's no pressing deadline for the commission, but they've already settled the deal. Now? Ru'ien is going to play with Shiloh for a little longer, like a cat batting at a mouse before letting go. "Do I make you nervous?" he purrs next, adopting a mock concerned look that never quite reaches his eyes; those are reflecting far too much amusement.

"Uh…" is really not that great a response, but it's all Shiloh can come up with for a moment there. His brain is probably on reboot (heeheehee). It's fine. "I just— I didn't mean to offend you." Which might be offensive?? Shiloh isn't sure. Which is probably why he's turning red (but pretending to know nothing of this) and squinting into the distance and absolutely looking for an exit. Nervous? "Nope." Yep. And it's dang obvious too. Just look at the squirming! "So yeah. No. No deadline. You've got the… idea. For the thing— the lock. And uh. Yeah. I'll find you— or you can find me— we'll find each other. At some point. For the thing. But not soon! Maybe… After your… thing." ABORT, ABORT! At least Shiloh seems to recognize a lost cause (himself) when he sees it. Decorum has definitely been lost (if he ever had it to begin with) but he'll stubbornly try to reclaim his manners if at all possible. So there's a clearing of his throat as he rubs a hand at the back of his neck, and a gaze that finally slides back to regard Ru'ien instead of the trees in the distance. "Yeah. So. Yeah. I'll just… I should probably run go check on the runners. So. Yeah. Have a good day… And uh, thanks. For… yeah."

It might not be the best response for some, but for Ru'ien and Kiha, it's wonderful. His eyes narrow and widen imperceptibly, mouth still curved in that wry and knowing smirk. He's aware that he's causing this and doing nothing to counteract it — because where'd be the fun in that? "It's really hard to offend me~" he muses with just enough sincerity behind his voice to make it believable. Ru'ien is definitely not allowing Shiloh to squirm his way of the hook quite yet! "I've got the idea," he echoes back with barely contained snickering laughter. "For the thing." Oh, good luck living this down now! It will forever be referred as "The Thing" between them — and YES, the DOUBLE ENTENDRE IS INTENTIONAL. RIP, Shiloh. By the end, the greenrider can't help but laugh for the poor younger man's fumbling awkwardness and finally spares him further torment struggle."My pleasure! Don't be a stranger, now~" He'll wait until Shiloh's gaze has slid his way to lift his free hand and wriggle the fingers in a teasing farewell gesture. Buh bai~ With one last playful wink, Ru'ien will take the lead in parting ways, strutting moving on ahead with lazy purpose down a narrower side trail; if everyone is fortunate enough, that's the one that eventually leads to his weyr.

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