Cress sits on the wall, staring out into space, not hearing Linora come out of the Hall.
Linora pushes her way out the big door, relief evident on her face as she takes a deep breath of the fresh spring air. Pale eyes dart around the courtyard before she lets the door close behind her - just in case there are strangers about - her face lighting up as her eyes land on Cress. Still here. She steps out fully, the big door swinging shut with a thud, and walks over to where he's sitting. "Hey," she says quietly. "How ya doin'?"
"Huh?" Eyes slowly refocusing, Cress looks about to locate the source of the voice, smiling even before he fixes his eyes on Lin. He'd already recognized her voice. "Good..."
Linora beams, holding out a hand to him. "Good. Come t'the lake with me? I don't wanna go alone." Her eyes add that it's not just any old company she'd like to have. "An' I'm gonna miss it."
Cress hops off the wall, before taking her hand, squeezing it as he looks into her eyes. "I know," he mumbles, glancing down at the ground.
Linora smiles, trying to catch his eye. "It's okay," she says, returning the squeeze. Maybe she shouldn't tell him she'll miss stuff around here... "C'mon."
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.
Green Imbriath is here.
Hyzen and Cress are here.
Hyzen is off to one side, examining something in the tall grasses as Imbriath sits at the water's edge, watching the Lake Monster and pondering whether it was safe to actually enter. "It's okay, Imbri... it won't gobble you up, I promise." Greenlet snorts loudly, as if she doesn't believe before she wobbles slowly into the lapping water, keeping a keen eye on the wooden thing.
Cress won't say he actually recognizes the dragon here, he wasn't a master of telling one from the other, but he did recognize the rider and gives her a nod, and since he doesn't remember her name he turns to Lin. She was sure to remember, right?
It's hard to miss a large green dragon on a lakeshore. Linora's face clearly shows her surprise and... trepidation? No, she's learned to recognize proddy. A smile spreads across her face as she looks about and finally spots Hyzen in the tall grass. "Hey Hyzen!" She looks quickly at Cress, but he doesn't seem as nervous as before, so she flashes him a quick grin before releasing his hand and trotting down the lakeshore to greet dragon and rider.
It's.... bobbing... towards her! Imbri freezes half in the lake, staring with wide and fastly whirling eyes at the monster. Another wave gives it another bob and she tears out of the water as fast as she can, sending droplets flying as she comes to plop near her 'rider, eyes still on the demon. Hyzen turns from the grass to greet Linora and Cress, smiling widely as she moves to greet them, meeting Lin halfway. "'lo Linora, Cress. How are you two?" Eyes are shining as she gazes betwixt both, but says nothing more but gives Imbri a curious stare. "It was NOT trying to eat you."
Cress swallows, as he follows Linora toward the big green, then smiles halfway, flattered that a rider remembered /his/ name. "Fine, I guess..." he mumbles, turning his gaze back to the dragon, trying to understand what it is she's doing.
Linora jumps a little as Imbriath bolts out of the water, giggling as she's splashed a bit, not minding much since it's a fine warm day. "I'm okay." If Hyzen meant anything about the relationship, she's unfortunately not going to get much of an answer. "Who'd eat Imbriath?" She looks around, not seeing anything even remotely frightening around the lake, and shrugs. "Didja come back for the scrub I promised?" Sparkling eyes go from 'rider to dragon and back.
Hyzen bows towards the two, winking at Cress before she nods. "That's good..." trailing off, she shakes her head slowly before eyeing Imbriath. "She thinks that thing in the lake is out to get her." Greenlet rumbles lowly, reaching out to nudge her 'rider before butting her head in the direction of the lake and the wooden contraption. "No it won't. Look, Lin might wash you. She won't let it get you and neither will I, okay?" Imbri ruffles her wings, turning towards the couple and stretching out her head to try and nudge both, whuffling softly. "Yeah, if you're still up to it..."
Dragonscrubbing? Cress considers for a moment helping out, but decides that his swimming skills aren't good enough to be in the same waters as a dragon. "How's the weather up north?" he idly asks the rider, while looking at the green dragon, then glances at Linora, seeing her very enthusiastic about washing the big creature.
Linora giggles as she's whuffled, reaching out a hand to stroke the soft muzzle. "Sure I'll wash ya," she says. It's easy to spot someone who doesn't /have/ to scrub dragons. The ones who still think it's fun. But when Cress' question reaches her ears, she sobers a bit, thoughts of dragonscrubbing vanishing from her mind. North. Her hand drops to her side, and she turns to hear Hyzen's response. She ought to know this, too, right?
Hyzen slowly removes her gloves, lips pursed as she ponders Cress's question-- not that it was overly hard or something. "Pretty good now that spring's back in the air. Still slightly cold and with many rainshowers." She doesn't ask why he wants to know... after her talk with Linora, it was possible that's where he was heading. Shaking her head, she stuffs her gloves into her belt and pats Imbriath's neck, watching them with hooded eyes.
Finding a rock to lean against, Cress nods slowly, pretty much the answer he'd expected, considering the season. Just nice to hear news, any news, from 'home'. No point in asking a rider what the roads looked like, right? Riders didn't need roads.. Instead settles down to watch the dragon - and Linora - in the Lake.
Linora sighs a little at the response. Cold. Rainshowers. Biting her lip a bit, she turns to Hyzen as Cress goes to sit down. "It was 'bout this time last Turn when we went up there, wasn't it?" She remembers quite well how cold it had been. She glances over at the water, almost sad as she thinks about leaving this place.
Hyzen nods slowly as she watches Cress sit, eyes sad when Linora speaks. "Yes... though it was more winter than spring. Cold." Noting the look in Linora's eyes, she blinks, reaching out towards her friend. "What's wrong?" Asked softly as Imbriath meanders towards Cress to snuffle him more fully. She remembers you, see, from her 'rider's thoughts. She scared you, she did. Evil Imbri. Snuffle.
Cress sits still, looking at the green, not saying a word and not even hearing the rider's question as the dragon comes toward him. Don't show fear, right? Or was that the rule with canines? "Hi," he whispers to Imbriath, catching a whiff of her breath, and winces. Not the best smell in the world, but he'd experienced worse, sleeping in a cave with animals all 'round him.
Linora jumps at the light touch, turning her head to look back at Hyzen and shrugging slightly "Nothin'". She glances over at Cress, grinning a little to see all the attention he's getting from Imbriath. And his reaction. Turning back to Hyzen, she grins. "Naw, I think it was just about this time last Turn." She remembers vividly, after spending the rest of that spring in the infirmary and most of that summer recovering. "An' it was..." She turns to look at Cress again, her head tilting to one side. "Cress? Is it your turnday?" Was she just supposed to know this stuff? Shells. He's prolly not even gonna answer, too busy being whuffled.
"It is?" Cress says to Linora, still staring at the dragon. He'd forgotten about that. With everything else happening around him, he'd forgotten about that. "I guess so," he mumbles, the look in his eyes turning glassy as he thinks. "That'd make me 20...."
Linora blinks slowly. Twenty?! Somehow she hadn't though of Cress as being that old. But she smiles anyhow as she turns apologetic eyes to Imbriath. "I'll scrub ya another time," she promises. Seems Lin's thought of something more fun to do than scrubbing a dragon. "Seeya." She waves brightly to dragon and rider and walks over to where Cress is sitting to offer him her hand. "Happy Turnday," she says quietly, a secretive smile lighting her eyes.
"Thanks," Cress mumbles, leaning down to give her a kiss. He takes her hand and gives it a squeeze. Seeing the look in her eyes makes him burst in to laughter. He liked that look.
Linora looks a little surprised as Cress laughs, then she catches the look in his eyes. For a long moment she can't seem to remember to close her mouth, then she grins brightly. "An' me without a gift," she teases, a wicked gleam returning to her pale eyes. Without another word she stretches up to give him another kiss, then starts off toward the field. He'll have to come with her; she's not letting go. Works both ways, that.
Spray> Linora walks softly to the Hold Field.
Spray> Linora leads Cress out.