Cress is having his usual klah, he hasn't taken to the juice yet, even if it was hot to drink klah. A redfruit is on the table next to him, half-eaten and he's just sitting there staring into space, sipping at his klah every now and then.
Linora stops cold inside the door to the dining hall, seeming to decide whether to stay or go. After a long moment of indecision, she steps quietly over to the sideboard. Might as well get some juice, after all.
Cress moves a little in his chair. Leaning back an stretching his legs out in front of him. He still hasn't noticed that someone else is here, and probably won't till she says something.
Linora hasn't decided yet whether she'll say anything or not, standing silently by the side table and drinking her juice. But she can't stop looking. Cress didn't even notice her coming in. He used to notice.
Cress is thinking. Yup, pondering the things that have happened over the past sevenday or so. Pondering whether they sould /wait/ till they were jmen, or just leave the Hall and go somewhere they can be together. A decision not easily made.
Linora chews her lip, watching Cress staring off into space, wondering what he's thinking about. Prolly not her, he seems to have forgotten all about her. She looks down into her mug. He hardly even talked to her last time she saw him. Maybe she oughtta just go. She sets the mug down on the table with a soft thud; so it's not really empty... she's not feeling really thirsty anyhow. And turns to leave.
Cress hears the thud of the mug on the table and turns around to see who's here. "Lin?" He's eyes are pleased to see her, but his smile quickly fades as he sees the look on her face.
Linora nearly jumps to hear Cress call her name, turning quickly to face him, but not in time to see his smile. "Hi." Her voice is uncertain, her eyes hopeful.
If he looks tired it's because Cress has spent most of the night thinking about this - situation - they had gotten into. Although he's not sure if he should present her with the solution. If it /was/ a solution. After all, it would mean leaving the craft and he doubts either of them wanted to do that. Even if he /did/ want to spend all his time with Lin. Another solution, of course, would be to wait for both of them becoming jpeople. "I think we need to talk...."
Linora swallows hard and nods, coming over and slipping into a chair across the table from him. Talking would be good. She misses talking to Cress, yes she does. A lot.
Cress sighs, not really wanting to say the words that needs to be said, so he hesitates. "You know we only have two possibilities, right?" he finally says after a long pause, hoping that she knows what possibilities he's referring to.
Linora nods again. Wait. Or leave. She doesn't know which is worse. She focuses on a little nick halfway across the tabletop, her hands tightly clasped together on her lap.
Cress hates this, and doesn't really know how to deal with it either. Except maybe tell the thruth. Picking at a chip in the mug, he looks up at her, "We could stay here... And wait to graduate to jpeople," he says, and then takes a deep breath before continuing. "Or we could leave." There, it's said. Now he just has to wait for Lin's reaction.
Linora swallows hard. He's not really considering that, is he? She peeks up, looking for his eyes, but can't find the answer there. But he said it, so he must have considered it. Hope soars inside her, but she fiercely suppresses it, hoping he hasn't noticed. She looks back at the tabletop. "I know... I been talking ta some smiths, about optics and stuff... " Maybe if she went away, it would be easier to wait.
Tegwin meanders in from the Kitchen.
Smiths? She'd go all the way to the Smith Hall. Cress would've said something, if Tegwin hadn't come in, so he just looks her in her eyes, trying to read her.
Why didn't Cress say anything? Linora blinks, confused until she notices that someone else has come into the dining hall. Oh. She chews her lip, trying to guess what he might have said and coming up empty. So she goes on. "I met a real nice appy there, she was showing me how they make the lenses and stuff." Her voice is a little raspy, but maybe that's just the last of the illness hanging on. "It's real... interesting." And stuff.
Tegwin pokes her head in through the kitchen door and continues her way in, redfruit in hand, munching it casually. She slows as she gets weird looks coming her way. "Oooh...I just walked in on something that's none of my business again, right?" She puts one hand over her left ear and a fist over her right, dripping juice on her neck. Cold, sticky, ewwwwww... "lalalalala. I can't hear anything lalalalala-La!" She squeezes her eyes shut and walks through the tables, oblivious to several chair legs jutting out.
Cress nods slowly, trying to come up with interesting stuff about lenses. "Yeah, maybe," he says, not really happy about the notion of having her that far away. His eyes follow Tegwin, weaving her way through the table and chairs, then his eyes return to Lin. "You think you'd like it there?" he says hesitantly, really wanting her to say no, but he couldn't stop her if she wanted to go, now could he?
No. No. NO. Slumping forward a bit, Linora nods, her eyes on the tabletop. "It's closer to my family and stuff, too." That'd be a good thing, right? Or so she tries to convince herself.
Cress blinks. And then blinks again before he composes himself, "so, you'd really go?" he almost whispers, hardly getting the words out, the thought of being seperated from her, showing as a pain in his eyes.
Tegwin goes home.
Linora looks up, startled by both the question and the tone, and sees the look in his eyes, sure that it's mirrored in hers. "I dunno /what/ to do," she whispers. "I only thought... it'd be... " Not better. Not better at all. She breaks off, confused, trying to keep back the tears that she knows are just below the surface.
Cress doesn't know what to say anymore. He'd presented the possibilities to her, and it seems she's found her own solution. Not one he was happy about though, and by /her/ tone and the look on her face, not one she was happy about either. "There is that other possibity, you know," comes out at a whisper, as he searches her eyes, seeing if that would be something she could accept.
"Which?" Lin's so turned around she doesn't know which end is up anymore. She can't tell what he wants her to say, and she doesn't dare ask him to choose between her and the craft. That wouldn't be fair, would it?
Cress picks at the mug's chipped edge again, and sets his shoulders in a questioning position. "You know, we could... Leave." Go somewhere else, anywhere, somewhere where they could be together, where they'd be /allowed/ to be together.
Leave. Linora doesn't know how to respond. Part of her is rejoicing that he wants to be with her enough to actually consider leaving... and part is terrified. Where would they go? And what would they do? She reaches across the table for his hand, gently distracting it from the chipped mug with a squeeze, soft eyes seeking his.
Cress sends her a smile, and squeezes her hand back, appreciating her gesture. Not knowing what else to suggest he just looks her in the eye, hoping they might come to some sort of 'agreement'? Is that a good word for it? He looks down at the table again, and sighs. "Seems we'd be waiting forever, if we stay..."
Linora sighs too, and nods agreement until she sees he's not looking at her anymore. "Yeah," she whispers. "But maybe if we study hard and stuff," instead of spending all their time wishing they didn't have to... but she leaves that part out, "... it'll go quicker?" Now, she's none too sure of that herself, but it sounds good. "I can still... go to the smith hall," she swallows hard, "if it'd be any easier." 'Course, then they wouldn't see each other at /all/... but it'd be less distracting, wouldn't it? She chews her lip, almost afraid to hear his answer.
Cress shakes his head vigorously, he didn't want that at all. And 'sides he'd think it would be even more distracting to have her away from the Hall. He'd be thinking of her all the time. Although didn't he do that already? "I'd rather have you here," he mumbles, still not looking her in the eye.
Linora would rather /be/ here... or anywhere that Cress was. She releases his hand, but only to get to her feet, and edges around the table to sit in the chair beside him. A gentle hand reaches out to caress his cheek, turning his face towards hers, and she leans in to kiss him one last time... stopping just before she loses herself completely. "I'll wait," she whispers, gazing softly at him. "An' I'll try ta be good."
Cress blinks as he's being kissed, but enjoys the touch of her lips. "/We'll/ be good," he says, and looks her in the eye. How long could it be till they were jpeople anyway? "I should go find Riina," he says. A meeting with her would bring him one step closer to a position as journeyman.
Linora nods. "Go on, then," she whispers. "I'll see ya around and stuff." Yeah, she's feeling a lot better.
"See ya," Cress says and brushes his hand across her cheek as he gets up. "Be good now." Time for a joke? He's not sure and he moves to the exit before hearing a response.
Cress moves slowly to the Entry Hall.