Making Amends (White Tower, open)

The World outside the Grey Tower is a vast place.
Alianora
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Making Amends (White Tower, open)

Post by Alianora » April 10th, 2018, 10:05 pm

Liaran Sedai
In a field a short distance from where the Healers were setting up, Liaran stood and stared at the ruins of the White Tower. The sight was not nearly as satisfying as the last time she'd seen it, at the end of the war. Today, seeing it only made Liaran feel guilty for the role she'd played in the downfall of the Tower and the people within it, which was only fitting, since it was that emotion that had driven her to return with the relief efforts. The Aes Sedai stifled a yawn and forced herself to turn away from it, attempting to focus on the task that lay ahead of her.

The work she would be doing was relatively simple. A sack of apples rested beside her, and when the rest of the group arrived, she and the others would be distributing those and other items to the poor and homeless who lived in the city. It was both useful and necessary, and Liaran hoped that in some way, however small, she could begin to make up for the harm she had done here. She lifted her head, watching the people around her, wishing that the rest of the group would hurry up and join her so that they could begin their work. As she waited, Liaran buried both hands in the folds of her skirt, picking at the fabric. She couldn't help being nervous about being in this city again, and her nerves bordered on true fear, much closer to it than she would have liked. When she became aware of what she was doing, Liaran let go of the fabric and folded her hands in front of her, attempting to appear calm, though it was far from how she felt.

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Bella
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Re: Making Amends (White Tower, open)

Post by Bella » April 14th, 2018, 8:43 pm

A figure in the camp of Healers separated from the group and drifted toward the field. It didn't take long for it to become clear that that figure was Haeden Ives.

He had seen Liaran among the groups of travelers here, and then in the field with the supplies for the refugees of the city. He was somehow both surprised and not surprised that she was here, although he noted she was at one of the aid stations furthest from the actual place...and who could blame her?

Still, a protective urge rose up in him and he was drawn towards where she sat. He noticed her plucking at her skirt and then stopping, folding her hands. She had to be nervous, he thought, though she was trying to hide it. Aes Sedai tended to be good at that--hiding their feelings, that was.

Even his mother was, when she chose to be.

As he drew near, he wondered if she would for some reason not want him around...but he was here now. "Need any help?" he asked as casually as he could, smiling slightly.

Alianora
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Re: Making Amends (White Tower, open)

Post by Alianora » April 15th, 2018, 9:20 pm

Liaran Sedai
After her initial study of it, Liaran hadn't particularly wanted to look at where the White Tower had once stood, and as a result, the Aes Sedai was instead watching the people around her. As she searched them, waiting with increasing impatience for the other Blue who should have arrived by now to work with her, Liaran caught sight of Haeden. Seeing that he was here calmed Liaran's nerves slightly, but she was confused when she saw him heading towards the field where she stood. What is he doing? When he reached her and offered to help, Liaran blinked up at him. Her mouth opened, and the Aes Sedai snapped it shut when she realized that she didn't know what to say.

She looked down at the pile of supplies that had grown beside her, dropped off by others on their way to their own tasks. There was no shortage of work for another person, especially if the other Blue never did show herself, but Liaran still didn't understand why Haeden would have been sent here. She had heard the rumors of bandits, seen groups of the Gaidin depart, and would have expected him to be among them and not standing in front of her. She blinked again, then nodded. "If you want to.....of course you can help," she said, then, still confused, "but...shouldn't you be with the other Gaidin?"

Liaran had been looking at Haeden while addressing him, but when she'd finished speaking, returned to searching the crowds and spotted a figure in blue skirts hurrying in their direction. She was moving as fast as she could without actually running, and as she got closer, Liaran knew that she recognized the other woman. Light. Orinna. The small, dark haired Blue was one of the many who had come to the Grey Tower from the White, and every single one of them stirred up fear within Liaran, their presence alone reminding her of memories she would much rather leave buried. Her stomach dropped, and she took an involuntary step backwards, as if she could somehow escape from having to work with the other woman.

Though she would never have said so, and wouldn't even allow herself to look at him, Liaran hoped that Haeden would be able to stay. His presence made her feel a little safer here, and as ridiculous as she knew it was, Liaran just didn't think she could stand to be alone with Orinna, not in the city that still featured in her nightmares. She took her eyes off the approaching woman and turned to look at the people gathering around them, hoping they would be so busy that she wouldn't have time to think about anything but the work ahead of her.

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Bella
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Re: Making Amends (White Tower, open)

Post by Bella » April 17th, 2018, 10:58 pm

The truth of it was that Haeden had absolutely no intention of leaving Liaran alone to this place unless she expressly told him to leave. The blond Gaidin would never force his presence upon her, but absent that dismissal, he intended to remain near to her. Help her.

Protect her.

Before he had the chance to respond, Liaran spotted something and he noticed a shift in her demeanor. He looked toward where she had and noticed one of the White Tower-turned-Grey Tower Aes Sedai coming towards them. He couldn't remember her name, even though he had seen her face around the Tower in the time since they had, well, wrecked Tar Valon.

Since she had not reached them nor addressed them, he turned to Liaran with a small smile. Willing her to focus on him than anyone else. "My brothers and sisters in battle are more than capable, and I'm sure an extra pair of hands and strong shoulders would not go amiss here. I would like to help."

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Re: Making Amends (White Tower, open)

Post by Alianora » April 19th, 2018, 12:20 am

Liaran Sedai
Liaran looked at Haeden when he spoke to her and was grateful for the distraction he provided. "Of course, if you aren't needed elsewhere you can help, I'd appreciate it." She left unsaid just how relieved she was that he'd be staying. She felt just a little more confident that she could handle being here with Haeden remaining nearby, even if she didn't understand why she felt that way. Having settled that, Liaran turned from Haeden and began to open some of the sacks and boxes, but she didn't get very far before she was interrupted by a voice that definitely did not belong to the Gaidin.

"Good morning, Liaran!"

Liaran took a deep breath before making herself turn around to face Orinna. Her stomach flipped over inside her just from looking at the other Blue, and Liaran knew it was ridiculous. Orinna was a tiny woman, her head barely reaching Liaran's shoulder, and couldn't possibly have looked less threatening. Observing that did absolutely nothing to ease Liaran's fear. Returning the greeting felt beyond her, and she barely managed a polite nod of acknowledgement. "We need to get started," she said, knowing that she was close to being rude and not particularly caring. "The supplies are over there, pick something and start handing it out." Without another word, Liaran located a sack of apples and followed her own directions.

Once she'd begun her task, Liaran felt herself begin to breathe a little easier. It surprised her how thankful the people of Tar Valon were, considering that the White Tower's fall had been their doing. It was less difficult than she had feared to greet each of them, offer what they had and wish them well. As pleased as she was by that small success, Liaran was still far too aware of Orinna's presence. She did the best she could not to let it bother her, but from time to time, she still felt her stomach twist, or the skin on her back begin to crawl. Though she didn't speak to Haeden either, Liaran found herself looking at him whenever her nerves threatened to take over. Just knowing he was there, that she wasn't alone, helped her stay calm enough to remain focused.

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Bella
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Re: Making Amends (White Tower, open)

Post by Bella » April 20th, 2018, 6:06 pm

Haeden knew how to work, so when Liaran got to work, he did too. And his offhand line about hands and strong shoulders proved truer than expected.

They were doing most of this effort with what they could do on their own, limiting the use of the One Power--apparently, at least. It had not been said to him, since it was not his area, but everyone just worked. Perhaps it was to keep the people around them at ease, since many of them struck his like frightened deer.

As he moved supplies to get to more or move them out of the way as needed, helping to hand things out and interact with the refugees in between, he noticed that Liaran looked at him often. She did not speak, but she found something in that moment, or else she would not keep doing it.

He couldn't imagine the presence of the White Tower channeler was doing much for her nerves, but she handled it with the outward poise of a Sister of the Grey Tower.

After they had been at it for a few hours, he straightened and stretched his back. He was used to long hours in the Yards, but these movements were somewhat different than his usual work. Not that he was sore or tired, but knew he needed to keep himself limber to keep from getting there.

Haeden stepped closer to Liaran, speaking so she could hear him but not for everyone's ears. Simply to be polite. "Would you like to take a break? I think they have a tent set up for us with some water and snacks."

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Re: Making Amends (White Tower, open)

Post by Alianora » April 22nd, 2018, 7:41 pm

Liaran Sedai
Over the course of the morning, the knot in Liaran's stomach began to unravel. It wasn't that she was no longer afraid, for she thought she always would be in this city, but the work she was doing proved to be an effective distraction for Liaran. As the sacks and boxes emptied and the people of Tar Valon left with their supplies, the Aes Sedai felt optimistic that the damage done to the city could be mended, and would be over time. She was glad to be part of the efforts to make that happen. Even Orinna didn't bother her as much as Liaran became more absorbed in her work. The other Blue was very quiet, working as hard as anyone else, and that wasn't what Liaran had expected of the woman. She was feeling a little more calm by the time she noticed that she was getting a bit tired, and not long after that, Haeden suggested that they take a break.

She smiled up at him, stretching her arms over her head. "I think that's a good idea," Liaran agreed. She walked to the indicated tent and stood inside it while she tried to decide whether she wanted anything. Though her nerves had lessened, they were most definitely still present, and Liaran didn't think she wanted to eat. She settled for water, deeming it safe enough, and when she sat down with it, she noticed Orinna entering. Liaran stood, intending to leave, but the smaller woman moved fast, speaking to Liaran before she could manage an escape. She had to force herself to sit back down.

"Do you do this sort of work often, Liaran?" Liaran, sitting stiffly on the edge of her chair, couldn't seem to form words, shaking her head instead. Her quietness did nothing to deter Orinna from talking to her, and Liaran learned that the other Blue often involved herself in relief efforts of this sort and enjoyed working with the poor in general. That particular cause wasn't uncommon among Blues, but it wasn't one Liaran had thought would be common with the White Tower's sisters after her own experience with them. She was still nervous, her eyes darting around the tent searching for an escape, but it occurred to Liaran that Orinna didn't quite seem to be the threat she'd feared at the start of the day. She smiled politely, nodded at appropriate times, and when she was done with her water, Liaran went to go find Haeden.

When she found him, Liaran felt a little less anxious just from seeing that he was still here. "I hope you haven't been too bored this morning," she told him. "I doubt that this is how you usually spend your time."

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Bella
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Re: Making Amends (White Tower, open)

Post by Bella » April 24th, 2018, 11:30 pm

Haeden hadn't intended to be too far from Liaran's side, wanting to be there as a shield-wall between her and...well, anything that she needed shielding from, but he had been intercepted by his own interruption in the form of one of his mother's Greens. He wasn't entirely sure why the woman was here instead of on patrol, but the same could be said of him.

After just enough conversation to sate the Aes Sedai, Haeden immediately moved back to the search for the one he'd meant to remain beside. Being cut off from his intentions toward her had sparked a strange feeling inside him, and he realized that he was remembering (without actively remembering) how he felt when she'd been taken to the Tower...

...this Tower...

...before.

He forced the feeling back down into the dark corners of his mind as he spotted the Blue with Orinna Sedai, but then she broke away and headed toward him. He smoothed his concern from his face with a smile.

"Not bored in the least," he assured her.

He'd been a little bored.

"True, not my usual, but that that's not a bad thing. Sometimes a break from the routine is good, and I have been glad to be of service--" To you. "--to this effort. I hope your ear was not talked off too badly. Sorry I could not run interference."

Alianora
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Re: Making Amends (White Tower, open)

Post by Alianora » April 25th, 2018, 10:10 pm

Liaran Sedai
"Don't be sorry," Liaran told Haeden, surprised by his apology. She might still be nervous around Orinna, but she had not thought that Haeden would wish to intervene between them. It made her feel safer somehow. "Orinna is a little talkative, but I'm fine." She looked around, wanting to make sure nobody was close enough to hear, before confiding, "She seems....harmless. I hadn't expected that from any of them." She still found it difficult to believe that that might be true, not only of Orinna but of any of the others.

Liaran smiled up at Haeden, and as she did, saw Orinna leave to return to where they'd been working. Her eyes followed the other woman, and it was obvious that crowds were gathering to wait for their return. "It looks like we should probably be getting back to work," she said. She felt a hint of reluctance to do so, even if she had been taking pride in her work earlier. Thinking about it, she quickly figured out that she was far more comfortable staying here with Haeden and didn't really wish to go back to working beside Orinna. Perhaps the other Blue was as harmless as she appeared to be, but Liaran thought it would take a long time before she could truly believe it.

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Bella
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Re: Making Amends (White Tower, open)

Post by Bella » April 28th, 2018, 12:01 am

Even though Haeden was not always the best at interpreting the emotions of others, he thought it fairly impossible to miss that despite what she said, Liaran did not look...eager to return to working alongside the Blue Sister formerly of the White Tower. His mind instantly went to work as his green eyes scanned their surroundings.

"There are several aid stations set up," he finally said. "Perhaps you would like a...change of pace and we could work at another one?" The use of the word "we" managed to be subtle and quite clear all at the same time. He had no intention of leaving her alone in this place again, unless she told him she did not wish his presence.

And then he'd go with reluctance.

For now, though, she didn't seem like she wanted to be rid of him, so he would continue to do as he'd been doing.

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