Not Quite All Better...

The Vault
No more than a hideaway amidst the gothic grandeur of the StarHall, this cozy lounge is a place of laughter if not greatness, warmth if not splendour. The close stone walls are insulated with tapestries of all shapes and sizes, most a little worn, several faded and a good many depicting scenes from childhood stories. The mismatched chairs and sofas are in a similar state, rescued from cellars and rubbish-heaps but perhaps more softer and more comfortable for that, scattered in a rouch circle on a hardwood floor. A low round table in the centre of the room holds cards, discarded hides, mugs, and a pot that holds klah as long as someone remembers to fill it. The one window at the back wall lets light and air into the warm, cozy room.
Scattered troughout the rooms are numerous glowbaskets. Thin hides, that would be transparant if they weren't coloured in light shades of red green and blue cast a colourfull and happy athmostphere troughout the room. Small bells and sticks, hung near the window, create soft, eerie yet comfortablly soft sounds,
Naomi, Cress, and Tstar are here.

Linora wanders through with a dazed expression, one hand pressed against her temple.

Cress is in his chair, reading a book and making notes on a piece of paper. Too concentrated to see or hear anyone come in or go out.

Linora stumbles with a clattering bang into a chair she didn't see... one that normally isn't right in that exact spot, is it? She hopes not. Head forgotten, hands now go to her throbbing shinbone, trying to rub the pain away. Ow.

Cress looks up with a start as a chair clatters across the floor. His eyesight re-focusing, he recognizes Linora. "Lin? Are you alright," he says as he gets up and rushes to her side.

Linora looks up, surprised and more than a little chagrined that someone saw her trip. But she still has a smile for Cress. "Yeah, I'm okay... Just stupid." She sighs. "I guess I wasn't looking where I was going and stuff." She sits down on the offending chair, inspecting her shin for a bruise. "I been working on my project for /hours/... I was just gonna take a break."

Cress grins lobsidedly and takes her leg in his hands, running one of them over the shin. "Yeah? How's that coming, then?" He looks up at her and gives her a smile, while still crouching in front of her.

Linora winces a little as Cress touches a tender spot on her shin. "Pretty good," she says, managing to smile. "I think I'm almost done."

Cress nods slowly, his attention returned to her leg. "Sounds great," he says glancing up at her to give her a smile. "You sure this'll be alright." He nods to her leg, still running his hand up and down her shin.

Linora nods quickly, feeling more stupid than sore. "It's just a bruise..." she thinks. She reaches down to cover his hand with hers, stopping its movement so she can take another look at the shin, where a lovely purpley bruise is beginning to appear. She looks at it ruefully for a moment, then at her hand, on Cress' hand, on her leg... and blinks. She lifts her eyes slowly to meet his. "I'll be fine." Really.

"Where were you going?" Cress asks, and draws his hand away and gently sets her foot down on the floor, before getting up again, to stand in front of her.

Linora blinks again, looking a bit blankly up at him as she tries to remember. "Oh... I was gonna go to the lake." She gets to her feet, about to go that way again. And quickly, before she gets lost. Or something.

"I'll come with ya," Cress says and follows her. "Been a long time since I went there." He not really sure, she'd want him to follow, but does anyway. "I think the weather is nice today." But how would he know, when he hasn't been outside yet?

Linora smiles, almost shyly. "Okay." She doesn't even limp... much... as she heads out the door.

Crystal Lake
As you walk along the path, you find yourself near the center of the valley. Situated here, is Crystal Lake. This lake is named for its clarity. At nearly 100 feet, things can still be seen as if they were closer! Unfortunately, this is also a danger, as one has trouble gauging depth, so swimmers beware! A natural spring feeds the lake from underneath, keeping it a nice 80 degrees, even in the winter, though it can get much warmer in the summer. A large square has been set up a short distance for the shoreline.
It is a spring midmorning.

Linora continues right down to the shoreline, favoring the right leg only a little, pausing a few meters away to tug off her sandals before wading in.

Cress just sits well away from the water, and lays his book away to the side, crossing his arms over his pulled up knees.

Linora is up to her waist in the warm waters of the lake before she notices that Cress has apparently decided not to swim. With a small shrug, she dives under completely, nevermind how wet her clothes get. They'll dry, after all, on a nice day like this. She sets off underwater, only to come spluttering to the surface not half a dragonlength away, gasping for breath. She paddles a bit weakly toward shallower water, looking shaken.

Cress notices Lin's 'antics' and comes rushing off the ground and to the lakeside. "What happened?!" he shouts, looking quite worried, as he stands at the water's edge, careful not to get his boots wet. Although if she was in /real/ trouble he'd jump in without thinking twice, of course.

Linora slogs to the shore, dropping to sit as soon as she's completely out of the water, bent over nearly double and coughing. As soon as she can get her breath, she looks up at him, dismayed. "I dunno?" The wheeze is back with a vengeance.

Cress kneels down beside her, squeezing her shoulder. "Are you alright. Should we get to the infirmary, you think?" If he looks scared it's because he /is/, he doesn't want to lose his.. Friend. Looking her over closely, he comes to the conclusion that she needs a healer. "I'm gonna take you to the infirmary..."

Linora shakes her head, eyes wide. "No," she says, in between gasps. "I.. I'm okay." A long moment of just... trying to breathe. Yeah. "Maybe... swimming wasn't such a good idea," she manages to add.

Cress relaxes his shoulders, convinces that she really is alright. She wouldn't lie to him, would she? "You're sure? Maybe we should at least get back to the Hall. Get you some dry clothes?"

Linora nods. She's sure. Or she thinks she's sure. At least, she's sure she doesn't want to go back to the infirmary. Nothing but trouble for her there, yup. "Lemme just dry off in the sun and stuff," she says, her eyes pleading, don't make her walk anywhere, not just now.

Cress shrugs, and gets off his knees to sit on his bottom instead. "Okay," he says tentatively, and changes the subject, "so you've finished your project? Did you figure out a specialty too?" He can't help but asking and can't stop himself before he does. He looks into the ground, knowing that it's a touchy subject for her and feeling bad that he brought it up. Once again.

Linora flops back on the shore, not caring that the motion puts her feet back into the water, arms at her sides, breathing. After a long moment it doesn't seem so difficult anymore and she grins up at him. "Yeah," she says, her eyes sparkling.

Cress' head comes 'round to look at her, "You /did/?! Well, tell me?" He's dying to know see? And hoping that she didn't chose navigation, so that she'd be posted on a ship for away. Or at the Smith Hall, if she'd chosen Optics.

Linora beams, but she's not quite ready to sit up yet. "Charting." Hadn't Cress suggested that in the first place, as an alternative to navigation? "I looked at the book and stuff, in the archives... it was a lot more interesting than I thought it was gonna be." Another moment to breathe. Okay, now she'll try sitting up... okay. "So I asked Keris if he'd mentor me an' stuff, and he said he would."

Keris? The same jman who'd tried to recruit Cress, when he'd first joined the craft. He beams her a smile, happy that she'd finally come to a conclusion. "That's great.. You know Keris is 'fasted to Riina," he says and grins. Funny coincident, right?

Linora looks confused for just a moment, trying to follow Cress' line of reasoning with that statement, and then her mouth falls open. For a moment she's tongue-tied, then she manages to nod. "Yeah." 'Course after talking to Ali, that wasn't /all/ she knew about Keris... so forgive her if she's looking a bit shellshocked.

Cress doesn't know much about Keris, or even Riina for that matter. Except that they were jpeople and demanded that their mentees study. Picking a little at his pantsleg, which again reminded him that he ought to get some shorts, or even lighter pants, he looks up at Linora. "I think I should get back to studying, you know. But I'm real glad you decided on a specialty."

Linora swallows hard and manages to smile. He's leaving. Again. She draws her knees up to her chest and hugs them hard, squeezing the breath out of herself and not caring. "See ya, then." Lin hates waiting. A lot.

Cress is about to note that she should be studying too, then remembers that she /had/ been doing that for hours. "You sure you'll be alright, then? I'm not sure I should leave you here alone, thou'." So he doesn't get up, but puts his hand on her arm. "Why don't you come back to the Hall with me?"

Linora releases the grip on her knees, turning her face to look at him. Why don't you stay here with me, are the unspoken words in her eyes... words she doesn't dare speak, knowing she won't like the answer. "I'll be okay," she says. She's not sure at all if she can stand steadily, much less walk all the way back to the Hall.

Cress isn't at all happy about leaving her here, "okay," he says weakly. "As long as you're sure." He leans over and gives her a hug, then gets up and walks to where he left his book and bends to pick it up. He turns to look back at her, hesitating before leaving. "See ya...."

Linora draws back as Cress walks away, confused and unhappy. For a long moment she doesn't say anything at all, then she turns to look up the shore, relieved to see him still standing there. "See ya," she whispers, lifting a hand to wave. Sigh.

Cress moves slowly to the Hold Field.