Fort Weyr - Crafter's Cavern
The Crafter's Cavern is quite stunning to behold. A high vaulted ceiling arches overhead, ornately sculpted sconces along the walls, once having held glows, are now fitted with the electric lights, casting a gentle glow over the area. On the walls around the caverns edge hang beautiful old tapestries, which depict various aspects of craft life.

All around the cavern the tapestries extend, representative of every craft. The door next to each leads to the quarters of the WeyrCrafter, while the large area in the center is divided into smaller work spaces, numerous desks and chairs, terminals and sandtables clutter the space.

There are some crafts that require a little more than a work table and so Ralik can be found in the back of the Cavern where two large stone structures, looking somewhere between a pizza oven and a fireplace, are housed. Thys will likely recognize one is for Smithcrafters, while the other is largely enclosed, with a square metal door built into the front. This is where Ralik is, the young man currently stripped to the waist with heavy gloves protecting his hands almost up to the elbows. He's sweating from the heat, but seems largely unaware of it, currently focused on a long metal rod that he dips in and out of the large oven, adjusting it with various tools spread out on his table or dipping it into what looks like crushed minerals or bits of glass. He shapes the glowing hot glob of glass on the end of the rod, puffing air into it every so often to keep it from narrowing too much, tapping it on the sides and bottom with some metal tool or another that is usually dipped in a bucket of water nearby just after. He's quite focused on his work, his hair pinned back in a tight tail and his eyes protected by some dark goggles so he can actually see what he's doing. He finally steps back enough to make some room and blows in firm, short huffs into the rod, turning it as he goes, while the glass on the end balloons outwards, Ralik shaping it carefully as it does. Finally, he's rolling the bottom carefully on a bit of stone and using a different tool to thin the neck, creating some sort of speckled vase. Ta da!

It's workmanship that Thys manages to catch sight of, from where she's hanging back just beyond the heat of the forge - not that she's unfamiliar with such temperatures, even if she's been away from them for a long while. She watches quietly, arms crossed over her chest, weyrling uniform crisp and clean enough to suggest she's not here to work. Once Ralik has completed his vase and she feels it's safe enough to approach without interrupting his work she steps forward and to the side, to where she's close enough to clear her throat for his attention. "It's beautiful, Ralik. You're very talented." After sweeping her growing-out pixie cut back from her eyes, she slips her hands into her pockets and grins at him, leaning back against a handy workbench. "Do you have time to talk?"

Ralik glances up when he hears Thys clear her throat like that, flashing her a smile that looks amusing considering he's got a bit of soot on his face and goggles so dark they hide his eyes, "Hello, then, Ames. Thys. Ame'thys." He gives the vase a light tap near the end of the rod and then uses a small tool to lightly curve the lip before he takes the whole thing in a large pair of tongs and dunks it into the water. Satisfied he won't be blinded, the door on the oven is shut and he pushes his goggles up into his hair, "Thanks, and of course. What can I do for you?" He works idly while saying so, since there's not much danger in his work from this point out. He takes the vase from the water and dips it a couple more times to ensure it doesn't cool too fast and crack, then sets it on the work bench so he can fiddle over the shape a bit, "It's good to see you out and about. Not quite glued to the little lady anymore, mm?"

"The little lady is a rather big lady now, and no, she doesn't require me to be in sight at all times, thank Faranth." And Thys certainly sounds thankful about that fact. "This is my first time back in here, though… I miss it." She runs her fingers fondly over the bench she's leaning against, then shrugs her shoulders gently. "Not that I'd trade what I have now, but if I could have both… well, that would be ideal, wouldn't it?" The weyrling goldrider grins at Ralik, then drops her gaze down to her booted feet. "Well, I thought I'd come to see if you've got plans for the night of the 20th?"

"I doubt your /life/mate would keep you from here completely. Besides, if you become a Weyrwoman some day, you can probably have a craft area built into your weyr," Ralik says with a light smile, peeling off his large gloves so he can manage more delicate work. The question seems to take him mildly by surprise, his eyes momentarily focused on the vase as he pours something from a bottle into it, then lowers it into the water, whirling it lightly, "The 20th? Nothing I can't move. Probably just work or drink." He takes the vase out and pours the remaining liquid back into the bottle, revealing the vase now swirled internally with what look like gold flecks throughout. Setting it aside for now, he takes the goggles off completely and sets them aside, wiping his hands on a work cloth and giving Thys a somewhat roguish smile, amber eyes gleaming lightly with mirth and something difficult to define, "This have anything to do with the same 20th that's the night of the formal dance 20th?" Yep, he's teasing her a little.

Thys watches Ralik's hands while he works, because it's easier than looking directly at him and showing off the blush on her cheeks… which is surely just from the heat of this corner of the crafting caverns, right? "That very same 20th, yep," she confirms with a sharp nod of her head. "I think drinks can be moved to any night, and work can always wait… but a weyrling formal dinner on the arm of Fort's newest goldrider will only come around once." Thys grins, biting down on her bottom lip in part-coyness. "You don't have to say yes, of course - no pressure. I just thought it might be a chance to get to know you better, and to talk about a collaborative work I'd like to propose to you."

Ralik laughs sharply in response to all that, his voice turning it into something rather husky as he folds his arms and turns towards Thys properly, "Bullshit. Of course I'm going to say yes. If you're only asking me so we can brainstorm a collaborative work, I'll be wounded in my very heart, you know." He lifts a hand and presses it lightly against his chest to punctuate that dramatic statement, setting his tools aside finally and taking a closer step towards Thys. He likely smells like sweat and fire right now, so that might explain why he's not getting TOO close, but he's also not shy about entering her personal space it seems. Ralik reaches over to lightly take Thys's hand, if she doesn't mind, and will kiss the back of it lightly, giving it a squeeze as he does, "You're not a candidate anymore and you're damn near done being a weyrling. Newest goldrider or not, I'm coming for you, Thys. Getting to know you better's been on my mind for a while and I'm not going to be shy about that." He grins a bit once more and adds, "I'll even clean up and dress nice for the chance."

There's no protest from Thys when her hand's captured, and she manages to look steadily at the glasscrafter as he raises it to his lips, though she does little to encourage it. Perhaps the diplomatic training she's receiving is playing a part in that near-enough poker face she maintains? "Oh, cleaning up and dressing nice is not optional. You'll be under extra scrutiny, Ralik, as I think it's expected of me to have a highly appropriate partner for the evening… perhaps more so than it is for the others." She smiles at him, giving his hand a little squeeze before withdrawing her own from his grasp, and pressing her fingers to his chest to gently push him back, though just a little, and not to be intentionally offensive. "Do you dance?"

Ralik rolls his eyes a bit as he's pushed back like that, looking amused still and returning to his work table so he can pick up a small grinding tool like a rasp, "Surprisingly enough, and don't let R'yal know, but I'm pretty domesticated. I'm a journeyman for one of the most, ah, delicate Crafts around. They don't let you sell glass chandeliers or crystalline goblets looking like you just crawled out of a hole in the ground. So, yes, I can clean and dress up and I don't much like to dance, but I'm capable." He grinds the lip of the vase and takes out a grease pencil, drawing marks along the outside of the vase that he follows afterwards with another small grinder, beginning what looks like a series of carved designs he plans to put on the outside, "If you were worried I might not be appropriate, why ask me? I imagine there's plenty of bronzelings more than happy to throw themselves at you, some of them classy Holder types, no doubt." Not offended particularly, but definitely curious.

"From what I've seen of you, I've not doubt you'd be suitable… but I've heard a few folk say otherwise," Thys explains, with a little shrug and a grin. "But I thought you might like to come, since your brother will be there. And like I said, I wanted to get to know you better, and to talk about that collaboration." Which she seems determined to slip into the conversation at some point of the dinner. "I do love to dance, and I think I'll have to oblige quite a few gentlemen throughout the evening. You'd be alright with that, wouldn't you? You'll have the others for company of course, while I'm up there."

Ralik smirks at the idea of who that someone might be, wiping his hands on the cloth again and musing, "Someone, eh? R'yal or C'rus, I imagine. And I'm not sure R'yal would speak too poorly of me." He shrugs again afterwards and props his hip against the table, folding his arms and looking at Thys thoughtfully for a moment. Without any sense of amusement in his eyes, they tend to lean back towards that odd intensity he can sometimes have and it doesn't help that he's silent for a little bit. When he does answer, he nods his head slightly and says, with a faint smile, "Well, you'll have to excuse me for coming on too strong, then. I'd be happy to talk to you about collaborating and whatever else you might want to talk about. As far as getting to watch you dance with other people, I'm not really the sort to start a fight over something so simple. Somebody starts playing grab-ass, though, and I can't make any promises."

Thys shakes her head gently, unperturbed by the silence. "No need for apologies, Ralik." Now it's her turn to be quiet for a long moment, nursing the beginnings of a lop-sided smile. "And there'll be no-one playing grab-ass, I assure you." She winks, then shakes her head again and laughs. "I'm still bound by weyrling rules, at least for another few months, I think. While Rhenesath may be fine with it, I can't go setting a bad example now, can I?" With a little hop, she perches her behind on the workbench, crossing her legs to looking curiously at Ralik, as if measuring this side of him up. "Things would be a lot simpler if they were different, you know. There'd be less expectations, for one thing… less rules, too."

Ralik makes a bit of a face as he leans forward to gently and carefully etch one of those lines into the surface of the glass, "You are, and I'm sure it wouldn't be too much to imagine you cutting someone down if they tried - politely, of course. Still doesn't mean they won't try and I won't offer to set them on fire." He says it quite casually, twitching a smile up at Thys now that she's perched on the workbench. He puffs lightly on the surface of the vase to get rid of the glass dust, then exhales a bit more expressively, "Mm, I guess that's true. I'm guessing you'll have a little more freedom once you're not in training anymore, too." Ralik sets his etching tool down to pick up a damp rag, running it over the vase's surface before he puts that down as well and props his hands on the workbench, smiling wryly at Thys, "Look, Thys, I like you. I'm not exactly the shining example of behavior the Glasscraft might want, but I can at least try to avoid embarrassing you. I know how things work when you've got an image to uphold. In public, anyway." This last comes with decidedly false innocence, a somewhat mischievious twitch to his smile.

"If you feel the need to offer to set someone on fire, promise me you'll only let me know? Whisper it in my ear, or something." Thys grins, tucking her hair back behind her ear - y'know, just in case Ralik didn't know where it was, or something like that. "There'll be more freedom after graduation, certainly, though I'll still have obligations. Perhaps even more then, actually, as I'll be a Fort weyrwoman, not just a Fort weyrling." His admission makes her grin, the blush deepening on her cheeks - and there's no glass oven to blame the colour on now. Her fingers grip the edge of the bench, but she can't help that soppy, embarrassed yet pleased smile she wears. "I know you do. And I know you won't embarrass me, Ralik. If I thought you would, I wouldn't have asked you. And I really do want to get to know you better. You never know, you mightn't even be so keen on me after you know me a little more."

"Unlikely," is Ralik's simple response to that last statement, leaning against the table again so that he's almost sitting beside her, though he avoids doing just that because tiny metal tools embedded in your butt is not fun. He does grin a bit, however, and offers a mild salute, "I promise that I will only go so far as a deathly stare and otherwise share my threats of terrible death with you alone." Yes. A deathly stare from a tall muscular man who regularly deals in melted glass and hot metal. Bwaha. He inhales deeply and cocks his head to the side, letting it out as his body relaxes a bit more, enjoying the chance to take a break as well as talk to Thys. He folds his arms and looks off towards the far wall, thinking once again, before he looks over at her and smiles a bit, "I did wonder, when you took gold, if it would be… well, strange, I guess. A goldrider and a non-rider. I do want to get to know you better, Thys. I just think everything I learn is going to make me like you more, not less. Of course, once you've heard me enter into a long curse-filled rant about one thing or another, I don't have any idea if you'll still be interested in /me/." That only reminds him of C'rus, really, and he makes a small face afterwards at the memory. That guy.

Thys rolls her eyes at the mention of a curse-filled rant. "Ralik, I grew up in a family of Miners and Smiths. I doubt there's anything you can come out with that I haven't heard a hundred times over and then some." She's made of tougher stuff than that. "I don't think it's unheard of for riders and non-riders to, you know, develop a relationship. Not that I'm saying we will, mind - this is just speculation. Though if anything, I would say it would be easier for a goldrider, what with the easy-access weyrs and all? There's no flying involved. Though… well, there will be flights, of course. That's something to consider." Something for him to consider, her tone suggests.

Ralik quirks another amused, wry smile and shakes his head, "It's not you I'm worried about. Me losing my shit doesn't do well for your respectable image." He's really not too worried about what Thys thinks of his cursing, even if it does tend to get pretty mild when she's around. He bites back the urge to grin when she makes a point of stating that they may not really develop a relationship and goes on to talk about the specifics with a ground weyr. Mention of flights causes him to pause and frown slightly before he shrugs and nods, "Yeah. I've never really worried too much about flights in general. I understand the basis of them and I know… well, I know some riders work it out so that they're there when they're, ah, needed." There's a pause again before his smile returns and he says, voice drawling, "I guess if we start getting involved, we're both going to have some stuff to figure out, huh?"

"And I'd hope you'd keep your shit together while you're with me," Thys laughs, giving Ralik's shoulder a little play-punch. Then he keeps talking, and she shifts her weight somewhat anxiously. "Look, Ralik, I'm not saying we will become anything, I'm just speculating. Frankly I wasn't looking for a relationship as it's just extra responsibilities on top of what I'll already have, but… I don't know." She looks him up and down, pulling a confused face. "We'll just see how things go, alright? One step at a time. Dinner first, collaboration next… deal?" Her gaze unfocuses then, and a moment later she snaps out of it with little snort. "I've got to go; I'm needed in the barracks. I'll see you before the dance though, won't I?" Then, as an afterthought once she's slipped down from the bench, "I'll be wearing a russet dress."

Ralik holds up his hands in a gesture of mild surrender, smiling at Thys once more, "Hey, don't worry about it. I'm a big guy. I'll survive if you wind up picking something easier." That's one way to put it, anyway. He salutes again, playfully, regarding the collaboration, "Deal. Have some sketches ready for me to eyeball so I can get an idea of whatever plan you're thinking of… and yeah, I'll stop by the barracks to pick you up. How about that?" Fortunately, he's enough of a crafter that he knows what russet even is, or this could get even more awkward. As he turns back to his bench and picks up his tools again, he considers a moment before he throws out, lightly, "Hey. Don't let being a goldrider make you turn completely practical, alright? Any crafter suffers when they're forced into total practicality." Yes, that's the reason. Sure. Whatever. "I'll see you later," is the last thing he says, smiling at her again before turning his attention once more fully to the vase he's working on, slowly but surely finishing off the etching.

"It would be a pleasure to have you escort me there, Ralik." Thys grins at him, reaching out to curl her fingers around his wrist for a friendly squeeze once he turns around. "I'm still me under the goldrider guise, I just have to keep me for the special occasions. But she's still in here. See you later, Journeyman." Another quick squeeze and she then lets go, turning to trot quickly out.