Linora's Sick

StarCraft Library
Bookshelves line opposite walls, reaching from ceiling to floor. A thick stripe of red runs around the room on the walls where they meet the ceiling, silver eight-pointed stars showing the StarCraft's symbol. A few tables are centered in the room for studying and soft chairs are scattered around for those who aren't at the tables. In one corner, a large chair stands with more chairs in a semi-circle around it, a setup suggesting that classes might be taught there. Another corner boasts a potted plant, bright and green due to the careful work of an apprentice or two.
On the perch are Gai, Scorpy, Daiton, and Daydreamer.
You see A Bookshelf, Hikari, Constellation Globe, and Model of the Rukbat System here.

Cress moves slowly in from the StarCraft Main Hall.

Linora is sitting at a table staring intently at the pages of a large book, a worn blanket wrapped tightly around her shoulders.

"Hi, Lin," Cress says, seeing his 'friend', bundled up like that. "Still cold?" He finds a chair and sits next to her, trying to figure out what she's reading by peering at the pages.

Linora looks up with a smile, but her eyes are glassy. "Hi... yeah, I dunno why. I wanted ta see if I could get some ideas for /my/ project." Sounding a little hoarse... she tries to clear her throat but a fit of coughing hits her, and she pulls the blanket more tightly around herself.

Cress blinks as she starts coughing and can't help putting his arms around her, rubbing her back with one. "Are you okay, Lin?" Just checking, right. He knows couging when he hears it. "Maybe we shouldn't have gone to 'Reaches yesterday, huh?"

Linora is trembling slightly and her skin is burning to the touch. "I'm freezing," she whispers.

"Maybe we should get you to a healer?" Cress says, and keeps rubbing her back. "You don't look to good..." He's getting worried that she's got more than a common cold. One hand goes to her forhead. "You're burning up!" he exclaims at the sensation of her hot skin.

Still huddled inside the blanket, Linora looks up at him with big eyes. "No, I'm cold." Actually shivering. "I prolly shouldn'ta gone swimming at Southern.. I didn't know we'd hafta go between so soon." Another coughing fit leaves tears in her eyes.

Cress doesn't know what else to do, so he just moves his chair closer to hers and holds her tight, hoping maybe body-heat will help a little.

Some Time Later…

Gar Hold Infirmary
It's plain, it's simple, I'm doing it while on vacation. :p It's an infirmary. I'm not a Healer, so till I get one to desc it for me, or I return from vacation, this is it. You are in your standard, generic infirmary. Except this one is in Gar Hold. Yeap, that's the difference. Can't say if that makes it better or worse, just it's big difference. Oh, and it gets a lot of use here. Baby's being born, people stabbing themselves, and other such nonsense. Okay, no more spam. Infirmary, that's what this room is.
On the perch are Tabris and Bandit.

Cress moves slowly in from the Main Hallway.

"Lin?" Cress calls out as he comes in looking for her. Spotting her he heads straight for her, with a concerned look on his face. "I was worried.."

Linora opens her eyes slowly, still curled up on the infirmary cot, and gives Cress a smile. "Thanks for coming," she says quietly, trying not to cough.

"I figured you'd be here," Cress says and sits down on the cot next to her. "Have you talked to a healer? You'll be okay, right?" Sure she will, she /has/ to be, or he wouldn't forgive himself for dragging her to 'Reaches.

Linora shuts her eyes again, it's really too much trouble to keep them open... and she doesn't really /need/ to see Cress now that she can feel he's here. She shakes her head. "Not yet," she admits, "but her assistant said I gotta rest, and she made me drink something for the fever and stuff." She makes a bit of a face, it was definitely something nasty.

Cress nods, then sees that she has shut her eyes and lays his hand on the blanket where hers would be. "D'you need anything? One more blanket, or something?" Then he's reminded of his lizards and picks them off his shoulder, putting them on the cot around her.

Wintermute snuggles up against the sick humanpet along with his compatriot Dixie. He croons at the girl and his eyes are twirling with the worry he feel from his own humanpet.

Linora smiles a bit. He's so nice. "Thanks... I'm okay." She's only wheezing a little, really. Doesn't her breathing always sound like that? She almost opens her eyes to the crooning, and her smile softens a bit. "That 'Mute?" Touched that the little brown might stay with her.

"Yeah, and Dixie," Cress says, smiling a bit. "I figured the extra body-heat would be good for ya. I dunno where 'Doru is or I'd have her help out too." He shrugs, even if she doesn't see it, and squeezes her hand through the blanket.

Linora opens her eyes to look up at Cress, feeling much too lethargic to even move a finger. But she's really happy to see him. "Thanks." Again. "So how didja like riding a dragon?" Her voice is barely above a whisper, but a little smile tugs at the corners of her mouth.

Cress smiles broadly at the mentioning of the dragonride. "It was great. A little scary when she dove like that above the Weyr..." he says softly, thinking that she must have a headache too. "Although maybe we shoulda gone somewhere warm instead." So he can't help feeling a little guilty for bringing to the cold north. After all, it was his idea to go north, wasn't it?

Linora manages a weak grin, remembering how scared she'd been and how relieved that they hadn't actually been killed. "It was prolly already too late by then," she whispers. "I think I musta already been getting sick from having ta go Between soaking wet the day before..." She has to stop here at a tickle in the back of her throat, and wait for the coughing to subside. "High Reaches was a lot colder when I was wet and stuff." Not that she'd been warm the next day, not at /all/, but still...

"You'll be alright though, right?" he asks again. Still worried, of course. He was never any good around sick people, especially the ones he /liked/. "D'you want something to drinK?" He looks around the room trying to spot something drinkable; klah, tea, anything at all, but is unable to see anything at first glance.

Linora concentrates on breathing, since it doesn't feel quite right. "Maybe some water?" She turns hopeful eyes on him. He ought to be able to find some plain old water, right?

Cress gives her a halfsmile, and - although reluctant to leave her - he gets up from the cot and goes searching for water. Finding a pot and mugs in a corner of the infirmary he pours one for her, and returns to her side. "C'mon, I'll help you," he says and puts his arm around her shoulders to help he sit while drinking.

Linora allows Cress to do most of the work involved in sitting her up, leaning a bit heavily into him as she takes the mug and seeming a bit winded from just that little bit of effort. Holding the mug carefully in both hands, she takes a long sip. And sighs, smiling a bit... not too sick to appreciate having his arm around her, nope. "Thanks."

Cress fluffs Lin's pillow, before carefully laying her back down, and rearranging the blankets - and lizards - around her. "That better?" he asks, and squeezes her hand again to let her know that he's here and he cares..

Linora sighs and closes her eyes again. Don't leave. Don't ever leave. "Yeah... thanks." A wave of exhaustion seems to flood over her. "I'm gonna... rest a little while... and stuff..." Her voice trails off as her breathing evens out... still a little raspy.

"Okay," he whispers, "I'll be right here." And he will, that's a promise. Might just take a nap on the next cot, but he'll be here.

The next day...

Linora shifts a bit, slowly waking up.

Cress is resting on the cot next to Lin's and doesn't notice that she wakes up. Two of his lizards are still curled up around her, and croons a bit as she shifts in her cot.

Linora's eyes blink open abruptly at the almost-familiar crooning. For a moment she's confused, then she relaxes a bit as she remembers where she is... and why. A bit experimentally, she takes a deep breath... or tries to... only to set off a fit of coughing.

Cress stirs at the sound of... Coughing? His eyes open and he sits up as he too remembers where he is. And why. "Lin? Are you allright? Feeling any better?" He gets out of the cot and moves to sit on hers, his blanket still wrapped around him. Where had that come from anyway?

Linora turns grateful eyes up to Cress. He didn't leave. "I dunno." A bit hoarse and raspy. She seems to consider it for a moment, mentally taking an inventory of a body that doesn't really feel like her own at the moment. "I'm not so cold anymore," she offers. But breathing seems to take obvious effort.

"Want something to drink?" Cress asks. He was certainly thirsty, and he might as well bring her something if he was going for water anyway. "I'll bring you some water?"

Linora nods but doesn't speak. Too much effort. But she does manage a grateful kinda halfsmile.

Cress stands, and puts the blanket on the cot, then looks down on his feet. His boots are gone? Seems someone had taken them off sometime during the night. He looks around him and finds them neatly placed next to the cot he had rested in. He gives Linora a grin and then sits again to put them on. Then he goes to get two mugs of water, places one on the floor while helping Lin up in a sitting position so she can drink.

Linora tries to help sit herself up, really. Why's it so hard? She grips the mug tightly, almost afraid of it slipping through her fingers, and takes a long drink, half draining the mug in one sip. Then just cradles the mug on her lap, catching her breath. She looks over at Cress a bit sheepishly, as if embarrassed to need so much help. "Thanks," she whispers.

Cress smiles at her, "No problem," he whispers back, and reaches for his mug on the floor. He manages to, just, get a hold of the rim of the mug and brings it to his lips. "It's not klah, but it'll do." He's thirsty too, see, and he drains half the mug too, before needing to take a breath. "I wonder who took my boots of, though," he muses.

Linora shakes her head slightly, having no real idea. But she hasn't noticed much of anything since she fell asleep ... when was that? She doesn't even really know what time, or even what day it is. Another long sip, and the mug is empty. Lowering it to her lap, she drops her head on Cress's shoulder.

Cress carefully takes the mug out of Lin's hands and puts it on the floor. Then he brushes some stray hairs away from her face, and smiles to her. "Was that better, Lin?" he asks, and drinks the rest of his own water and his mug joins hers on the floor. His own voice is a little hoarse too, but that's probably because he just woke up..

Linora nods, lifting her head to look into his eyes. "Thanks." A little sigh at his touch, almost forgetting how lousy she feels. He's so nice, she thinks. Never had a friend quite like this. Never felt quite like this inside.

Cress doesn't let her back down, no he just sits there holding her in his arms. He pulls the covers tighter around her and holds them there with his arms, wondering how long they'll be allowed to stay like this before someone interrupts them. "Is there anything else you want?" he whispers as not to wake up the other patients, that are here.

Want? What else could Lin possibly want? That she could actually have, anyway... She murmurs a negative, relaxing into his arms, feeling a bit better already, even if it /is/ kinda hard to get a good breath.

Yep. Cress is pretty comfortable too, just sitting here with her in his arms, although he's still a little tired and he's having trouble keeping his eyes open. He leans back against the wall at the head of the bed. Yeah, he could stay here forever.

Linora's breathing evens out a bit, if still a bit wheezy, as her aching muscles relax. Safe, yeah. Happy. And so tired...

Cress is tired too, and drops his head against the wall, but does have enough strengh to put his hands on her shoulders to massage them. Yup, that would do her good, right? Even if he /is/ tired. What time is it anyway?

Cress' hands drop from Lin's shoulders, and his eyes close. He slumps down in her cot, so what if she's leaning against him, he's just /so/ tired. And it doesn't feel bad having her in his arms. Nighty night, Cress is asleep.

Linora's head falls back against Cress's chest as he slumps back. With a small sigh she settles herself, hardly even aware she's still in his arms as a wave of drowsiness overtakes her. The beating of his heart echoes in her head, lulling her further, until she's sound asleep as well.

Some Time Later...

Linora wakens slowly, with a bit of a sigh, opening her eyes with a bit less surprise now that she remembers where she is. A long moment passes before she realizes that she's still resting against Cress with his arms around her... and she sits up with a start, her eyes darting around the room. Are they in trouble?

Cress snores lightly, his head against the wall, still fast asleep of course. He doesn't notice her movements but shifts his arms a bit in his sleep.

An audible sigh escapes Linora as she realizes there's nobody else awake in the infirmary... and she notices that it's a bit less difficult to breathe than it was before. She turns a bit to look at Cress now... aw, he's still out cold. A little smile turns up the corners of her mouth and she reaches out to run a hand through his hair. Much nicer now it's not in his eyes.

Cress' hand comes up to bat away whatever it is that's in his hair. A sharp snort and he opens his eyes halfway, then as he feels Linora leaning up against him, he starts, and is suddenly wide awake. "Err, what happened, Lin?" he asks, his voice still a little hoarse. What would happen if anybody'd seen them like this?

Linora almost chuckles as her hand's batted away, returning it to her lap and smiling at him fondly. "I guess we kinda fell asleep," she whispers. Figuring that if anybody'd come upon them sleeping in the same cot, and minded, that she dead-sure wouldn'ta woke up there.

Oh, yeah. Sleep, that all they did! "I guess I was kinda tired," he says after a while, and smiles at her. "You sound a little better." His hand comes up to feel her forehead. "And ya don't feel as hot anymore."

Linora nods, pausing to try a deep breath and finding it a bit less painful. She doesn't even cough... much. She smiles as he touches her face, so what if it's just to see if she's feverish? "I guess I do feel a /little/ better," she admits.

"I'm glad," Cress says and gives her a little peck on the cheek, and leans back again. He really doesn't feel like leaving this place, holding her like this. It feel good doesn't it?

It feels /too/ good. Linora sighs. Funny to be ... not glad, but not really sorry she got sick, so she could be here, in his arms... She snuggles back against him. "Guess I'll hafta go back ta the dorms soon," she whispers, wishing she didn't.

Cress' smile falters a little at that thought. He couldn't get this close to her in the dorms. In fact he couldn't even /see/ her in the dorms. "Oh," he manages to whisper, resting his chin on her shoulder. "I s'pose you can't stay here all the time..."

Linora shakes her head slowly, sadly. "Course not," she whispers, trying for something of her normal tone. "Who'd wanna stay in a sickroom alla the time?" Well, /she/ would... if Cress were there with her. She seems to draw in on herself a bit.

Cress shrugs and then turns red in the face as his stomach gives a loud rumble. It /has/ been a while since he's had anything to eat. What to do now? He doesn't want to leave, but his stomach says differently..

Linora feels as well as hears the rumbling in Cress's stomach and can't help grinning. "I could eat something, too," she whispers, peeking up at him. "I think the last time I ate was 'fore I came here." Maybe longer... but it's too hard to remember. Not that she'd been all that hungry.

"I'll go get us something to eat?" Cress asks, wondering if he'd actually need to bring her something or if she's well enough to come along herself.

Linora sits forward a bit, though reluctant to leave Cress's arms... wondering herself if she feels well enough to walk around. "Lemme see if I can..." She swings her legs carefully off the cot to find the floor with her feet... where did her sandals go? And sits for a moment with her hands on the edge of the cot, considering.

Cress looks confused as she pulls away from him, and then seems to be looking for something. "What do you need?" he asks, and gets up from the cot to get it from her. Getting up too fast it seems, because he sways a little as he's dizzy and has to lean against her shoulder for support.

Linora looks up at him, confused and now concerned. "I wanted ta see if I could stand up," she says, only a little hoarse. Then she grins. "I didn't wanna fall down and stuff." Like Cress almost did. "You okay?"

"Yeah, I'm allright," Cress says and straightens without wobbling. "I just got up too fast, got a little dizzy." He gives her a hand to help her up, and steady her, if need be.

Linora reaches for his hand, then takes a deep breath -ow- and slowly gets to her feet. So far so good. She manages a little smile. "It's not that far to the dining hall, is it?" At least, she doesn't /think/ it is. She's standing just fine, but she doesn't release his hand. Or back away from him.

Cress shakes his head to her. "Naw, it's not far, and I'll be with ya all the way," he says, and notices her bare feet. "You might wanna put your sandals on though?"

Linora nods once, and kneels down to look under the cot for her sandals, releasing his hand to do so. She sits down on the floor to get them onto her feet, then pushes herself back up with the help of the cot, dismayed to find herself a bit winded from the effort. But she reaches for his hand again, her eyes looking for his. "I'm ready."

Cress nods, and puts his arm around her waist to steady her on their way to the dining hall. "Okay, lets go then," he says, and his stomach rumbles as he says so.

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.
. On the perch is Bruin.
You see Kiwi-Blueberry Tart Tray, Fireplace, small crystal vases, Garden Basket, and Tapestry here.

Cress moves slowly in from the Gar Hold Entry Hall.
Linora is led in by Cress.

Cress walks Linora to a table and helps her sit down. "What would you like," he says as he moves to the sideboard. Redfruit juice to drink, right? Although maybe not when she's sick...

Cress glances at the chalkboard to see what the menu is for today.

It takes a moment or two for Lin to catch her breath enough to reply. "Juice..." Yeah, that'd be good. Her throat still hurts. "And... " She falters. She really can't remember the last time she ate anything. "Bread? 'Less there's soup or anything." Broth would be good.

Cress peers over the sideboard, "sorry, Lin. There's no soup, just roast wherry." Which he immediately puts on a plate for himself, then pours juice and klah, and finds some bread for her. Putting everything on a tray he returns to a table, setting the tray down in the middle. "Here ya go. Nice fresh redfruit juice," he says and places the mug in front of her, "and sweetbread." He sits next to her and takes a deep swallow of the klah. Seems like he hasn't had it for /days/.

Linora takes the mug in both hands and sips experimentally. Yeah, that's okay. Another long sip and she sets the mug down, nearly empty, and reaches for the bread to break off a bit. Moving kind of in slow motion, it seems to take a long time to get the bread to her mouth and chew it, but eventually she swallows. Yeah, that was okay, too. She reaches for another bit.

"Okay? Not too stale?" As if anything would be stale here. Cress picks up his fork and cuts off a piece off wherry, puts it in his mouth and chew furiously. He's more hungry than he though. When /was/ the last time he ate, anyway? His rumbling stomach answer that question: A long time ago!

Linora grins widely, watching Cress tear into his food. Did he really stay with her that long, without eating? Another bite of bread. She's really beyond hungry to not hungry again, but she really thinks she ought to have something in her stomach. Another sip, and the juice is gone.

Cress doesn't notice her look, but just keeps eating, remembering to take a sip of klah every now and then. "This is great," he says and waves his fork over the roast. "You should try some."

Linora just smiles, and sits back in her chair a bit. "Maybe a little later." Right now she'll just rest, and enjoy his company.

Cress shrugs and digs into the meal again. It's not like he hasn't been this hungry before, it's just that the food here was great, and he just can't stop for conversation.

Linora leans forward on the table a bit, pushing the mug out of the way with folded arms before lowering her head to rest on them. She keeps looking at his plate for a little while, then lets her eyes close.

Cress stops eating long enough to see Lin, put her head on her arms. "You okay, Lin?" Maybe she's still to sick to eat? Or too tired? "Wanna go back to the Infirmary?"

"Mmmhmmm." Well, she /means/ yes, just doesn't have the energy to say it. Lin's fine, really. Yeah. She opens her eyes to smile up at him. "Go on and eat."

Cress wishes he'd thought of bringing a blanket to wrap her up in. Instead he reaches out with one hand and rubs her back, while the other is still shoveling wherry into his mouth. "It's good," he says with his mouth full.

Linora nods without lifting her head. "Looks good." Well, it looks like he's enjoying it, which is kinda the same thing. She just doesn't feel like eating it. Maybe later. Her eyes close again as he rubs her back... feels nice...

Kyrae walks in from the Gar Hold Entry Hall.

Kyrae glances at the chalkboard to see what the menu is for today.

Kyrae walks over to Cress and smiles, "Hello, my name is Kyrae."

Cress looks up from his plate, and notices that someone is speaking to him, "oh, hello. My name's Cress," he says and turns to the slumbering Linora, "and this is Lin. She's been sick, so she's a little tired," he explains in hushed tones.

Kyrae smiles again, and says in a quieter voice, "Oh. I hope she feels better. Well met. Star Craft? What's that like?"

Cress tilts his head, "you're considering joining?" he asks and is reminded of the time Linora came asking the same question. "It's great actually. Very nice people."

Kyrae sighs her answer, "No. I'm not sure what I'm planning to do, yet."

Cress shrugs, "well, don't let the people scare you away. They may be a little eccentric, but they're really very nice when it come down to it."

Kyrae says, "Oh, no way would I be scared away by a few eccentric people," Kyrae smiles, again, her happy mood showing brightly."

Linora shifts a bit, repositioning her head on her folded arms to make herself more comfortable... as comfortable as a person can be, sleeping on a table.

Cress turns to Linora as he hears her shifting, but since she seems alright, he just gives her back a rub, and turns to smile at Kyrae. "So are you here for a visit, then?"

Kyrae casts a glance at Lin and sighs at her discomfort, then gently seats herself, "No, I want to become a Gar resident."

Linora seems to be quite peacefully sleeping, her breathing even and regular, if a bit raspy.

"Ah," Cress says and nods. "Well, I'm not quite sure who you'd contact to stay here, but Lady Natch is Holder here."

Kyrae says, "Yes, I have talked to the *kind* Natch." Her smile widens as she says 'kind', then she affects a serious expression and says, "She's a tiny bit moody, but really kind overall." "

Moody? Natch? Cress haven't met a moody Natch yet, but then one should never say never.

Kyrae stands up as she's speaking, "Well, Cress, sorry to cut this chat short, but I must be going. I'd prefer not to fall asleep at the table here like other people," She shoots a glance at Lin and smiles, "I could never get any sleep like that! Hopefully I'll see you around, I'll make sure I stop to talk, if I do." She smiles again.

"Nice to meet ya," Cress says to Kyrae, "and speaking of sleeping people, I should prolly get her off to bed." Meaning Linora of course, and he shakes her shoulder softly. "Lin? Lin, dontcha think you should get back to the infirmary?"

Kyrae heads towards the door with a final wave to Cress. "Goodbye. Feel better, Lin."

"Mmmmmm." Linora opens one eye, then blinks and sits straight up with a confused expression. "What?" Wildly darting eyes finally fix on Cress and she relaxes a bit. "Oh... I'm sorry."

"You feeling allright?" Cress says, giving her shoulder a squeezes. "You fell asleep. I think I'd better get you back to the infirmary.."

Linora just nods; the fact that she's not feeling up to arguing the point probably means he's right. She gets to her feet a bit unsteadily, one hand on the tabletop. She can go back to the dorms tomorrow, right? She's feeling a little washed out anyway.

Cress helps Lin get up and puts his arm around her waist again, wondering if she'll make it back to the infirmary, without collapsing.

Linora's wondering that too; her body just doesn't feel like her own. Maybe leaving the infirmary wasn't such a good idea...

Gar Hold Infirmary

Cress moves slowly in from the Main Hallway.
Linora is carried in by Cress.

Cress carries Lin to her cot and carefully lays her down on the mattress. He arranges the pillows and blanket around her, and then gives her a kiss on the cheek. Then he places his lizards around her again. Any warmth she could get, would be good, right?

Linora sighs softly, looking up at Cress. "Thanks," she whispers. Why is it so hard to keep her eyes open?

Cress moves back to sit on the cot next to Lin's. He's still more or less awake, although his muscles /are/ starting to feel a bit sore. "You just go ahead and sleep, Lin. I'll stay here for a while." Now that he's gotten food and klah in his belly, he could stay all night.

Linora follows Cress with her eyes, relieved to see he isn't going to leave... even the next cot seems too far away. How /could/ she have considered going back to the dorms? Now she can't seem to close her eyes at all, content just to look at him.

Cress pulls his boots off and looks up at Lin, giving her a wink as he sees that she's observing him. Maybe he shouldn't even be staying here, since he's taking up a cot, that might be needed for someone who's really sick. But he just can't leave her here by herself, now can he?

Of course Lin won't be alone. There's the healer, and her assistants... and the apparently-comatose other patients. But she's not thinking about any of them. Or anything else at all, except that she wants to be where Cress is. And she obviously can't go with him. She gives him a grateful smile, sleepy eyes still fixed on him.

Cress smiles as he leans up against the wall with a pillow in his back. At least this time he'd taken off his boots himself and wouldn't have to wonder about that when he woke up. "I hope they don't throw me outta here when they find out I'm not sick," he whispers, just loud enough for Lin to hear him.

Linora sighs, her smile widening a bit before disappearing completely as her eyes flutter shut and her face relaxes. "Don't tell 'em," she murmurs. Say anything. Just don't leave. Please. Her eyes blink open again, as if to reassure herself that he's still there.

Don't tell 'em, he's not sick. Cress thinks that a healer would be able to tell just be looking at him that he's not sick. "I won't," he tells Lin, to reassure her.

Linora sighs. Good. She's not coherent enough to think about whether a healer would be fooled or not. He won't. That's enough. But still she can't close her eyes.

Cress halfsmiles at her. "Did'ya sleep too much in the dining hall," he asks as she doesn't close her eyes. She must have, since she's just lying there, staring at him. Right? No other reason why she should still be awake.

Sleep too much? Not possible... "Naw." Linora just can't stop looking at him. Can't blame the poor girl for being incoherent... if she shuts her eyes, he won't be there anymore, will he?

Cress scoots down in the cot he's borrowing, and pulls the covers up to his chin. He's a little cold now... And tired.

Linora sighs again, half smiling, still just looking... unable to fill her eyes enough it seems. Yeah, she'll watch him sleep... until she can't hold her eyes open anymore...

Cress is unable to keep his eyes open any longer and dozes off, as a light snore begins to emit from his nostrils. Yup, poor boy's asleep and he didn't even say goodnight to Lin. But then it's not night is it?

Lulled by his even breathing and the warmth of the firelizards nestled against her, Lin watches Cress sleeping until her own eyelids flutter shut of their own accord and she slips into a deep, dreamless slumber.

The Next Morning...

Linora mmms and stretches, long and languid, before finally opening her eyes. She stares blankly at the ceiling for a moment, then snaps her head to look at the cot next to her to see if Cress is still there.

Cress is sitting up in his cot, his knees drawn up and his forehead resting on them. His arms are curled around his legs and he might be awake, though he might just as well be asleep.

Linora's smile at spotting her friend is relieved as well as happy. She pushes the covers back and sits herself up... a bit too quickly maybe? Her hands go to the sides of her head as the room seems to spin around her, and she has to close her eyes for a moment until the sensation subsides. Then an audible growl from her stomach clues her in to why she's so dizzy. Starving! She gets to her feet long enough to seat herself next to Cress on his cot, and lightly touches his shoulder.

Cress' head comes up with a jolt, thinking that it's the healer come to throw him out. Turning to the person who'd woken him, he smiles when he she's that it's Lin. And that she apparently got out of bed on her own. "Lin? Should you be out of bed?" he asks, his voice still a little hoarse. "Are you feeling allright?"

Linora nods, her eyes searching his. He's not getting sick now, too, is he? "I'm okay," she whispers. "I'm /really/ hungry."

Cress sits up more straight and reaches his arms in the air to strecht sore back muscles.. Hungry, well not really. He /had/ sneaked out to eat, while she was asleep. Still he couldn't let her go alone, "I'll come with ya," he says and lets his legs out of the cot. He shivers as his feet touches the cold floor. "Lemme just find my boots." Which reminds him that he needed sandals instead of those heavy boots.

Kyrae walks in from the Main Hallway.

Kyrae walks in and waves to Linora and Cress. "Hello, Lin, I'm Kyrae."

Linora blinks, turning confused eyes to the stranger in the doorway. "Um... hi..." One hand absently beginning to smooth down her hair. Now her eyes turn to Cress, questioning.

She is short for her age, only 4' and 11. She has shoulder-length, medium brown hair, and muddy brown eyes. She's slightly tanned and thin. Her face looks young, and her eyes show her natural energy. Her child-like nature shows in her movements and speech, which should conflict, but instead seems to blend with the maturity and class in her manner.
She's wearing a long, black dress, tapered at the waist to show a hint of her figure with a V-neck line which shows the dragon necklace that is dangling from her neck. The dress has small bell sleeves that dangle at the edge of her fingers and are trimmed with harper blue ribbon. She is wearing lightly tanned wher-hide boots that strap at the ankle. There is a simple black ribbon holding her hair back at the nape of her neck.
Kyrae is 15 Turns and 8 months old.

Kyrae smiles wide and also turns to Cress to see how he plans to explain.

Cress looks up as he's pulling on his boots. Then he looks from Kyrae to Lin, "oh, hi... " he says having forgotten her name. "Lin, this is... err," he searches for a name, but is unable to come up with one. "She was in the dining hall the other day when you fell asleep." So maybe that wasn't the best thing to say, but Cress wasn't know to be good with words.

Linora blinks again. "Fell asleep?" She has to think for a moment, then a little flush comes to her cheeks. "Oh... yeah."

Cress shrugs, "well, you were kinda sick, Lin," he says, eyes still darting from one to the other. "She was asking about the StarCraft..."

Kyrae laughes and says, "Maybe I'd better explain. I'll start over....I'm Kyrae. I wandered into the Dining Hall yesterday and encountered an interesting looking pair...One was sleeping with her head on the table, looking quite uncomfortable, and the other was just kinda sitting there. So I stopped to chat. You were introduced to me, but it didn't quite work the other way around...." She smiles and says, "Don't worry, no reason to be embaressed!"

Kyrae laughes and say, "I talk way too much, but Cress was having a problem explaining....anyway, I thought I'd drop by and introduce myself properly, and say I hope you feel better."

Linora manages a small smile. "Oh. Um... Hi, Kyrae." Another look at Cress, her mind on another day in the dining hall. For a moment she looks confused, almost worried, then her smile returns. "Thank you." Another rumble; her hands immediately dart to her stomach in a futile effort to quiet it.

Kyrae smiles at Lin and says, "Well, I'd prefer not to sleep in here while I'm not sick, so I'm gonna get to bed before I fall asleep where I stand! So, goodnight, I hope you feel better. Bye, Cress."

Kyrae heads towards the door after one last wave.

Cress' face turn slightly red as the girl jumps in with an explanaition and he looks at Lin and hearing that rumble in her stomach. He pulls on his other boot, and sits up again. "Sounds like you're hungry, Lin. Feel well enough to go get something eat?" He hopes he doesn't have to carry her back again, as his muscles are kind of sore, for some reason.

Linora nods, sure she'd said she was... but that visitor had confused her. Maybe she hadn't after all. "I think I'm okay," she says. "But I really gotta eat something."

Cress nods, "okay," he says and stands up, still trying to relax his muscles. Rolling his shoulders, and turning his neck from one side to the other. "Let's got then," he says and moves to the door, forgetting to take her hand, as he usually does.

Linora doesn't get up right away, just following him with her eyes as he turns his back on her. But it looks like he's not stopping, so she quickly gets to her feet, finding she has to stop a moment to steady herself before joining him.

Cress moves slowly to the Main Hallway.

Main Hallway
The Main Hall is lined with 'Portraits' of the past and current Holders and a large tapestry entitled The Watchdragon (look tapestry). The Hall itself is painted in a pleasant forest green, the primary color of the Hold, with a Dark Blue strip running about three feet off the ground along the sides of the Hall. A couple of sofas are situated here next to the doors for the Steward's Office and the Holder's Office, so that one can rest comfortable while waiting.
Cress is here.

"Lin? I thought you were right behind me," Cress says, surprised that she hadn't come out sooner.

"I wasn't." Lin's voice is very quiet, and not just because her throat is sore, although it is.

Cress puts his arm around her and gives her a squeeze. "I'm sorry," he says and kisses her on the forehead. Doesn't feel that hot anymore. Then he offers her his hand for the rest of the trip to the dining hall.

Linora takes his hand with a grateful squeeze. Didn't he know how much she needed him? At least he was sorry. She smiles up at him and leads him to the dining hall. See, she's feeling /much/ better.

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 led in by Linora.

Cress takes Linora to a chair and gets her to sit, then he goes to the sideboard, calling over his shoulder. "What would you like?" Hopefully something more filling than bread, he thinks and pours a mug of redfruit juice for her, and klah for himself.

Cress glances at the chalkboard to see what the menu is for today.

Linora sits obediently, watching Cress as he walks to the sideboard. "I dunno... what's over there?" She drops her chin on her hands and waits.

Cress looks over the sideboard and then decides, on her behalf, to get some of those delicious vegetable rolls, and garlic bread, thinking that she wasn't up for tunafish at the moment. Putting everything on a tray, he brings it back to the table, "here ya go. Vegetable rolls. And juice. And bread," he says as he serves it to her. Then he sits next to her with his mug of klah.

Linora digs right in, eating hungrily. Several rolls have completely disappeared before she notices that Cress doesn't seem to be eating. She swallows hard and looks at him. "Not hungry?" This is different, and she fixes her eyes on his with a wide grin.

Cress looks at her over the rim of his mug, "no, really," he simply says, shrugging his shoulders. Of course, he /did/ have a little breakfast, and even if that had been a while ago, he just isn't all that hungry now. "I'll get something later..."

Now Lin's a little confused... but still too hungry to give it a lot of her attention, so she resumes eating. Never knew vegetable rolls could taste so good! When was the last time she ate, anyway?

Cress chuckles a little, but it turns into a caugh, which he attemps to stifle unsuccessfully. When he finishes he takes a long sip of klah, but wetness can still be seen in his eyes.

Linora stops eating, washing the last bite down with a large sip from her mug, and turns to look at Cress. Really look. And thinks he's looked better. "Are you all right?" she whispers. He was so nice, staying with her the whole time she was so sick... surely he hasn't caught it as well? Nobody'd /said/ she was contagious...?

Cress waves his hand at her, and tries to smile, "I'm okay," he says, the words coming out as a croak. It hurts to talk right after a caughing fit. He takes another sip of klah, and attempts a deep breath, but launches into another caugh. Maybe he /had/ cought a cold, from betweening from the heat to the cold?

Food forgotten, Linora slips out of her chair to stand behind Cress, one arm loosely around his neck, the other hand smoothing his hair back and drawing his head to rest against her. "You /are/ getting sick," she whispers. "I'm so sorry." It must be her fault.

Cress looks up at her, his head back so he gets the image of her upside down. "Sorry? For what?" he says hoarsly. "And I'm not /that/ sick." Just a cold is all. He'd survived that before. Many times. And without time in bed, so of course he wasn't sick.

Linora smiles and leans forward to kiss him on the forehead. "Coz ya spent alla that time with me," she whispers. "An' I'm glad you did... but I'm sorry if I made you get sick and stuff." Well, that should explain everything. And she really /is/ sorry. She moves around his chair to stand facing him, half leaning against the table, one hand still on his shoulder.

Cress frowns at her then shakes his head. "It's not your fault, Lin, really! It prolly just because we between'ed like that. Up north, from the cold down, here ya know?" he says, eyeing her to make sure she understands that it's /not/ her fault. "Besides, it's just a cold. Nothing like you had..."

Linora isn't so sure, but she doesn't really have enough energy to argue. "I oughtta prolly go back to the dorms and stuff," she says softly, letting her hand fall from his shoulder and not really meeting his eye. "If you're okay..." A questioning glance.

Cress nods, "I'm okay. Really," he says, finishing his klah, and then gives her a smile. "I'll walk with ya, but are you sure you're well enough to sleep in the dorms?"

Linora considers that for a moment, then nods. "Yeah, it'll be kinda nice ta sleep in my own cot again." Even if it does mean Cress can't stay with her. But now that she's feeling better, maybe she's even feeling a little guilty about all the time she's spent with him. Surely /one/ of them should have been studying... or something... She chews her lip.

Cress get out of his chair and gives her a hug, before taking her hand. "Yeah, I guess I know what you mean." After all, he'd spent almost as much time as her in the infirmary.

Too brief... Linora sighs audibly as Cress stops hugging her to take her hand, trying not to feel too sad about it, since there's really no helping it. And the last thing she wants is to get Cress in trouble.

The Vault

Cress moves slowly in from the Main Hall Balcony.
Linora is led in by Cress.

Cress sighs and look with longing eyes at the door to the MAQ. He really /has/ missed his cot, and right now he'd really like to be in it, too. He turns to Linora and smiles at her, then squeezes her hand and heads for that door. "Bye, Lin. See ya later," he says, as he turns in front of the door, hesitating to leave her.

Linora gives Cress a tired halfsmile and waves. "See ya." And she will. Sure. Right now she oughtta sleep, though.

Cress moves slowly to the Male Apprentice Quarters.

And The Day After That...

Spherical, predictable, much a reflection of the heavens beyond is the temple of this observatory dedicated to the continued survey of the skies. Constructed sturdily and lined with shelves and cabinets necessary for equipment storage, nearly every available space on the smooth plastered walls is hidden by the arrangement of charts, maps and diagrams. A high ceiling arches above, contrived to be fitted with the portals necessary for viewing and carefully fabricated sliding shutters to protect the delicate sky-ward pointed lenses when not in use. On the wall opposite the door, so that all who enter may see it, is a 'mural' of the Rukbat system.
It is a spring before dawn.
On the cast-iron railings around the great viewer are Pilot, Tanis, and Lil'Topaz.
P'rru and Kezzra are here.

P'rru chuckles hoarsely himself, hands running over the mural, yet not actually touching it. "It's wonderful, shame not many get to see it" he notes before tugging a hide letter from his pocket. "Now I've an order, from other riders who'd like to have a constellation map, as a sort of art piece..."

Cress moves slowly in from the Main Hall Balcony.

Linora steps quietly in with a nod to Kezz and P'rru and goes to the far wall to look at the charts, not wishing to disturb them. A large book is hugged against her chest.

Cress comes in, as he'd seen Lin enter, and followed her. "Lin?" he calls out, but stops midstep as he sees a 'rider here.

Kezzra blinks. Art piece? That's a new one. "Well... which one?" she inquires of the brownrider. Then to Cress and Lin, "Don't worry about it. If you two have work to do we aren't here." Or something like that.

P'rru gives Cress and Linora a slight inspectoring (ooc i think i made that word up) glance before he lifts his shoulders in a creaky shrug. "I'm really not sure- what do you have on offer that is pleasing to the eye?" ahem, yes. "And they have all entrusted me to bargain a suitable price..." it's like learning, with purty pictures. Or something.

Cress gets his legs working again, and follows Lin to the far wall. "Hi, Lin," he whispers with his still hoarse voice. "Did'ya sleep well?"

Kezzra nods. "I see. Well I'd start looking in the archives if you'd like to join me.."

Linora looks up at Cress with a smile as she hears her name called. "Hi." Her voice is still a hoarse whisper. At Cress's expression, her smile widens and her eyes involuntarily flicker over to P'rru and Kezz again. Not here? She nods acknowledgement to Kezz and beckons Cress to join her by the charts. "I been reading and stuff," she tells him, as if it weren't obvious from the book in her arms. "And yeah, I slept fine."

P'rru washes his hands together. "Marvelous, lead the way then please" he agrees, tucking the note back in his pocket and grabbing his riding jacket from the back of a chair.

Cress smiles, his attention only halfway on Linora at the moment. He's too interested in the 'rider as he's not seen many of those in his life.

Kezzra leaves the hides she was looking at on the table and picks up Rasha before 'leading the way'.

Kezzra walks with a light step, to the Main Hall Balcony.

P'rru pauses in the doorway to smile lopsidely at the other crafters "Have a good morning the pair of you" he winks and ducks out.

P'rru marches with clipped steps to the Main Hall Balcony.

Linora watches Cress watch the rider. "That's the one who took us to Southern," she explains, even though he's not looking her way. "P'rru." She turns serious eyes to the charts again.

"Oh?" Cress says, his voice croaking out the single word. It dawns on him that his mouth is wide open and he slowly closes it as the 'rider dissapears out the door.

Linora nods, eyes still on the charts... which she only half understands, although she tries to hide that fact. "Mmmhmmm," she murmurs, just in case he isn't looking at her.

Cress follows Lin's gaze and looks at the charts too. Then he smiles as he realizes what it is she's doing, "so are you beginning your project soon," he asks, in nothing more than a loud whisper.

Linora nods again. "I figured I oughtta do /something/." She turns to look at him and can't help smiling back. "I already took alla my classes and stuff." She hugs the book a little tighter, not mentioning the specialty problem, nope.

Well, if she won't mention it, Cress will. So maybe he doesn't always /think/ before speaking.. "How 'bout a specialty? Decide on anything yet?" He looks at her and sees the way she's hugging that book and suddenly realizes that she hadn't.

The smile disappears abruptly, and Lin's gaze drops to the floor. "I been sick and stuff..." she whispers, knowing that he knows that perfectly well. She /meant/ to pick one, really...

"Yeah, I know," Cress mumbles and hangs his head, regretting that he'd brought it up. He shrugs and backs away from her, saying "you know I think I could use a little more sleep..."

Linora looks back up as Cress backs away. He's leaving? She hugs the book more tightly in her confusion, and just manages to whisper a reply. "Night, then."

Cress is thinking that she might need some time alone, see? That's why he's leaving, feigning a tiredness that he doesn't /really/ feel. "Night..."

Cress moves slowly to the Main Hall Balcony.

A Bit Later...

The Vault
Kezzra is here.

Linora drags in, still clutching her book, and flops on a comfy chair, just a little out of breath. "Hey, Kezz." She opens the book, almost randomly, and begins to study.

Kezzra glances up. "Morning Lin..."

Linora turns a page with a sigh. For a long moment she seems absorbed, then she looks up. "What'd P'rru want?" Of course she can't help wondering what would bring a dragonrider to the Hall. 'Specially one she kinda knows.

Kezzra smiles. "He was looking for some charts." Kezzra says, "what were you and cress up to earlier?"

Linora ohs softly, nodding a bit, and puts her face back in the book. Until she hears Kezz's next question, that is. Her head snaps up, the quick intake of breath setting off a coughing fit. "I was trying to start my project," she manages to say.

"Oh, you aren't sick too. Are you Lin?" Kezzra asks.

Linora nods. "I been at the infirmary all week," she says, her voice still raspy and soft. "I'm mostly better, though." Mostly. She thinks.

Kezzra looks worried now. "You shore, Lin?"

Linora shrugs. And nods again. "I'm a lot better'n I was." Well, she's only wheezing a little now.

Kezzra nods. "Alright. If you're shore.."

Linora coughs. And nods again. And looks back into the book. After a moment, she looks up again. Too? "Is somebody else sick, too?"

Kezzra nods. "Yeah. I thought you would have known."

Linora blinks. And shakes her head, feeling oddly stupid. Did she miss seeing someone she knew in the infirmary? Not that she'd been all that lucid... "Who?"

Kezzra says, "Cress.."

Linora's eyes get big. "He said he was fine." But he /had/ been coughing, hadn't he? Hm.

Kezzra shrugs. "He was out here just a bit before you were. He said he had a bit of a cold but he'd be fine in a day or so.."

Linora's brow furrows a bit. Well. Maybe he hadn't wanted to worry her. "Musta been the cold," she muses, half to herself.

Kezzra says, "The cold?"

"At Reaches." Abruptly, Linora seems to catch herself before continuing. "I was freezing up there, an' wet besides." Well, she'd had a pretty good idea that going between soaking wet was a bad idea, but she hadn't dared risk being left behind at Southern.

Kezzra nods. "I see."

Linora takes a deep breath -ow- and lets it out slowly, returning her eyes to the book.

Kezzra looks back up over at Linora. "Are you shore you're going to be alright?"

Linora isn't. Not at all. She hasn't felt like herself since she got back from 'Reaches. So if her eyes look a little scared, that might be why. "I think so." Trying to remind herself that she /does/ feel better than she had.

Kezzra nods. "Maybe you should get some rest yet Lin. Don't worry so much about getting your project done. Get better first."

Linora smiles weakly. "Thanks, Kezz." Not much over a whisper. But she doesn't get up, just closes the book on her lap and slumps back in the comfy chair.

Kezzra nods. "Don't mention it."

Cress moves slowly in from the Male Apprentice Quarters.

Cress shuffles out from the dorms, his blanket still wrapped around him. He slumps into a chair before noticing that Lin is here, and beams her a smile.

Linora opens her eyes a bit at the sound of someone entering the room, still sprawled on her chair, and smiles back at Cress. "You /are/ sick, aren'tcha?" Not really a question; why else would he be wrapped in a blanket? He's always complaining about how hot it is around here.

"Noo, I'm not, Lin," Cress still denies that he /might/ be sick. "It's just a cold. I told ya that before, didn't I?"

Linora just smiles, too much trouble to move. "Mmmhmmm." She doesn't believe him, though.

Cress eyes her, through halfclosed lids. "What?" he asks hoarsly. "I'm telling ya, it's just a cold. Nothing to get worried about...."

Linora nods, pulling herself up to sit forward on her chair, her chin in her hands. "Maybe you oughtta get to the infirmary yourself," she suggests.

Cress sniffs, shaking his head - slowly as not to get a headache again - at the thought of the infirmary. "I'd much rather sleep in my own cot," he says, and pulls his legs up under him to sit crosslegged. "It's just a cold," he repeats to make sure she understands that.

"Fine." Lin shrugs. She can't drag him there, after all. But if he's anywhere near as sick as she's been... She fixes searching eyes on him, chin still in her hands.

"I'm not," Cress says as if he's read her mind, "nearly as sick as you were, Lin." But he draws the blanket closer around his body as he shivers, and sets into a cough.

Linora gets to her feet at that, barely giving Kezz a glance as she moves over to Cress's chair. "I dunno if you are or not, but you're /going/ to see a healer." She sets her jaw, her own discomfort forgotten in her concern for him, and folds her arms across her chest to glare down at him.

Cress gives her his best puppy-eye look, which only makes his face crumble in a strange 'lizard-looking expression. "I'm not sick," he croaks in a hoarse whisper.

Linora isn't fooled, nope. "Get up." She holds out a hand, looks like he could use some help. "I'll walk you there." And make good and sure he goes.

Cress sighs, and takes her hand, getting up from the chair, almost getting caught in the blanket. "Allright." Poor boy can't say no to her.

Linora smiles as Cress gets to his feet. Much better. "Seeya, Kezz." She stops just long enough to retrieve the book from her chair, tucking it under one arm before she hauls Cress off to the infirmary. Nicely.

Gar Hold Infirmary

Cress is led in by Linora.

Linora walks Cress right over to an empty cot and sits him down, one hand smoothing his hair back off his forehead. "You oughtta lie down and stuff," she whispers. Her eyes are really concerned now, she remembers how bad she felt.

Roles shifted, Cress does as she says, after all she'd been a good patient, right? "Allright, allright. But I'm not /that/ sick, really." Just a cold. A bad one maybe, but no pneumonia, he's sure of that.

Linora walks round to pull off Cress's boots for him. Can't sleep in those, nope. A bit winded from the effort and the walk, she sits down on the cot next to him, smoothing the blankets over him and looking down at him with a worried expression. "Better?"

"Yes, but you didn't have to do this, ya know," Cress says, seeing that she's not feeling too good herself. "I wouldn't want you to get sick again..." See, how can he be sick, when he has strengh enough to worry about her?

Linora smiles a bit weakly, "Don't worry," she says. "I just gotta rest and stuff." At least, she hopes she's not going to get any sicker... hopes in fact that it won't be long before she's better. She reaches with one hand to caress his face.

Cress sighs, and shoves the blanket down around his midriff, suddenly feeling hot. Hot, cold, hot, cold. Why couldn't his body make up its mind? Actually, he'd rather be cold as it reminded him of 'home'. Well, the north anyway. "Go ahead and rest then," he says giving her a halfsmile, "I'll be allright."

Linora leans down to kiss his forehead. Finding it hot, she gets to her feet and crosses the room to retrieve a soft cloth. She soaks it in a pail of cool water and crosses back to Cress's cot, folding it carefully and laying it gently across his forehead. "I'll stay here a little while," she says softly, seeing no sign of healer or assistants.

Cress is certainly grateful that she'll stay. However he doesn't want to be the reason that she might get sick again. "You shouldn't, you know?" Stay that is. As she obviously isn't completely well herself, and doesn't really look it either.

Linora isn't. But if she thinks about Cress, she won't be so... worried. It does seem to be taking such a long time to feel better. She sits back down on the cot beside him, facing him, and turns the cloth so the cooler side is against his forehead, smoothing his hair with one hand. "It's okay. I want to."

Cress is starting to feel slighty uncomfortable. He's never had anyone treat him this way, when he was sick. At least not since he was a kid, and that seems like such a long time ago. His face flushes, and it's not because he has a fever..

Linora notices the flush... she might have thought it was fever if she couldn't also feel him stiffen slightly. She withdraws her hand and folds it over the other in her lap. "I can go, ifya want." Just a whisper. She doesn't dare look into his eyes, for fear he'll see just how much she doesn't want to do that.

Leave? He didn't /want/ her to leave, but he didn't want her to get sick again either. "No, you can stay," he mumbles. "Just do me a favour and get under the covers..."

Linora blinks. Once. Twice. Did she hear him properly? She takes a look around the infirmary. And shrugs. And slips off her sandals. Surely nobody will mind. The cot's plenty big enough. And she /is/ tired. But she checks. "You won't be too warm?"

Cress blinks too. He hadn't meant to come under /his/ covers, just under /some/ covers. Preferable in the next cot! But he wasn't gonna say anything now, was he? 'Cus this was kinda nice, and there weren't anyone around to see 'em. And they weren't really doing anything. Just lying side by side....

Not doing anything. Linora sighs as she settles back. Who feels well enough to do anything? She shifts a bit to make herself more comfortable, ending up with her head on Cress's shoulder and one arm across him. Too forward? Just tell her, and she'll go away... if she's still awake, that is.

They're here now, together. No reason to mess with that is Cress' philosophy at the moment. Besides he doesn't have the energy to consider if they're doing anything wrong. Not that he ever /did/ consider if they did anything wrong. He's a traveller after all, and things were.. diffent, in a caravan.

Another soft sigh, and Lin's breathing evens out. It's only a little raspy now, really. And she's so comfortable... how could she ever want to be anyplace else? She's completely forgotten all the reasons she shouldn't be right where she is... maybe she'll remember when she wakes up...

Cress curls his arm up and around her shoulders, holding her lightly. "Mmmmm," he rumbles, not being able to find any words as to what he's feeling at the moment. Good just didn't cover it.

Linora mmms and snuggles a bit closer as Cress's arm wraps around her. Definitely beyond good.

Cress can't keep his eyes open, and turns his head so that it rest on top of Lin's. Mmmm, this is a good way to sleep, can't think of anything better really, is his last thought before drifting away.

Linora is only half aware that Cress has fallen asleep, her ears filled with the steady beating of his heart and the even rhythm of his breathing. She only thinks that she's never felt quite so safe, quite so content... and soon she can't think of anything at all.

Some Time Later...

Gar Hold Infirmary

Hyzen meekly steps in from the Main Hallway.

Linora is actually sharing a cot with Cress. And seems to be dozing lightly.

The sharp sound of steel-heeled boots sounds through the hallways, light-- the noise of a smaller person. Sounds pause before an auburn-topped head pokes into the doorway of the infirmary. She'd heard, through sources, that the girl she'd taken on a 'ride had become very sick. Worried, is what Hyzen was. Slowly she enters fully, hands twisting slowly about she looks for Linora-- and finds her with Cress. A faint blush spreads her cheeks, but since both seem asleep, she steps a bit closer.

At the sound of footsteps, Linora's eyes blink open, and for a long moment she doesn't move, bracing herself for a sharp reprimand... or worse. When none seems to be forthcoming, she ventures to lift her head from Cress's shoulder to look. Relief floods across her face when she recognizes Hyzen. "Hi," she whispers. Yeah, she'd better just get her narrow appy butt into a different cot. Indeed.

Hyzen's smile widens when Linora turns out awake, one hand lifting slightly from the writhing to flutter her fingers. "Hi. Heard you were sick..." And probably some of it was her fault... along with Imbriath's. Besides the blush, which disappears, she shows nothing for the position she's caught the other in. She's seen worse. Eh heh. "How're you doing?" A chair is pulled beside the cot and the youngest weyrling plops into it, removing a small bag from her belt and placing it near one of the legs.

Linora really would slip out of that cot, but now that Hyzen's pulled a chair up and made herself comfortable, she's not sure where she'd go... so she stays. And it's not as if Hyzen seems concerned at all... but how could a rider be expected to understand craft rules? "I'm really a lot better," she whispers. "But now Cress is pretty sick too." She's still not sure if that was because he'd been chilled between, or because he hadn't left her side the whole first sevenday she'd been sick.

Hyzen stretches her legs out slowly, crossing them as she studies the other thoughtfully. Nope, 'rider's lose that concept after Impression. Mwah. "That's good. I'm sorry about what Imbriath did to you two... sometimes she does things before talking with me about it." A weary sigh is given before golden-amber optics dart to the sleeping male. "She's the one that told me you were sick. So I brought you something." Reaching down, she picks up the bag and slowly hands it within reach of Linora. "Simple things... rather silly I guess. A small vial of Headwoman Amalia's 'healing syrup'. I don't know what's in it... and some pretty shells and pebbles Imbri picked out."

Linora's eyes get big. /Imbriath/ had known they were sick? "Thanks," she whispers. She props herself up on one elbow and looks down at the bag, then back up at Hyzen. "That's real nice... please thank her for me... for us." One hand reaches down to open the top of the bag so she can peek inside.

Hyzen watches the reaction of the other carefully, a grin tugging upon her pale rosen lips. She knew what the other was thinking... or had a strong idea of it. "Imbriath keeps tract of who she will." A slight shrug is given of one shoulder as hand runs through her helmet-hair. "You're welcome... and she knows. She's listening." Another grin. Secrets of the dragonkind? They listen to what they will. "She /is/ sorry, though she won't admit she did anything wrong."

Linora has the bag open now, sifting the shells and pebbles through her fingers with a distant look in her eyes, trying to imagine Imbriath selecting them. A little smile lights her face and she glances back up at Hyzen. "Really? She's listening?" How is that even possible? She sends Imbriath a grateful thought, just in case. And the additional thought that Dsalth and P'rru really /ought/ to take their share of the blame, at least where she's concerned. Traveling between to High Reaches, soaked to the skin! She shivers a bit at the mere memory.

Tierza walks in from the Main Hallway.

Tierza peeks in to see if Linora is up to some company... "Hey there," spoken quietly.. just in case.

"She listens through me-- she's always curious about how someone will accept gifts she gives." A wink is given Linora as Hyzen continues. "She doesn't give them all that often you know-- only to those she feels needs or deserves them." No comment about whether or not the dragon heard the other's thoughts. Maybe Imbri wanted to keep it to herself? Was quite a possiblity. Shiver is noted and a worried expression flits upon the 'rider's face. "Are you okay?" Tierza is eyed thoughtfully before a brief nod is given.

Linora nods to Hyzen, a light blush coming to pale cheeks when she spots Tierza in the doorway. Nothing to do now, and Cress won't be any help, dozing beside her in the cot. She swallows hard and manages a smile. "Hi, Tie. Um... d'you know Hyzen? Green Imbriath's rider? She's from High Reaches." Oh, this is Not Good.

Tierza says, " I haven't had the pleasure. Welcome to Gar. I just wanted to see how Linora was doing and see if she needed anything. Although I know Cress hasn't left her side."

Hyzen glances towards Linora before she rises from the chair and offers a simple bow to the other. "Well met. And thank you..." At the last sentance uttered from Tierza, a teasing look is thrown towards the Starcrafter as the girl 'rider lifts from the motion. A titter is given and a bronzen head pokes out a belt-pouch, whirling eyes settling slowly on those in the room. "My name's Hyzen... but I don't have the pleasure of your own?"

Linora is really wishing she'd moved right away, when Hyzen first came... so she does what she can and escapes before it's much too late, pushing up from her propped-on-the-elbow position to a sitting one, and swinging her bare feet onto the floor. At least she's fully dressed. Sigh. "Hyzen, this is Tie... Tierza." She's lost for a title... not being really Garish herself. She manages a smile for her friend. "Hyzen and Imbriath took us between for a visit." Even as she says the words, Lin knows she's digging a deeper hole. So she shuts up, chewing her lip nervously.

Tierza says, "Recently, Lin?" While she is willing to ignore the 'visitor' in her cot, the trip seems a bit excessive. "I am Gar's assistant gardener here and every once in awhile I like to visit whoever's in the infirmary and say hello. Well met Hyzen."

Hyzen stays standing, since Linora had risen from her cot and Tierza wasn't making any move to stand. Shifting slightly, she offers another nod to the Gardner before smiling warmly to Linora. "I've got to be on my way... chores and Imbri's itching." Chuckling, she offers a second, deeper bow to both before striding to the door. "If ever you're in need of a lift somewhere, just send a firelizard with a note. I'd be happy to oblige." And with those parting words, she disappears out the doorway and back to her dragon.

Hyzen meekly steps to the Main Hallway.

Linora shakes her head, trying to remember if she'd told Tie anything at all about having gone to High Reaches, or about swimming with dolphins. "Naw, it was 'fore I got sick." Or maybe it was /when/ she got sick. She's still not clear on exactly when she started to realize she was hurting. She shifts herself to an empty cot, hopefully more casually than she thinks it looks, blinking at Hyzen's abrupt exit.

Tierza says, "Glad to hear that. Cavorting with dragons is one thing. Being totally foolish is another. I'm sorry Linora, I don't mind who you share your cot with, honestly, but.. do you /want/ you and Cress thrown out of the Craft?"

Linora hangs her head. "Course not," she mumbles. 'Specially since they didn't even /do/ anything! She looks meekly up at Tierza, chewing on her lower lip, sure there's nothing she can say that would explain it away, and inwardly grateful it wasn't a journeyman who came to pay her a visit this evening.

Tierza sighs and sits next to 'Nora. "I'm not saying this to be mean, but even if you two did nothing but talk and he just happened to fall asleep.. it looks otherwise. If it happens again.. I suggest you move to another cot immediately. Don't wait for someone to find you like that.

Linora blinks, her arms involuntarily folding around herself. "I'm sorry," she whispers, her lower lip trembling a bit. "I won't..." She starts to rock, slowly, tears streaming unbidden down her cheeks. Why is this so hard?

Tierza says, "Nora!" Wraps her arms around the girl.. "Oh please don't cry, I was trying to help.. I am so sorry.. I just worry about you two. It's so obvious.. and the last thing you want is more trouble. Have the two of you thought about leaving th craft and just being together?" Sighs and just holds the weeping girl. What else can she do?"

Linora covers her face with her hands,trembling with the effort of trying to regain control of her emotions... never an easy task for the girl, since they're so very close to the surface. "I know," she sobs. She knew Tie wasn't being mean. Tie's not mean. "I can't ask him to do that," she whispers. It means too much to him. "We won't be appies forever." Just seems that way.

Tierza says, "I know you won't, I just hate to see you suffering so much over this. Nora, it's okay.. it doesn't ahve to be sucha a tragedy to be young and in love. Just have to be more careful because you are in a CraftHall." Please stop those tears...." Really, I am sure part of it is you are still weak from your illness. Have you eaten much lately?"

Linora sniffles a bit, trying to feel reassured. Eaten? She turns red-rimmed eyes to Tierza and blinks. "I dunno... I guess not. I had lunch yesterday..." Was it yesterday? She doesn't even know what time it is really.

Tierza says, "Well, let me get you some soup and bread from the kitchen. I know that will help you at least feel better. And some juice as well. I'll be right back."

Linora nods meekly and draws the blankets around herself, settling in to wait. "Thanks, Tie," she whispers.

Tierza smiles and heads out...

Tierza walks to the Main Hallway.
Tierza walks in from the Main Hallway.

Linora is still sitting on the cot where she was left, only she has drawn her knees up to her chest and is hugging them, the blankets wrapped tightly around her shoulders.

Tierza reenters with a try holding a bowl of chicken soup, bread, juice and 2 mugs of klah. Well, she could use some as well.. "Here, sit up and eat. The bread is fresh from dinner.. and I wasn't sure if you would want klah as well, so I brought you some." Sets the tray on a table she pulls to the cot with her foot and grabs her mug of klah.

Linora manages a grateful smile. Her eyes are still shiny with tears, but at least they're in check now. She takes the bowl carefully in both hands and lifts it to sip the broth, blowing some of the steam off. Her eyes close as she swallows, and she seems to calm further.

Tierza nods as she watches the girl eat. Good, poor kid, what a few sevendays she has been through. And then she laughs to herself.. and she in all her 18 turn glory knows better?

At length Linora stops drinking and carefully returns the bowl to the table. And sighs, fingernails lightly drumming the outside of the bowl. She's got a lot of thinking to do. Yes, indeed.

Tierza says, "Is there anything more I can do to help you Nora?" Her eyes have a touch of sadness in them at seeing the apprentice in such pain. "Lots of appies wait it out and make it to journeyman, and then 'fast and are perfectly happy, you know."

Linora nods. Course she knew that... she hadn't known waiting could be so hard. "Naw. Thanks, Tie... I think I prolly oughtta rest and stuff." In her own cot, yup. Doesn't even look over at poor sleeping Cress... well, not much... and tries not to look wistful. Almost succeeds. Kinda. She thinks. With a faintly apologetic glance, she snuggles down into the cot, wrapping herself up in the blankets.

Tierza says, "Good night then Nora, sleep well.. I'll send a drudge in to clean up later."

Tierza walks to the Main Hallway.

The Next Day...

Wintermute glides down to land on the cot next to his humanpet, who is fast asleep. He cuddles up next to him and starts crooning deep from his throat.

Linora half hears a low crooning, almost familiar, and opens her eyes. For a moment she looks blankly at the ceiling, then the events of the previous evening flood back into her memory and she sits bolt upright with a little gasp. Which sets her coughing. One hand still over her mouth, she darts nervous eyes around the infirmary, first making sure that she's /alone/ in her cot.

Cress' eyes slowly opens, as he comes awake, as much because of 'Mute's crooning as Lin's coughing. He doesn't actually remember that he fell asleep with her still in his arms, so he just gives a deep sigh, and opens his eyes completely.

At Cress's sigh, Linora swings her head around to look at him, chewing her lip nervously. She draws her knees to her chest and hugs them close.

Cress slowly sits up in his cot, as not to jolt his aching head. Still his doesn't see Lin, but pick 'Mute up and places the brown in his lap. "Morning, 'Mute," he croaks, his voice still hoarse and ragged.

Well, he might have noticed Lin if she hadn't moved herself to the cot furthest away from his, on the far side of the infirmary. She watches him holding 'Mute... he's so gentle with those flits of his... then she just can't look anymore, shrinking down into the cot and shutting her eyes tightly.

Cress suddenly gets a dizzyspell, groans and lies back down, 'Mute still in his arm. "Maybe, Lin's right eh, 'Mute?" he whispers to the lizard. Maybe he really /was/ sick.

He sounds awful. Linora opens her eyes again to look. Just look. Don't get up... Oh, he looks awful too. Whimper.

He is awful, although he would never admit it, if he'd know she was awake and observing him. His hand slowly strokes the lizards back, while he wants to fall asleep again, but is unable to do so.

Linora can't help herself. She quietly slips out of the cot, hardly noticing that it's easier to breathe and her head is clearer. Too much on her mind. Another glance around the infirmary, and she moves to the empty cot beside his and sits down, worried eyes fixed on him even though she can see he's not looking her way.

Cress' eyes opens again, as he hears shuffling on the floor. His eyes round, he turns his head and sees Lin sitting there on the next cot. "Lin? You're still here," he says, /very/ surprised to sees her. And wondering if she'd heard his private conversation with 'Mute.

Linora nods. "I prolly shoulda left, though," she whispers. Spotting the little bag under the edge of Cress's cot, she leans forward to pick it up, and holds it out to him. "Hyzen came t'see us, after you fell asleep and stuff. She an' Imbriath were feeling kinda bad that we got sick." She still doesn't think it's the green's fault, or her rider's.

"Oh," Cress says, looking for all a question mark as he scoots back to a seated position, although his head's still throbbing. "A 'rider came to see us? When?" He didn't recall any 'rider coming, nor could he come up with a reason why she would.

Linora looks at the floor. "Last night. 'Member, they took us t'Reaches? Hyzen thinks it's kinda their fault and stuff. That we got sick. So anyhow, I guess Imbriath picked out some pretty shells and stuff," here she smiles a bit, and tosses the little bag onto his cot. Staying right where she is, yup. Her eyes search his, though, looking for some clue that he remembers anything at all about the night before... he must be really out of it.

Cress does wonder why she's keeping her distance to him, but looks into the bag. "A dragon's giving us presents?" he says, quite surprised at the concept and not quite beliving it either.

Linora nods. Then her eyes go to the floor again. "Then Tie came by, 'fore Hyzen left and stuff." He has no clue. She swallows hard and looks back at him, not quite meeting his eyes. It would be easier to say this if he remembered. "I think we maybe oughtta spend a little less time together and stuff." And drops her head again, her hands on her lap clasping and unclasping nervously.

Cress head comes up and around to look at her. Too fast it seems because his vision is swimming and he can't focus on her. "Less time..." he whispers, not sure if he'd heard her right.

Linora nods, the tears returning, although she won't lift her head for him to see. "I don't wanna... " She breaks off uncertainly, and swallows, and when she speaks again her voice is just a ragged little whisper. "I'm so sorry..." Can't he see it's the right thing to do, even though it's killing her inside to say it?

"Sorry? 'Bout what?" Cress repeats. So his brain's not working right now, but he can definately see that there's something wrong. And then it dawns on him, as memory returns. "They came in here while...." is all he can say, not wanting to finish the sentence.

Linora nods miserably, still looking at her hands. "Hyzen didn't care... " Well, why should a rider care? Rules are different at Weyrs, aren't they? "But Tie..." She swallows again, then looks up at him, not caring anymore if he sees her crying. "She's right. I coulda got us both tossed out." Of course it's all her fault. She could've walked away. Should've walked away. Didn't.

Cress sighs, or attemps to because he launches into a coughing fit. "It's not your fault," he croaks as he finishes, and tears come to his eyes as well, although they might be from the coughing. He doesn't know what else to say, and turns his gaze to 'Mute in his lap.

Linora gets to her feet, one hand impatiently scrubbing the tears from her cheeks. "Doesn't matter," she whispers. And it doesn't. "I'll still be sorry." Sorry if she stays, sorry if she goes... so she'd better leave. Before she really ruins things for Cress. "They'll take good care of ya here and stuff... " Not even sure she should promise to visit, not trusting herself even that far. She backs toward the door.

Cress looks up and follows her retreat with his eyes, not sure he should ask her to stay, but decides against it, since someone had already seen them together. But there's a pain in his eyes telling that he doesn't /want/ her to go. He doesn't say anything, but just gives a slight wave as she goes.

Linora catches the look and dies inside... unable to pull herself together to even return the wave, she slips out the door and closes it quietly behind her.

The Next Day...

Gar Hold Infirmary

Cress is curled up with a brown lizard in his arms, much like a stuffed bear, and two others lying against his back warming him. A slight snore comes from his throat, and his eyeballs are moving under the lids.

Linora peeks in hesitantly. She wasn't /going/ to come back, really... she /meant/ to stay away... but just maybe she was a little worried. Or something. Her eyes instinctively find Cress, softening at the sight of him curled up like a little boy. She comes closer, quietly sitting down on the cot next to his and hugging her knees to her chest. Just looking.

Cress wakes easily, even if he's sick. Something he's learn from his Turns on the road. His lids flutters and he sees Lin sitting there. "Oh, hello Lin," he says and sits up. Feeling much better now. "How're you feeling?" Yes, he's more worried about her, than himself.

Awful. Linora's eyes are firmly fixed on her hands, clasped around her knees, and she can't remember feeling more miserable. "All right." It's not a lie, though... not if he was asking if she was still sick. "You feeling any better?"

Cress nods, taking a testing deep breath. No coughing although it /did/ sound a little raspy. "I'm fine," he says, feeling well enough to get out of her. "I'm thirsty, though. Wanna come with me to the dining hall?"

Linora looks up, surprised. "Sure." That'd be safe enough. Public enough. She slips her feet back onto the floor and stands up.

Cress swings his legs out on the cold floor and searches for his boots. Finding them he pulls them on fast as not to be more chilled by the floor. He then stands up, feeling no real dizzyness anymore. "Ready?"

Linora nods and goes to the door, opening it without a word... then hesitates a moment, waiting for him to join her.

Cress comes across the floor more or less steady on his feet and gives her a smile as he gets to the door.

Cress moves slowly to the Main Hallway.

Dining Hall

Cress walks over to the sideboard to check on the days meals. Pouring a mug of juice, he surveys what's being offered.

Cress glances at the chalkboard to see what the menu is for today.

Some of today's lunch is still left, it was: Smoked wherry sandwiches with carrots and pickle spears. There's also: Carrots, celery, and cucumbers with creamy dip, fresh redfruits, and the inevitable meatrolls.

Cress is in no mood for wherry today, so he just picks out some fruit and brings it to a table to sit down...not bothering to wait for Lin.

Linora is starting to wonder why Cress asked her to come with him, since he hasn't said a word to her or even looked at her since they left the infirmary, but puts on a brave face as she crosses to the sideboard to pick over the fruit there. Any one will do, really, since she isn't feeling much hungry... Then she pours a mug of juice and crosses the room to stand near Cress's table, chewing her lip slightly as she decides whether to sit down, or just leave him alone.

Cress fiddles with the mug, as he sits there, thinking. He hears Lin come over, and looks up at her, the puppy-eyes working this times, as he genuinelly feels sad. He nods for her to sit and attempts to say something. "Lin...." He looks into the mug again, the fruit laying, forgotten, on the table beside him. "I been thinking.. And I think you might be right that we need to spend more time on our studies...." He can't get out the part about 'spending more time apart.'

Linora drops into the chair across the table from Cress, setting fruit and mug on the table in front of her, and listens with big eyes. He's right, of course... but that doesn't make it any easier to hear. She sits perfectly still, eyes unfocused and hands clasped nervously on her lap, unable to speak.

Cress' tongue's been tied too. He's said what needs to be said and can't say anything more on the subject can he? So he just sits there and picks at the juice. Yes, he's actually picking at the juice, one forefinger in the fluid.

Linora sits numbly for a long moment before apparently deciding there's not much point in sitting here, not saying anything and not being talked to. "I prolly oughta get started on my project, then." She swallows hard, not getting up right away, half hoping he'll ask her to stay, like before.

"Please stay," Cress says, his eyes growing wide. After all they /were/ in a public space, and had a table between them. He just doesn't know what to say, other than; "Did'ya have a chance to think over a specialty?" The usual question, which he'd probably ask her till the day she decided on one.

Linora manages a smile, even as her eyes fill... she blinks back the tears and shakes her head. "Haven't really had much of a chance," she whispers. Not being sick and all.

Cress shrugs, he still doesn't know what else to say. Then he looks at his lizards, looking somewhat faded, after some time without oiling. "Guess I better oil these guys," he mumbles.

Linora blinks as she realizes she doesn't even know where Spray /is/. After a long distracted moment she realizes that Cress really /does/ want her to stay. "I could help," she offers hesitantly. Maybe it'll be like before...

Cress smiles crookedly as he looks up at her again. "Yeah?" He rummages through his pack, which he didn't realize till not that he'd brough with him. He finally finds the little bottle of oil and puts it on the table. "Who d'you want?" Dixie or 'Doru, since 'Mute is nowhere to be found.

Well, Lin does like 'Mute best. She looks from one to the other and shrugs. "Whichever... I like 'em both." She smiles a bit.

Wintermute blinks in from ::between::!

Wintermute swoops down to land on the table, right in the middle. This lizard is perfect at landing, see? And he's heard that oil had come out..

Linora blinks as 'Mute appears, her smile beginning to reach her eyes now. "Aw, look who couldn't stay away when the oil came out," she teases. She reaches for the bottle and pours a bit into her hand. "C'mon, ya monster," she says fondly, holding her other hand out for 'Mute to perch in.

Cress' smile comes out at the way she treats 'Mute. Almost as fondly as she treats her own blue, he'd say. He decides to oil 'Doru first as she's the most impatient of the two left and puts her in his lap, taking the oil-bottle and pours oil into his own hand.

Linora focuses her entire attention on 'Mute, carefully smoothing the sweet oil into his soft hide. If her hands are busy, her mind is busy. If her mind is busy, she won't think about... things.

Cress' hands slowly rubs oil into 'Doru's hide. He's really neglected the lizards, over the last sevenday or so, and he hoped that they'd been feeding themselves. Most likely they had, since they were calm enough to be oiled. He glances up at Lin, and smiles at the way she gives attention to 'Mute and the way the brown loves that attention.

Linora can't help but feel calmer, as her hands gently work the oil into 'Mute's delicate wingsails. She draws the little brown into the crook of her arm and begins to oil his soft belly, completely absorbed. She doesn't even notice Cress looking at her.

As he watches Lin, Cress' hands work the hide of 'Doru almost by themselves. He just can't take his eyes off of her and he automatically turn the lizard and starts rubbing oil into her bellyskin, which all his lizards enjoy immensly.

Linora gently arranges 'Mute on her lap, both hands smoothing sweet oil along the length of his neck. Poor thing must be oiled half to death by now, but Lin doesn't stop the gentle rubbing of her hands on his soft underbelly.

A loud chitter from Dixie, reminds Cress that he has another lizard to oil and he gentle puts 'Doru on the table. He takes the youngest brown off his shoulder and starts the oiling treatment on him.

Linora's hands slow, and her eyes drop out of focus a bit. 'Mute actually seems to have fallen asleep on her lap, and there's no missing the gleam on his well-oiled hide. It's not the same at all, is it? She peeks up to see Cress beginning to oil Dixie, and focuses in on his hands. Loves to look at his hands... especially when he's oiling those flits, so gentle... After a seeming eternity of staring, Linora blinks. She looks down at 'Mute as if surprised to see him in her lap, then gently lifts him into her arms and stands up. "I guess I better get back ta the dorms and stuff," she says, not quite looking at Cress... rather at a nick in the surface of the table.

"Yeah," Cress mumbles, looking up at her, and 'Mute. "Thanks for the help." He eyes 'Mute once again, they lizard so oily and shining you'd think he was proddy. He's not happy that she's leaving but maybe it /was/ for the better.

Linora carefully arranges the dozing 'Mute on the tabletop, giving him one last scritch before dropping her hands to her sides. "Sure." She can't read Cress's look now; maybe it's because her eyes are a little blurry. She blinks, but it doesn't seem to help. "See ya," she whispers, turning to leave.

"Bye," Cress says meakly, trying to sound... Well, almost happy, but sad. Oh, shells. He's sad that she's leaving, isn't he?

Linora doesn't look back. Wouldn't help. She can't tell him how she's feeling either. Someday, maybe. With a little sigh, she lets herself out of the dining hall and heads back to the dorms.

Next Day...

Dining Hall

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.