Soraka wondered if Keevan would be annoyed if she headed up to see him right after the show. She had every intention of asking him why he'd blinded her out there. He'd been annoyed with her before, and she wasn't entirely convinced it'd been an accident. On the other hand, he had invited her back for tomorrow and she didn't want to risk annoying him and losing her invitation. Besides, she was probably just being paranoid. And hey, if it had been on purpose, at least it meant he'd noticed her, right? She wondered if he'd watched her dance. She also wondered what he'd been thinking when she'd kissed him.
She forced herself to stay away until the morning, as hard as that was, but she didn't sleep. She kept worrying about it all night. He hadn't told her what time she could come and see him, but she had a show later, so she planned on showing up first thing in the morning. She knew he'd be there early. The crew members always were.
Keevan sat at the controls bright and early in the morning. Or early anyway, it was too late in the year to be bright until much later. He was getting really nervous about Soraka's lesson that day. He was even more anxious that she wouldn't show up at all after all the time he'd spent looking forward to seeing her again. He'd spent most the night trying to get up the courage to actually call her by the ridiculous nickname he'd invented and planning his outfit. Everything he owned seemed geeky, but he supposed that hadn't bothered her before. He would definitely be wearing his hat again. But of course she'd show up; she'd practically begged him for a lesson. Heck, she'd been so excited about it she'd kissed him, and that was saying a lot.
What he wasn't prepared for was the fact that she walked through the door less than fifteen minutes after he did. He realised that they hadn't exactly discussed a time, but he'd figured she'd be there closer to noon like she'd been on the earlier occasions.
"Hey!" she said eagerly as she entered the room, startling him out of his chair.
"Uh… hey," he said awkwardly.
Soraka frowned, "You look surprised. You said I could come, did you forget?"
"N-no, of course not. I just didn't expect to see you this early, that's all."
"Should I leave?"
"No, no. It's fine." Okay, this wasn't going great; it was too awkward. What'd that article say? Girls like a sense of humour? He grinned at her suddenly, totally prepared to make fun of himself if it would get a smile from her. "I like your hat."
It worked, Soraka burst out laughing, "Yeah well, you said that last time, so I wore it especially for you. Funny thing though, no one else compliments it."
"I've got eyes like a hawk; I see things most people don't."
Soraka sat down beside him, unable to wipe the grin from her face. He was definitely friendlier this morning. She decided the spotlight thing must have been an accident after all; he didn't seem annoyed with her. Could it be that she'd finally gotten his attention after all? "So," she asked him cautiously, "Why'd you try and blind me last night?"
Keevin winced a bit, "Right, sorry about that. I meant to make yours brighter."
"Well, you did that, but I couldn't see."
"It was an accident. I just slid the slider too far. I only meant to go up a tad bit, just enough that you'd stand out without the increased lighting actually being noticeable."
"Wait, you mean you made mine brighter than the other dancers?"
Keevan shrugged. He was supposed to be making her feel like she had his attention, which probably meant she had to know about it, right? "Yeh," he admitted, "I thought the audience should be watching you."
"Because I thought you'd like the attention. I mean, you're a dancer, you must like to perform right? And what's the use of performing if no one is watching?"
It was a weird theory, she was supposed to be a part of the group, but she was thrilled with the gesture. And he'd been thinking about her then; the kiss must have worked. She grinned and quickly leaned over to kiss it again, wanting to see his reaction this time.
Keevan couldn't help but grin, even though he knew he must look silly. She'd kissed him again, and this time it had had nothing to do with the lights, at least, not really. He wasn't sure what to say though, so he stared at her awkwardly, still grinning, and then changed the subject, "So, uh, you ready to play with the lights?"
Soraka happily turned her attention to the controls in front of her, "Yep!"
"I still have some work to do myself today. I have to make all the green spotlights blue or yellow for tonight's show. I'll show you how and then you can help me if you want."
She nodded and gave him a little salute, "Aye, Aye, Sir."
Keevan laughed then, "You know," he said, "When I was little I used to dream of becoming a sea captain, just so that I could use that phrase and salute people properly and have them salute me back."
"Then perhaps I should have said, "Aye, Aye, Captain!" What happened to that dream?"
Keevan shrugged, "I rode on a ferry with my parents when I was ten and discovered I get sea sick."
Soraka laughed, "Alrighty then, I guess that would do it. Okay, Captain, show me what to do here."
So, she did like nicknames, he grinned, "Alright Little Light Bulb, how much do you know?"
"What'd you call me?"
"If you can call me captain, I can call you Little Light Bulb. I mean, you're tiny and you said your name means light. I think it fits."
Soraka frowned though and Keevan thought she actually looked upset by it. "Whatever, I guess it does. Okay, I know what about half this stuff does. I…" she stopped and stared at the controls and Keevan thought she was about to cry.
He gently put his hand on his arm, "Soraka? What's wrong? I won't call you that then."
Her eyes lit up, "No! It's fine, I like it, sorry. I-I thought you were calling me that because you'd forgotten my name again, but apparently I was wrong, so you can call me any nickname you please."
"Of course I didn't!"
"You did last time."
Keevan laughed, "Yeah, but that was before I knew you were worth remembering."
Soraka blushed and then winced a bit because she knew it was light enough in the room for him to see it this time.
Keevan hesitated, wondering if he should say anything. Oh, what the heck? She'd kissed him twice now; surely he was allowed to have his moment. He leaned close to her ear and whispered, "Little Light Bulb?"
She turned to him in surprise at his nearness. "Yeah?" she whispered back, not sure why their voices were low, but willing to comply.
"You're cute when you blush."
She blushed even further and pushed him away from her, but he could see she was pleased so he winked at her and then turned his attention to the lights.
The lesson lasted three hours before Soraka had to leave for a pre-show practice. She surprised him with how much she already seemed to know about the lights. Apparently, she'd been studying the subject for quite a long time on her own, though she refused to tell him what had interested in lighting in the first place. Together they managed to switch all the green lights over. He showed her how he could choreograph and show and save it, but then still manually control the lights over the file if he needed to.
When she had to go, it was Keevan's turn to kiss her own the cheek as she went to leave. He couldn't resist her and he was becoming quite confident that she liked him too. She rewarded him with a smile.
"Keevan? You'll still teach me more, right? I can come back tomorrow?"
"Of course. You're my new apprentice, you'd better come back. Have a good practice, Little Light Bulb."
"See ya, Captain."
That night, Soraka danced better than she had in ages. She knew for sure that Keevan was watching her now. She couldn't see him up in the booth because of the lighting, but when the show was over, she glanced where she knew he was and gave a little salute so that he knew she was thinking of him still. She hoped it wasn't too forward, but he'd been blatantly flirting with her all morning. For the second night in a row, she wondered if it would be okay to go and see him that night. She wasn't worried about annoying him anymore, but she didn't want to appear too eager either.
She had just finished getting changed when the flower lady appeared at the dressing room. She came every night with the flowers that the fans and family sent the dancers on a cart and read off their names so he dancers could come and pick them up. Usually some rich audience member would by all the female dancers flowers, so she almost always got one, but this time the flower lady handed her a second one too.
Soraka felt her heart leap in hope that it might be from him, though she wasn't sure why. It wasn't that unusual to receive two or even three flowers in a night, really. But the card attached had a little light bulb drawn on it and she knew. She opened it and read, "Little Light Bulb, you lit up the stage like you lit up my morning. Meet me in the booth if you want, and we'll go for a walk beneath the stars tonight. Wear your hat."
Soraka laughed at the last bit and smiled to herself about the rest. As usual, her determination had paid off. Soraka knew right then that this was going to be the start of something amazing. She grabbed her coat and headed for the stairs.