Another Morning After...

Cress moves slowly in from the StarCraft Main Hall.

Linora is camped out on the flagstones on a worn blanket, leaning back on her hands and watching the last stars fade.

Cress comes out slowly, yawning and streching, as he moves toward the hold. His purposeful trek is interrupted, however, by seeing Linora on the ground. Smiling, he kneels down in front of her, "morning, Lin," he says, trying to catch her eyes.

Linora blinks and refocuses her eyes to fix on his, a smile lighting her face. "Hey, Cress." Seeing him brings back a flood of remembered emotions from the last time she saw him, and she bites her lip uncertainly. Is this what it's going to be like every time she sees him? Wow. She swallows hard, then the smile returns. "How're you?"

Cress would've said 'tired', but seeing Linora had made him forget that. "I'm great," he says, his smile reaching his eyes as her's find his. "What're you doing out here?" As if that wasn't obvious.

"Looking at the stars and stuff." Linora never thinks anything of answering an obvious question, even if the answer is equally obvious. She glances back up at the sky... not many left, are there?... but her eyes quickly return to Cress. "I only been up a couple hours, though." Instead of all night, like usual. She draws her knees up to her chest and hugs them, still looking in his eyes. "How 'bout you?" Yeah, small talk. Safe talk.

"Just got up," Cress says, nodding to the lizards, he's carrying. "They're hungry..." You'd think they'd learned to feed themselves by now, though. But then it does give him an excuse to go get something to eat himself, didn't it?

Linora giggles. "Awake, hungry... same thing." She gets to her feet and shakes out her blanket, folding it over her arm. "Breakfast? There's no more stars t'look at anyhow." She glances up at the sky again... looks like it'll be a nice day, though... then back into his eyes, unable to stop smiling.

Cress nods slowly and gets up too, "sounds like a good idea," he says, as Dixie pokes his muzzle against his cheek. "I think Dix thinks so too."

"'Mute hasn't taught him t'fish yet?" Linora's eyes are sparkling with mirth, remembering the first time she'd seen the brown fishing. "He still owes Spray a lesson, y'know." If the little blue ever wakes up, that is.

Cress grins, glancing at 'Mute, wondering why the lizard had been absent so much lately. And where he'd been. "S'pose his been busy," he says, looking back at Linora. "Sometimes I don't even see him for days."

Linora gives him a smile, her eyes teasing. "Like his 'pet, no doubt." Cress never /did/ say what he'd been so busy with... but maybe it doesn't matter. She reaches for his hand, almost shyly, her eyes on his.

Cress feels almost electric as he feels her hand in his. He tilts his head, just taking in the sight of her in the light of the sunrise. "You look beautiful," he whispers.

Linora's breath catches in her throat at the unexpected compliment, and the equally unexpected flood of emotions that washes over her as she's caught in his gaze. A slow smile lights her eyes, but words seem to have left her.

Cress can't seem to talk either, but stands back a little, looking at her. How the light from the sun, catches her hair and her eyes. He wouldn't know /what/ to say right now.

Rousing himself from his perch on Linora's shoulder and unlidding sleepy eyes, Spray lets out a pitiful creel. Linora blinks, suddenly aware of her surroundings, and swallows hard.

Hearing the blue lizard's creel, Dixie joins in and starts screeching, making Cress blink too. "Guess we better get going," he says grinning.

Dining Hall
Coming from the other rooms, the Dining Hall seems a little dimmer, Which it is. Positioned throughout the room are about a dozen tables suited for up to eight people each. It is far more than the Hall needs, but it is always nice to be safe than sorry. A table is set up off to the side. On it is a collection of cooled juices and fruits which are kept fresh from the nearby Orchards. With the constant state of furor created by recent events there few drudges not busy elsewhere, So please serve and clean up after yourself. A fire burns merrily along the west wall, and overstuffed, cushioned couches and chairs have been placed in front of it.
Cress is here.

Cress is led in by Linora.

Cress glances at the chalkboard to see what the menu is for today.
It's late for breakfast, but there's still a bit left. It is: Potato Pancakes with a choice or Pear or Apple salsa.

Linora tosses her blanket on a chair and goes to fill a plate, tossing a few meatrolls on for good measure, since Spray's awake. Carefully balancing plate, mug, and creeling flit, she goes to sit down.

Cress grins as he's apparently not the only one having to deal with hungry lizards for once. Filling a plate with pancakes and meatroll, he then fills a mug with klah, then joins Lin at the table, tossing the meatrolls on the tabletop for the lizards, who've already made their way there.

Linora gently sets Spray on the tabletop, making the grand concession of tearing a meatroll in half before depositing it in front of him. That's what talons are for, and she's hungry, too, after all. But after only a few bites she stops, and just looks across the table at Cress, paying no attention at all to the flurry of wings and talons on the tabletop next to them. The flits are fine...

Cress rolls up a pancake and stuff it in his mouth. Nobody ever said he was a neat eater did they? Smiling with his mouth still half full, he looks up at Lin, having forgotten all about the lizards.

Linora can't help smiling back, but her eyes look a little worried. "I saw Alex again yesterday afternoon... " Her tone is casual... not wanting to say how nervous she was that he'd seen more than he should've... and might not keep his stupid mouth shut. Who /knew/ what kind of trouble it might cause?

Cress swallows hard and almost gets a piece of pancake stuck in the wrong throat. "What'd he say?" he manages to croak, taking a sip of klah to wash the pancake down, then looks back up at Lin, worry showing in his eyes.

Linora shrugs. Maybe she'd read too much into it. But her eyes are fixed on a nick in the tabletop now. "Nothin' really... specific... just some comment about appy rules." How's he know, anyhow? She looks back up into his eyes. "I'm not sorry," she whispers. Maybe that scares her more than anything else?

Cress' smile has vanished from his lips, but can still be detected in his eyes. "What would he know anyways? He'd just a kid..." Who could still squeel, of course.

Linora nods, taking Cress's words at face value and trusting him. "Yeah," she whispers. "You're prolly right." But she can't help wondering, now that she's not in the middle of things... just how far she would have been willing to go? If Alex /hadn't/ interrupted?

Cress gulps, trying to find a way out of the conversation, seeing the unspoken words in Lin's eyes. Taking a last bite of the pancake, he chews fusiously, then swallows. "I should prolly go study," he says quietly, hoping she won't overreact, and think he's abandoning her.

Zenethen strides in from the Gar Hold Entry Hall.
Zenethen glances up as Nathen launches to the air.

Linora blinks. Was it something she said? Then swallows hard. It's prolly a good idea. She should be doing that too. Especially after skipping a whole day like that. "Okay." Her voice is quiet... her plate's not empty yet, but she's not really feeling hungry anyhow. "See ya."

Cress reaches across the table to give Lin's hand a squeeze, then gets up from the table, picking up his lizard, then turns to leave. Zenethen is given a slight nod as he passes the man, then glance back to Linora, giving her a wave. "See ya..."

Zenethen wanders into the dinging hall with firelizard in persuit. After pouring himself a glass of juice he sits down at a vacent table and drinks it quietly.

Cress moves slowly to the Entry Hall.

Linora pushes her food around on her plate some more before giving up completely, turning instead to offer some more meat to her firelizard. At least she knows what to expect from him.

Nathen cheeps in dismay at his human pet. "Huh? oh... food? i guess i am hungry.. just a minute." he mumbles and walks over to the serving bar to fill his plate for the little flit.

Spray politely takes a bite or two, but he more or less filled up on his own while Linora had been talking, and soon she's left holding a piece of meat. The little blue hopples up to his usual perch on her shoulder, tail wrapped around her neck, and lids his eyes with the firelizard equivalent of a sigh. She shrugs and drops the meat onto her plate, leaning back in her chair with a very human sigh.

Zenethen sits down and places the plate infront of Nathen, only picking a fishroll up for himself. The little brown jumps at the plate and begins chewing eagerly at the grissly wherrie. Zenethen sits back and watches him, then turns away in disgust from the flit eating too much for the eyes of Zen.

Staring off absently into space, Linora seems unaware that she isn't alone in the dining hall. She sits very still for a long moment - an eternity for someone as restless as she - then gets to her feet to take her plate to the kitchen, careful not to rouse the sleeping firelizard on her shoulder.

Zen tries watching the flit eat again, but the sight of him enjoying so much food starts to churn his stomach again. With a sad sigh he looks across the room, staring to nowhere. An abrupt intrusion in his vision cuts into his solitary as a girl stands up and walks her plates to the washing basin. Leaning back against the wall of which the bench is butted against, Zen sighs and rubs his face tiredly.

Zenethen is tall, around six feet. He has large bones and has a massive presence. His hair is dark brown, almost black, a little long and almost like a mane. He tans easly, his skin is a light gold, but finds it hard to get burned. He has eyes the color of clear green emeralds, veary watchfull and analytic. His body is not lean, but by no means fat. His face has strong features: dark eyebrows, full lips, and a large, but not huge or long, nose. On his right forehead is a scar from a burn many turns earlier.
This young adult looking man is dressed in all black attire, save for the royal blue cloak of which raised hood hides his face in a dark shadow. The cape body is drawn together in front, hiding his arms and legs down to the ankle of his werehide boots. Every once in a while you are able to glimps aglint of sparkeling green eyes peering from under the hood.
Zen wears the dark, yet brilliantly collored knot of the Gar hold. The cords are plain and simple, lacking any decoration that would hint of dragonrider or authoritive position.
Zenethen is 22 Turns, 9 months, and 21 days old.

Linora drops her plate and utensils off with a clattering bang and turns to go. From the corner of her eye she catches sight of the man in the hood. The part of her brain that's still registering what's going on around her wonders if he's warm, dressed like that...

Zenethen runs his hand through his hair, effectivly pushing the hood off his head and to his shulders. With a cringe he hears plates banging in the kitchen, then someone comes back out... with a half hearted nod he acnologes the woman.

Linora catches the nod and smiles a little. "Hey." Her usual greeting, rarely varies. She does take another look. "Oh, you're the guy from the lake. Hi." Now she doesn't know what to say, so she just kinda stands there.

Zenethen smiles weakly despite his sick feeling. "Yea... ive been there before.. were you the one that was washing the dragon?" he asks, slightly feeling better to accually talk to someone.

Linora nods. "Yeah. That was Imbriath. I'm Linora." He doesn't look so good. "You sick or something?" She likes to get right to the point.

Zenethen shakes his head slowly. "I don't think so.. im just not feeling veary good lately. It seems all the friends i have are only 'people i know'... not real friends." he sighs and places a hand on the eagerly eating flitter, noting his already bulgeing belly.

Linora ohs. Well, she knows what it feels like to lose your best friend... or to think you had. "Sorry," she offers. Tired of shifting from foot to foot, she flops into a nearby chair. "So you're depressed and stuff? Maybe you oughtta talk to a mindhealer or something." She's heard that's what folks do. Not that she had, but she's only confused now, not really depressed.

Zenethen frowns incredulously. "Mind healer? heh! the last thing I need is someone that thinks they've impressed me." he sighs and looks at Nathan. "I just want a close friend to talk to, you know , the kind that have to be forged out like a dagger, not just cut and dried like meat."

Linora's eyes get really big. Daggers? Cut meat? She didn't think of her friends like that. "I dunno," she says, with a shrug. Maybe he doesn't have any friends because he's scary. "You don't talk t'anyone?" Why's he talking to /her/?

Zenethen looks up kinda anoyed. "I talk to a lot of people... but... they only talk back. They rarely care.. they arn't always there for me when I need someone to... to.. care about me, and they never stand up for me, they just leave. " Zen wipes the wetnes from one eyes, trying to mask it as an itch.

Aaron walks in from the Gar Hold Entry Hall.

Linora ohs again, not sure what to say now. "Can't you stand up for yourself?" He's a big guy, after all. She gets up, pretty sure if he can't take care of himself, that a little thing like her won't be much help. "Anyhow, good luck and stuff." At least she's kind of forgotten what was bothering /her/. She walks over to the side table for a mug of juice.

Aaron walks in, a hungery look on his face and two equally hungery lizzens on his shoulders. "Okay, okay, shaddup and I'll get you some food." A nod goes to the two people already in the caveronus room.

An extremely tall young man, Aaron stands at almost seven feet tall. His hair, straight and thick, falls just past his shoulders, where it's been pulled into a que with the help of a silver ring that can be latched to keep it tight. His eyes, probably his most outstanding feature after his height, are a deep sea green with flecks of gold around the iris. He goes clean-shaven, except for a small goatee, which is the same color as his hair. His arms and legs are well muscled, and sport a thick covering of dark hair.
He is wearing clothing well suited to the year-round cold of high reaches: long, somewhat baggy pants, colored a red to match the badge of his craft, a thick, white, long-sleeved shirt with a Starcraft badge sewn on the right chest, soft black wher-hide boots, and a woven cap stuck into the waistline of his pants. On his belt there is strapped a small knife, a case holding a distance-viewer, and a red leather pouch for odds and ends.
Aaron wears the knot of a StarCraft Apprentice.
He is awake and looks alert.
Aaron is 19 Turns, 4 months, and 15 days old.

Zenethen I can stand up for my self just fine... : he trails off as she stands up and leaves... " oh well, alone again.. just going to have to get used to this. come on Nate." He stands and silently walks out the door, leaving the half untouched plate on the table and curling the little flit around his hand.

Linora shrugs as the man disappears, then looks up as she hears another voice, and one that sounds distinctly annoyed. Oh, it's the tall appy from the waterfall. And he's dressed now. A little smile lights her face, even as she tries to remember if she knows his name. "Hey," she greets him cheerfully. Everyone's got a hungry flit, huh? Or two...

Aaron looks up from where he's helping his flizzen devour some meatrolls, and smiles. "Linora, wasn't it? How're ya?" He waves to the other man on his way out.

Zenethen whistles a short note and Nathen glides to Zenethen, clinging to the back of his hand.

Linora drinks about half the juice in her mug in one sip, then tops it off and walks over to sit at a neaby table. "Yeah, that's right," she says, searching her brain... but she'd kinda had other things on her mind that day. "Sorry... I kinda don't remember your name." Never one to beat around a subject. She gives him an apologetic halfsmile. "But I'm pretty good." Mostly, yeah. "How 'bout you?"

Zenethen goes home.

Aaron smiles, his teeth covered in the remains of said meatrolls. "Aaron. And I'm pretty good myself. Sorry I had to leave in such a rush the other day, I left something burning back here... If you don't mind me asking, what was going on out there?" he asks, jerking his head in the general direction of the falls.

Linora giggles. "What, d'you cook, too?" And she'd thought he was an appy. She thinks back to the waterfall and shrugs. "Kal and Beyla were tryin' ta cheer me up and stuff, on accounta I was sad." A wide grin emphasizes the past tense of that particular emotion. "I'm okay now, though."

Aaron laughs, and nods. "Yeah, I cook a bit, though not much." He is an appy. See? Knot. "Well, they apperently did a good job. Kal's quite a lady when it comes to that sort of stuff, though I don't know Belya much at all."

Linora grins. "Just wondered what ya left burning." She doesn't cook at all. "Beyla's nice." Prolly one of her best friends in the hall. "An'... yeah, I guess they kinda did." Although things had more worked themselves out, from her perspective. Nice to feel like people cared, though. "You been at the hall long?" Wondering, since that was the only other time she'd really seen him.

Aaron stuffs another meatroll into his face, not having eaten in what, 3 hours? "Not since you've been here, but about two Turns that I've been a crafter. I took a little vacation back down to Southern to see my good old Ma. Well, six month vacation, actually. 'Bout your self?"

Linora grins. "Nice vacation. You're from Southern? I was there once." An odd expression flickers across her face as she remembers that trip and its aftermath. But he asked her something. "Oh... um... almost a Turn, now, I think." She brightens again. "I like it here."

Aaron nods. " 'Twas nice. I wanted to stay, but studies called." His eyebrows arch as he notices the look that she seems to give him. "Now, what'd I say? What was the look all about?"

Linora blinks at his expression, but actually isn't surprised that her face gave her thoughts away. It always does. "Nothin'... I just ended up really sick after that trip." She really hasn't felt like the same person since then. "I'm mostly all better now, though." She seems to remember she's holding a mug of juice, and she goes about drinking it.

Aaron chuckles, and leaves his flizzen to polish off the plate, having been sated himself. For now. "You keep on saying mostly, and almost, and all that. Lesson of life: you're never less of a person then you ever were, you're just different after some experiances."

Linora just looks at him, forgetting all about her juice. She hadn't been expecting a lesson of life, and her mind turns the words over and over, considering them. Finally she finds her voice. "I guess I wasn't ready t'be different," she says quietly. Maybe nobody ever is. "Howcome you know so much about it?"

Aaron chuckles. "Look at me. You think I stayed the same for this long, being this tall and this young? I used to get teased all of the time, and after I left home, I moved around a lot, re-inventing myself at every hold and hall. No one stays the same, I just changed myself faster then others."

Linora does look. She hadn't thought it would be hard to be tall, or that anybody might get teased for it. "It's kinda different, isn't it, t'change yourself? Insteada having changes just kinda /happen/ to ya?" She'd really thought she was happy the way she was. And she surely hadn't liked spending practically the whole spring in the infirmary and half the summer recovering.

Aaron shakes his head, going over to get some klah. "No, it's not different if you don't wanna change. I just had to get out of the Hold, find someplace that people wouldn't stare, ya know? And I was willing to say anything, do anything, or act like anyone to have it. My own personal hell(*or whatever goes for that word on Pern*)." People change, places change.

Fade To Black...