Bending Those Appy Rules

The Vault

Cress sits crosslegged in his favourite chair, oiling his youngest brown.

Linora wanders out of the dorms, looking a bit sleepy since she just woke up, but her eyes light up when she spots Cress. "Hi," she says, careful not to be too loud. She finds a chair closeby and flops.

Determined to no longer be surprised by silent entrances, Cress doesn't jump as he suddenly hears a voice. "Oh, hello there Lin. I was just giving Dixie an oiling." As if that wasn't obvious.

Linora smiles, wondering if it's possible to oil a firelizard /too/ much. "Thanks for helping me with the constellations last night." She pulls up her knees and hugs them, watching Cress's hands as he oils the little brown.

Cress smiles, "no problem," he says. Absolute /no/ problem at all. "Anytime. All you have to do is ask... Anything else you need help with," he says after a pause.

Linora's eyes are shining as she smiles back at Cress. "Thanks," she says softly. She looks like she wants to say more, but she looks down instead, picking at the strap of her sandal.

Cress' hands run over the slight body of Dixie, the little lizard crooning as he does so. Massaging the sweetsmelling oil into the hide, was not something he hated. "Something wrong with your sandal," he says, maybe just to say /something/.

Linora shakes her head, looking back up. "Nah. Just... " She breaks off. "You been really nice to me." Looking at his hands again, not sure what she wants to say.

Cress blushes. Just a little, but enough to put some color into his cheeks. "Well, you're a nice pers.. err, girl. I like you," he says, just loud enough for her to hear. He put the cap back on the oil-bottle and turns Dixie, right-way up, having finished oiling the brown.

Linora smiles and looks up to see his face. "I like you, too," she says softly. But she always did.

Cress bites his lower lip, not sure what to say next. Apprentices weren't supposed to get.. well, close.

Linora watches his face, knowing her friend well enough to be able to read his expression. She knows the rules as well as he does, after all. She hugs her knees with a thoughtful expression.

Cress tears his eyes away from Linora, giving a slight sigh. Looking down at Dixie, he goes over the lizards hide, pretending to check that he hasn't missed any spot.

Linora sighs too, then slips her feet back to the floor. "I think I wanna get some breakfast."

"I'll come with you, Lin," Cress says, a little too enthusiaticly, jumping to his feet, displacing Dixie and Idoru who gives out angry chitters at being disturbed in their slumber.

Linora smiles widely, almost laughing at the poor jostled 'lizards. Figures she doesn't really need to say anything at all.

The Happy Harper

You find yourself in the well-lit Happy Harper. It seems to be perhaps one of the most cared for items of the hold. The walls have deep-red wood panelling, and glow baskets placed at a very regular interval. There are about six tables for eight and four booths in the corners. All the tables and chairs seem to be of a very nice quality and very well taken care of. Serving also as the center of social interaction at Gar hold, it is usually where one looks to find anyone.

Darken glides to the Entry Hall.

Rikaeli looks up from her mug of klah and a piece of parchment she was writing on and says,"Hello."

Linora nods an acknowledgement to the stranger with a small smile and slips into an empty booth.

You see a young woman of about 5' 5'. Her yellowish-blond hair is cut into a short pixie cut. She has a slender yet obviously muscular build. Her cheery dark green eyes are protected by long eyelashes. Light colored freckles spread across her cheeks and her little nose. Small pastel-pink lips form into a bright welcoming smile.
Riki is wearing a blue low necked long-sleeve shirt. An open jacket covers her arms to keep out the bite of coldness. On her legs is a khaki colored ankle length shirt. On her feet she wears warm wher-hide boots. Around her neck she wears a necklace with a single charm on it in the shape of a bubblie pie.
Riki wears a Baker Apprentice knot. You notice two threads of forest green and blue weaved in to indicate her post at Gar Hold.
Rikaeli is 14 Turns, 2 months, and 13 days old.

Cress nods to Rikaeli in passing as he goes to take a seat in a booth with Linora.

Cress crosses his arms and lays them on the table. A green lizard on his shoulder is chittering - loudly - that she wants food. "Allright, Idoru, I'll get you some," he says and gets up to get some meat for her, and her compatriot, the brown lizard on his other shoulder.

For once, Linora's little blue doesn't join in the feeding frenzy, contentedly sprawling on her shoulder and regarding his surroundings with an air of lazy indifference. She sits back a bit, and watches Cress as he walks to the feeding tray.

Rikaeli dots the end of a sentence then puts her pen down and turns around on her bar stool. She crosses her legs and says to the two in the booth,"So how are you two these days?"

Cress picks Idoru off his shoulder as he reaches the feeding tray. "I think you're old enough to start feeding yourself, don't you?" He says as he places the green on the counter-top. Then he grabs a handfull of meat and returns to Linora in the booth to feed Dixie.

Emeril blinks in from ::between::!

Wintermute blinks in from ::between::!

Emeril pops out of the air suddenly. He glides down to land on Riki's shoulder but takes a detour to grab a goodie from the Firelizard Feeding Tray.

Linora swings her head to look at Rikaeli, grinning as her brain puts the face in context. "Great," she says.

Rikaeli laughs suddenly,"What is this? Firelizard central?"

Cress nods in agreement with Linora, "yeah, great," he says as he sees 'Mute blink in from between. "No, 'Mute, go over to Idoru," he says as he notices the brown come toward him.

Linora's grin widens at Rikaeli's comment. "Well ya put that tray out, with alla those good flit treats... where d'ya /think/ they're gonna go?" She shakes her head. Really. What a question. Then she looks back at Rikaeli again. "So what's good for /people/ to eat today? I'm /starving/!"

Wintermute changes course midair to soar to the counter-top to join Idoru at the feeding-tray. Beaming as he makes a perfect landing he quickly grabs a choice piece of meat from the tray.

Rikaeli puts her hand to her chin in thought,"Hm....I'll go check...Want anything specific? Or just whatever we have at the moment?"

Linora bites her lip. "Got anything left from breakfast? I just got up."

Rikaeli rolls up her piece of parchment and sticks it in her pouch. She stands up and heads towards the kitchen,"I'll look. Just a moment.."

Rikaeli walks to the Kitchen.

Rikaeli pokes her head out of the kitchen doors,"We have a few pancakes left and a bit of oatmeal with some bananas on the side...sound appetising?"

Linora nods enthusiastically. "Sounds great."

Rikaeli walks to the Kitchen.

Rikaeli walks back out balancing a plate with a couple small pancakes, in the other hand she holds a bowl of oatmeal dotted with banana slices. She steps over to Linora's booth and sets them down on the table,"Here you go..."

Cress put a piece of meat into the maw of his youngest brown who's now sitting on the table next to him. Looking up as Linora get served her meal, he grins, a look in his eyes saying that he's hungry too.

Linora takes the plate and the bowl and sets both down in front of her. Belatedly she looks at Cress... as usual, too tied up with his flits to think of himself. She smiles and pushes the plate of pancakes in front of him, keeping the oatmeal for herself. "Thanks, Rikaeli," she says. "Um... is there klah? And juice?" Quickly adding, "I can get it, ifya tell me where."

Cress grins a look of gratitude in his eyes as he looks at Linora, "thank, Lin," he says, almost embarrassed.

Rikaeli nods her head towards the end of the bar,"There's always a fresh pot of klah and some mugs over there. If you want some juice or something just ask me and I'll grab a drudge to get it."

Emeril flutters down to his humanpets head and takes up his usual post, messing up her hair in the process. He eyes the other 'lizards covering Cress.

Linora slips out of the booth. "I /would/ like some juice, please," she says. She quickly walks to the end of the bar and pours off a large mug of klah, no sweetener, and returns to the table, sliding the mug over to Cress before picking up her spoon.

Maranie walks in from the Gar Hold Entry Hall.

Jaylyn walks in from the Gar Hold Entry Hall.

Cress smiles broadly as Linora brings him klah. Just the way he likes it. "Thanks, Lin. Again."

Rikaeli walks up to a drudge and tells them a few things to do. While waiting for them to come back she waves to the newcomers,"Hello." She thanks the drudge that delivered her a couple glasses. She walks over to Linoras table and sets the juice down in front of her. She takes a sip of the other and says,"Mmm...I love peach cider."

Linora's eyes widen. "Peach cider?" That's new. She sips experimentally, smiling to find that it's quite tasty.

Jaylyn Takes a seat, waves and smiles at Rikaeli,"Hello again. Where's your adorable firelizard? I have some jerky for him." she laughs.

Rikaeli smiles and nods,"Yes I happen to love peaches,"she remembers her ordeal of helping Rishandra last night,"as long as I'm not slicing and pitting them."

Emeril hops off of Riki's head at the mention of food. He flaps over to Jaylyn and chirrups. Yes I am adorable aren't I...

Jaylyn reaches to a scant three and a half inches over five feet. She is trim, well muscled and of medium build. Twinkling blue eyes smile up at you out of a friendly face. A light spray of freckles adorns her nose and cheeks, while chesnut and honey-colored hair falls to frame her face.
Jaylyn is wearing brown leggings with a long, jauntily colored red tunic draped over the top of them. A many colored sash cinches it at her waist, and on her feet she wears low-cut soft soled leather boots. A small dagger and several pouches hang from the sash at her waist, while she carries a polished driftwood staff in her right hand.
Jaylyn is 18 Turns and 15 days old.

Wintermute snatches one last piece of meat and takes off to fly over to his humanpet, who's eating pancakes. Landing on the table, the brown curls up to get some sleep.

Jaylyn grins and chuckles as she pulls out a piece of jerky and offers it to Emeril

Buster suddenly disappears ::between::!

Rikaeli watches Emeril fly over and show off,"So do /you/ want anything?"

Linora eats hungrily, quickly finishing the oatmeal and fruit, peeking across the table to see how Cress is doing on the pancakes.

Jaylyn smiles,"Not right now thanks. Just enjoying the company."

Emeril gratefully snaps up the piece of jerky then launches off into the air to land on Jaylyn's head. He chirps. Landing on heads is my favorite sign of affection. Not to mention it's fun to mess up hair.

Cress rolls up a pancake and takes a bite of it, looking at Linora while chewing. "These are good," he says with his mouth still half-full. He glances at 'Mute, who has settled down next to Dixie and the two brown lumps are now slumbering.

Jaylyn says, "You little rascal, now my hair is sticking up all over the place!"

Rikaeli giggles at Emeril's antics.

Jaylyn smiles wryly while she pulls the ribbon out of her hair and starts to put it back up in a ponytail again,"Oh well, no harm done."

Maranie walks to the Entry Hall.

Jaylyn says, "Been busy tonight Rikaeli?"

Idoru is still at it, picking out little pieces of meat from the feeding tray. Pieces that she can swallow whole, so she can eat fast. Before other lizards come to steal away the food.

Rikaeli shrugs,"Neh, most people are on Rishandra's cruise."

Cress looks over his shoulder at the green on the counter, stuffing her belly. "You'd think she's had enough already," he says, slightly worried to Linora.

Jaylyn says, "Oh yes, I had forgotten about that. /That's/ why it's so dead tonight."

Rikaeli smiles,"Oh well, a day off has done me some good," she holds up a rolled up piece of parchment,"I've been working on a recipe for a Turnover baking contest."

Linora follows Cress's eyes to look more closely at Idoru. "She's growing?" It's just a guess. That's one hungry flit, all right. She reaches across the table and breaks a tiny bit off one of the pancakes and pops it into her mouth, just to see how good they really are.

Cress gets up to get his green, deciding that the lizard's had enough. Angry chitters from her announce that she's not of the same mind.

Jaylyn licks her lips,"Mmmm, turnovers? Sounds delicious, they're my favorite."

Linora's eyes widen as she watches Cress wrestle Idoru away from the feeding tray.

"Well, just look at her belly," Cress explains to Linora as he sees her wide eyes. Showing her the lizard's taut belly-skin as a further explanation for his reason to stop her from eating anymore-

Jaylyn says, "What's the recipe Rikaeli? Or is it going to be a suprise?"

Linora leans closer to look, careful to avoid the talons... she still looks kinda upset. "She wouldn't eat /too/ much, would she?" Course, she doesn't know all that much about firelizards... but never really heard of one eating itself sick or anything.

Rikaeli sticks her parchment back in her pouch and pats it,"Surprise. I'll tell you the name though... it's called Sizzling-Herb other hints though." She glances back at Cress holding is flit away from the food and smiles.

Jaylyn smiles,"Can't wait, it sounds delicious."

Cress shrugs, "I don't really know... But see," he says pointing to the green belly-skin "you can almost make out the individual pieces. She doesn't chew the meat, you know... Greedy little thing." He grins, as he says the last bit with loving affection in his voice.

Rikaeli grins and shrugs,"As long as it tastes as tasty as it sounds..."

Jaylyn says, "I'm sure it will. Will we see it on the menu here afterwards?"

Jaylyn grins

Rikaeli raises her eyebrows,"Possibly..."

Linora shakes her head, a wondering expression on her face. She's seen Spray nearly that full, but /never/ that angry. She smiles, though, as Cress's tone softens, pushing her empty bowl aside and slumping forward to rest her chin on her folded arms.

Cress strokes the green, while holding her in his lap, trying to calm her down. "There now, 'Doru, it's for your own good. So your belly-skin doesn't break," he says, giving Linora a wink. The lizard slowly calm down, and finally he can put her on the table along with the other two lizards.

Jaylyn grins sheepishly as her stomach gives a startlingly loud grumble,"On second thought, maybe I will get something to eat. What do you have?"

Rikaeli smiles and says,"Whatever you want..." She feels Emeril snuggle into her stomach. She folds her arms so he can sit in them. Emeril sleepily rests his head on her wrist and half closes his eyes.

Linora tips her head to one side to look at the pile o'lizards. "I can't believe Spray just /watched/ all that." As if on cue, the little blue gives a placid chirrup. Linora just giggles.

Rikaeli calls to Emeril, who flies over and lands on her shoulder.

Cress chuckles at Linora's blue. Taking a bite of his pancake, he chew while watching the blue. "Guess he just found out that he's hungry?"

Rikaeli releases Emeril, who launches into the air.

Rikaeli yawns and says to Linora and Cress,"If you want anything just say so and Emeril will come and get me. I'll be in the kitchen."

Rikaeli walks to the Kitchen.

Maranie walks in from the Gar Hold Entry Hall.

Spray hopples down Linora's arm to settle into the flit-heap, with a contented little sigh. Linora blinks. That was unexpected.

Maranie is 5 9' she is thin with long delicate arms and legs. she has golden blond hair witch is pulled back in a long brown peace of leather, soft gentle golden curls roll from the leather wrap to brush the middel of her back and gold heart shaped combs pull back any stray hair, gold ringletsgently brush her eye brows. Big deap blue eyes mimic the sea a calm blue when happy a stormy blue when angry. Her creamy skin is perfectly lightly taned by rukbat's rays.
She is wearing A soft white blouse that has a v-neck with brown stitching and little strings attached to the edges of the v-neck that she ties in a bow, the sleeves of her shirt come to her elbows and are quite snug. She also wears a brown leather skirt that is a little snug on her hips then it flairs out and brushes just above her knees. She also wears sandels that criss cross her feet then wrap around her ankles to be clasped by tiny gold clasps. She wears a golden chain with a tiny fire lizard made of gold (which is attached to the gold chain) who's eyes are emerald gem stones, the fire lizard appears to be in flight.
Maranie is 20 Turns and 27 days old.

Emeril sees all of the other flits piling and glides over to join them.

Maranie smiles as she enters but she hopes she is not intrudeing..........

Cress grins as he looks over the lizard-heap as yet another lizard joins it. "They must like each other," he says, his eyes seeking out Linora's.

Rikaeli walks back out of the kitchen, hearing a new person enter,"Hello."

Maranie smiles and feals a little acceptedshe then weavies and says "Hello".

Linora is watching the firelizards... she glances up as Cress speaks, her eyes caught in his gaze. For a long moment she's lost, then she smiles. "Yeah. I guess they do."

Rikaeli clasps her hands and like the sweet lil' cook she is she asks,"Would you like anything?"

Cress halfsmiles. He loves those eyes of her's. "Well, good thing too," he says looking back at the lizards. "As much time as we spend together it wouldn't be good if they didn't." A statement of facts nothing else. Right?

Linora grins widely, following his eyes to look back at the 'lizards herself. Thinking they sure look content... thinking she feels kinda the same way. Dropping her head back on her arms, she murmurs a vague affirmative.

Rolling up the last of his pancakes, he pops half into his mouth, chewing hard. He's as hungry a freshly hatched lizard, and doesn't seem to have filled that gap in his own stomach.

Rikaeli falls asleep.

Maranie goes home.

Linora tilts her head back to look up at Cress again, her eyes widening as she notices how quickly his food is suddenly disappearing. She grins. "I dunno when I've seen you so hungry," she remarks. A quick glance tells her there won't be any service now. "Want me to check the kitchen for ya?"

"Well," Cress responds, mouth still halffull with pancake, "would you mind terribly? These pancakes are good."

Linora slips out of the booth without a word and disappears into the kitchen. She returns a moment later, carefully balancing a tray that was apparently filled thoughtfully, but extremely quickly, an assortment of sweetbreads, pancakes, and muffins piled haphazardly on it. She slides it onto the table in front of Cress and takes his mug down to the end of the bar for a refill.

Cress gets slightly embarrassed by the way Linora's acting. He doesn't really like having her acting like a drudge, just to get his attention? "You know, you don't have to do all this, Lin..." He attemps, trying to get her to stop such silly things.

Linora looks up from the end of the bar, surprised. "You don't want klah?" She hesitates, a confused expression on her face. Shells, she was only being nice...

Cress nods, "sure, klah is good. But, but... It makes me a little uncomfortable, that you're waiting on me." After all, he's out of a traderfamily, where everyone looked after themselves most times.

Linora comes back with the full mug and sets it on the table. "Like a drudge?" She stops. Was /that/ what she was doing? "I didn't think of it like that," she says quietly. "I didn't mean to... " She sits down and falls silent. Then a thought occurs to her and she perks up. "Well, get me some juice, then, and we'll be even."

Cress chuckles, then get up, and gets halfway to the bar before turning back, "what kind?"

Linora grins widely. "Redfruit, if you please." Doing her best to sound like a Lady Holder and knowing it's ridiculous. She helps herself to a stickybun from the tray and settles back to wait.

Cress grins and get a glass of fresh redfruit juice for his Lady Holder. "My Lady," he says as he serves it for her. "May it please you." Just going along with the game, can't you see?

Jena blinks in from ::between::!

Linora accepts the juice with her best approximation of a regal nod. Yeah, she's graceful. And promptly collapses in a fit of giggles. "Thanks, Cress." Wiping a tear.

Kaltia walks in from the Gar Hold Entry Hall.

Kaltia comes in slowly, only really half aware of her surroundings. Smiling at the others there, she grabs a glass of redfruit juice and slips over to the table to sit down, mumbling a half-audible 'hello'. Hm...totally unlike Kal.

Cress looks up as he someone say 'hello'. A voice he recognizes. He shoots glance across the table at Linora, "err, hi, Kaltia."

Kaltia takes a sip of her juice, blinking a few times at Cress. Least he doesn't seem tired. But that doesn't mean she isn't. Smiling at Linora, she offers another hello, this time a little louder, but not much cheerier. "Er? Er what?"

Linora looks over, too, recognizing the other apprentice from the vault... the day Cress finished his new shirt, yeah. She gives her a little smile. "Hi." And sips her juice.

Cress turns his attention to the well-laden food platter in front of him. He picks out a muffin and part it in half before popping one half in his mouth. There, now he doesn't have to say a word.

Kaltia glances over at Cress, sighing a bit before taking another sip of her juice, setting the glass down to shake her head. Oy. "No, Cress...Er what?" She's not going to let this drop. She may not be very awake, but he is for once.

Linora blinks, taken aback by Kaltia's tone, and largely confused. She looks at Cress herself. What, indeed?

Cress shrugs, pointing at his full mouth, motioning that it would be impolite to speak with food still un-chewed. Glancing at Linora again, he quickly tears his eyes away and looks at the heap of firelizards on the table.

Spray shifts a bit in his slumber, limbs sprawling across Dixie and Idoru, and settles his chin on Wintermute's shoulder, crooning softly. Linora turns to look at the pile with a soft smile.

Kaltia sighs. "Try swallowing, then talking?" Jeesh, use common sense here....but the question Kal has, is do guys even /have/ common sense? No heed is given to his, preoccupation with the flits.

Cress does just that, by way of her commanding tone. Only to get a piece of muffin stuck in the wrong throat. Coughing, he doubles over, trying not to hit his head on the table as he does so. His eyes water as he rakes his throat, attempting to clear it of that dumb muffin, which, incidentally tasted great.

Kaltia meeps, quickly reaching over, trying to whack him on the back and dislodge the muffin. Can't have Cress choking now can we. "You alright?" Her hand pats on the back, trying to help, but not really sure if she actually is.

Cress leans back breathing hard as the coughing-fit ends. Wiping the tears from his eyes, he nods, "I'm okay," his voice coming out as a squeek.

Linora's eyes widen; she's never seen Cress acting like this. She watches as Kaltia goes to pummel him... or is she trying to help? Then back to Cress, to see if he's really okay. Waiting for him to look up, hoping for some clue.

Diena walks delicately in in from the Gar Hold Entry Hall.

Diena sits down at a table and orders a strong mug of klah.

Kaltia leans forward towards the table, hand slowly coming to rest on his shoulder. "Are you sure you're alright?"

Linora sits up a little straighter and puts down her mug. Just watching.

Cress looks up at her, and maybe there's a tinge of fear in his eyes. "Yeah, fine," his voice still squeeking from the coughing fit. "I just need something to drink," he says and reaches for the klah mug. Better than nothing, right?

Kaltia sighs, shaking her head, a soft pat given to his shoulder as she sits back in her seat. "Okay?" No dead Cress....dead Cress bad. Worse even then a sleepy Cress, 'least a sleepy Cress talks.

Diena seems oblivious to the room. She rubs the sleep out of her reddened eyes and puts the klah to her lips. She winces and trembles from the strong taste and sets her head upon her hands, seeminlgly oblivious to the rest of the room.

Cress nods, while drinking his klah. Carefully. Don't want to get more stuff down the wrong throat. "Thanks for asking, Kaltia." His eyes almost seek out Linora, but end up on the lizards instead. Stay calm, and it'll work itself out.

Linora shifts a bit, as if she's not able to get completely comfortable. A light seems to dawn in her eyes, and she looks at Kaltia again. And then at Cress. And finally begins to understand what's making him act so strangely. Or does she? She chews her lip.

Kaltia sighs again, leaning forward to rest her head on the edge of the table. Closing her eyes for a second, she opens them as her green alights lightly on her shoulder with a soft cheep. A hand moves quickly to scritch the small head without a word.

Cress shrugs, having no clue what to say at this point. "Want a muffin." He motions to the plate in the middle of the table. "They're good... That is when they don't go down the wrong throat...."

Kaltia looks over at the muffins, slowly picking one of the plate, offering bits to her green in between popping small pieces into her own mouth. "Cress, is there something wrong?" She doesn't know if she's imagining things or not, but whatever it is, she's confused.

Diena seeming a little more alert, Diena suddenly straightens herself up and looks around the room, wondering if she popped into the harper at the wrong time.

Cress' face turns a bright red as he bites his lower lip, trying to come up with an answer for that one. Eyes darting to Linora again, he shakes his head. Not in denial, but as an attempt to clear his head. "Well, Kal.. Something's sorta happened."

With that, Diena's head pops back down again to stare into her klah. "I'm not listening" she says to herself. Matters such as these are not for her.

Kaltia blinks a few times, nodding her head slowly. "Something? What kind of something?" Trying to seem unconcerned, she takes a sip of her juice, trying to think of something else. Anything else.

Linora chews her lip nervously, not sure where to look.

Cress shrugs, slowly. As if he doesn't want to come out with this. "S-someth-thing that's n-not s'posed t-to happen. I-if you a-ask the j-journeymen...." That's what he manages to stutter as an explaination. Then he looks at Linora, not really sure if she'll help him out.

Kaltia blinks a few times, suddenly realizing what he means, kinda. Even if it takes her a little while. But she's not going to let him know that. Resting her head on the table again she sighs. "What d'you mean, Cress?"

Diena gulps hard to swallow her drink of klah and attempts to make conversation with the firelizards.

Cress looks to Linora for help, but seeing none coming, he looks into the klah-mug in his hands. "Well, sometimes it j-just happens... Even i-if it's not s-s'posed to... Right, Lin?" There. Hopefully that's all that needed to be said.

Kaltia closes her eyes tightly, covering her head up with her hands. That's what she thought. She should have known it. She should have known. Sigh.

Linora smiles at Cress, and reaches over to squeeze his hand, real quick, before drawing her hand back. She gives Kaltia a look, not unkind, but not really apologetic either.

Diena looks back to her klah, pretending not to hear the conversation, but unable to surpress a guilty look. The sides of her mouth hang and her eyes seem to look past the mug, as if remembering something.

Linora finds she doesn't much feel like finishing that juice... and she's not that hungry anymore either. Gently she gathers her sleeping blue firelizard into her arms and slides out of the booth to stand next to the table.

Cress' jaw drops as it looks like Linora's abandoning him. Looking at her with puppy-eyes, that seem to beg her to stay he says, "your're leaving, Lin?"

Kaltia looks up slowly, head liftly from the table to peer up at Lin as she stands. She's leaving? Why is she leaving? But she won't know unless she asks. So she does... "Lin, why are you leaving?" Cress obviously doesn't want her to go, but she guesses she can understand why.

Linora catches Cress's look and stops in her tracks, lost for just a moment, before she looks down at the tabletop. And hears Kaltia. She shrugs. "I just thought someone should get up..." And she'd never tell someone else to do something she wouldn't do herself. "I'm kinda not hungry anymore anyhow."

Diena finishes her klah and whispers something to herself before getting a meat roll.

Kaltia looks up at Lin, practically begging her to stay. Atleast if she's here, Cress might stay too? Just maybe. "Why should someone get up?" Is there something going on here that she is totally missing?

That was Cress' thought exactly. Why should she leave. He might be somewhat older than Linora, but when it came to girls he was a blubbering fool.

Diena looks up from her food, thoughtfully, and timidly clears her throat.

Linora is really confused now, but she sits down. /Kaltia/ wants her to stay? She gently sets Spray on her lap, idly scritching him, just for something to do.

Kaltia leans her head back on the table, stealing sideways glances at Cress, not really wanting to say anything, one hand idly patting her green's head as she sits her her lap. Smiling a bit as Lin sits down, she sighs though. Why don't things go right?

Cress sighs audibly as Linora sits down again. He couldn't quite understand Kaltia's reaction, since nothing'd ever really happened. Or had it?

Diena clears her throat once more and opens her mouth to speak.. then, thinking better of it, she shoves the meat roll between her teeth and stares back at the firelizards.

Linora chews her lip, shifting uncomfortably under the weight of all this silence. So when she hears the faint sound of a throat clearing, she latches onto it, whirling her head to face... "Diena!" She smiles. "Come and join us." Her eyes looking almost desperate.

Kaltia blinks at the other apprentice, head falling quickly to the table once again, hitting with a thunk as she stops herself from automatically leaning on Cress's shoulder. Humph. Sitting up a bit, she rubs her forehead gently. "Ouch...."

Tierza walks in from the Gar Hold Entry Hall.

Diena stands up and walks to the table, sitting down quietly. Very timidly she adds "Thank you Linora. It is nice to have company. After all.. " she looks into her mug "We are, after all, human, right? Even though we're apprentices, life just cant be all study and stars..." Her voice trails off.

Tierza says, "Oh, starries are invading.. hide the cider! Hey everyone? No studies?" smiles as she enters, oblivious to her smudge on her nose. Guess where she has been.. "Is everyone all set? I am getting some klah.."

Cress squirms as yet another girl comes into the Harper. He's starting to feel like a minority now. Reaching out, he can just touch 'Mute's headknob, and he absentmindedly scratches the brown. Good little diversion, isn't it?

Linora elbows Diena, then grins. "You need to lighten up." To Tierza she gives a little wave.

Kaltia smiles a bit, obviously trying hard just to manage that one. Head collapses back on the table, no ouch following the thud this time.

Diena smiles at Linoras ribbing and grabs another meat roll, offering some to Dart.

Cress glances at Kaltia, wondering what she's doing. He's starting to feel more than uncomfortable now that he's surrounded by girls. He ponders excusing himself, and go back to the sleeping quarters.

Linora happens to glance back at Cress and catch his expression. Shells, what did he expect? She sighs and drops her chin on her hands, looking at the tabletop again.

Tierza walks over to the apprentices, klah pot in hand. "Any one here need more? It's pretty hot and fresh." eyes them all and tries to figure out what story is being played out here. with the starcrafters, there is always a story.

Diena smiles up at Tierza "Thank you. You are a lifesaver" she announces.

Cress only has eyes for 'Mute and his other two lizards now. He's desperately trying to think of something to say to make peace with Linora and Kaltia. What did he do anyway? He might have a slight notion, but he didn't think there'd been anything with him and Kaltia.

Tierza pours and smiles, "No problem.. I live by my klah as well. I save the cider and wine for celebrations and Gathers. Anyone else before I put it away?"

Kaltia looks up curiously at the gardener, innocent look in her eyes. She hasn't done anything. She's being picked on, really she is. Sighing, she sits up, carefully picking up her green before sliding out of the seat to stand behind it. "I think I should get going...things to do..."

Things to do, yeah.. Like sleep, and a chance to think things over. Scooping up three lizards from the tabletop, Cress stands nodding to the girls and heads for the door, head hanging.

Kaltia slips out of the room, not really noticing anyone else, head hanging.

Linora looks up at Kaltia as she stands, not knowing what to say. What does a person say? She hardly even knows the girl. Then she sees Cress leaving and her mouth drops open. She stares after him with a bewildered expression, too stunned to move.

Cress moves slowly to the Entry Hall.

Diena looks to Linora. "Is everything OK? You look as if you've seen a ghost?"

Tierza says, "Nora, you okay?" The klah pot is left on the table, forgotten. "what's wrong?"

Linora drops her chin in her hands. "I'm fine. I guess."

Diena touches her delicate fingers to Linora's shoulder and looks into her eyes "Are you sure?" she blushes a little, trying to pretend she hadn't heared any of the conversation.

Tierza says, "I don't believe that for a second, 'Nora. What's wrong really? You look miserable."

Linora scowls a bit. "I dunno /what/ that was all about." She shakes her head.

Diena pours Linora a mug of klah. "As I was saying, we are all human here.. though we try to be otherwise" she smiles as she pushes the drink in front of Linora.

Tierza says, "I think it was about human nature, Nora. Kaltia seems to have misunderstood her relationship with Cress, maybe?"

Linora looks at the klah Diena poured, trying to look more grateful than disgusted. She looks up at Tierza, surprised that the older girl knows so much... and then not surprised. Tie's pretty perceptive. She stares at the tabletop again. "Yeah, but /he/ left, too." After he more or less begged Nora to stay!

Diena sips her klah and asks timidly "I mean, I know what Derit told me when he interviewed me but.. can we have relationships here? Does anyone /realy/ mind? She looks from Linora to Tierza and stops herself for a moment "I mean, I realize of course that this is out of the blue."

Tierza sits downa nd takes one of Nora's hands. "Linora, he was probably pretty upset at how Kal was behaving. I can promise you he never intended anyone to get hurt. And sometimes, the sting of what innocent behaviour has brought about can make any of us sad. Maybe he just needs to be alone. I /know/ her reaction won't change how he obviously feels about you." She has been watching these two be together constantly for as long as Linora has been here. She can tell. "Give him time. He's pretty sensative, as you well know.

Tierza says, "Officially? No.. so, just don't get caught big time and don't let it affect your work and classes."

Linora nods slowly, chewing her lip, as she listens to Tierza, looking up at the older girl as she finishes speaking. "Thanks, Tie."

Diena flushes and returns to her klah, as if having never asked the question. She takes a bit off the meatroll and feeds it to Dart.

Tierza says, "Oh Diena, don't be worried. some Crafts or Halls are much stricter. At Healers, it is reason to be removed. But I know around here, they are a bit more relaxed. It's a good question and one reason I /didn't/ pick a craft."

Diena smiles and looks at both Tierza "Well, I don't think its anything /I/ have to think about. I tought I did for awhile but I guess.. well, nevermind.." she looks to Linora "I think Cress just had to be away from all the ladies, my dear.. I don't think he actually went /with/ anyone" she smiles, feeling better about herself as she takes another swig of her drink.

Tierza says, "oh Nora, I am /sure/ he didn't! He can't see anyone else for the 'stars' in his eyes, if you will excuse the bad joke. It's obvious he cares for you." Nods to Diena, remembering when she too thought thre was someoen in her life... seeems like so long ago now. "Relax about that possibility, at least."

Linora takes a deep breath, and lets it out slowly. "Thanks Diena. And Tie." She slips out of the booth. "I really think I should go now. Study or something." Or something.

Diena goes home.

Hukian walks in a steady and fast pace in from the Gar Hold Entry Hall.

Cradling a dozing blue firelizard in the crook of her arm, Linora heads for the door with a wave to Tie, barely noticing the stranger she passes on his way in.