Every action has an equal, opposite reaction... [attn: Marla~]

The offices of the M'hael, Amyrlin Seat, Master of Arms, Keeper and the MoNSTers
Elan
"Lord of Chaos"
Posts: 450
Joined: December 6th, 2016, 10:29 am
PC: Jaren Marle, Asha'man
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Every action has an equal, opposite reaction... [attn: Marla~]

Post by Elan » March 16th, 2017, 7:56 pm

Jaren Marle, Dedicated
It was with a surprisingly steady stride that Jaren made his way towards the Master of Soldiers’ office that morning. In truth, he felt anything but steady; he’d spent most of his first night in his new room staring blankly at the ceiling, and what sleep he’d got had been riddled with images of death and dancing, kissing Jaryd again and again only to have him crumble into dust in his arms.

It wasn’t real. Jaryd’s alive, and it wasn’t real!

Never stop smiling.

He froze mid step, squeezed his eyes shut for a second and drew a deep breath — not nearly as calming as he might have hoped — and continued walking. The sword pin on his collar seemed to weigh like a millstone but he squared his shoulders and kept walking. He didn’t smile — he couldn’t, not yet — but he wasn’t falling to pieces in the middle of the hallway, either, and he counted that a minor victory. He kept walking.

As he walked, something occurred to him that he hadn’t thought of before; he hadn’t had the chance because everything had happened so fast. At the time of the ball, Jaryd must have already known that Jaren would be tested the next day. He wondered a little that nobody had decided to stop it from going ahead, in light of recent events — he’d certainly felt several Aes Sedai and Asha’man looking at him like they wondered the same, and it had only been a day! — but he also supposed that whatever penance he was going to be assigned would be all the more remarkable for his being Dedicated.

Right now he didn’t care about the penance. He would, undoubtedly, have plenty of time to care about it soon enough, but right now he just really needed to see Jaryd. No matter how formal things would be — would have to be, yes; Jaren understood all of that — just seeing him for a few moments would be enough. Enough to assure Jaren that he was alive.

Of course he is. He was alive when you stumbled out of the Arches; he hasn't randomly dropped dead overnight. Don’t be an idiot.

(Never stop smiling.)

The knowledge that he was being ridiculous did not, alas, help at all. In time it would — the memory of the Arches would fade into something bearable; Light, it had to; it wasn’t real — but right now… right now…

He was spared having to finish the thought when he reached the right floor, the right hallway, the right door. He knocked… and after a frozen moment, heard the call to enter. It was time to face the music.

Sunny
"Knife of Dreams"
Posts: 3757
Joined: July 18th, 2014, 3:23 am
PC: Jaryd Kosari
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QC: Owen Andarin

Re: Every action has an equal, opposite reaction... [attn: Marla~]

Post by Sunny » March 18th, 2017, 6:37 am

Jaryd Kosari
Jaryd’s favorite part of his new study had nothing to do with his job. The wall across from the door was comprised of one enormous, arched window above a deep ledge, and it was there he spent the majority of his time. Someone before him had attached padding to that ledge, and he had chosen to cover it with dark red velvet, then pile cushions high. He draped the window with thick maroon curtains, which he usually caught back with black cords to allow him an uninhibited view of stars, sun, and moon.

On this one particular day, the Red’s usual ordered chaos had descended into full catastrophe as he sought to distract himself from the troubles that consumed his heart. He had piled books and papers on every available surface, some of them spilling off to the ground below, others piled so high they seemed in danger of falling. Jaryd himself lay sprawled across the window ledge with a pillow wedged beneath his head and one arm crooked over his head as he stared up at the sky. His thoughts had strayed once again from the task of finding the First Blade, and he could not make himself care.

The look in Jaren’s eyes when he emerged from the Arches haunted the Altaran more than the Amyrlin’s threat and had kept him awake despite exhaustion creeping through his bones. The Red had attended raisings before, of course; as M'Hael, it had been required. However, that had been the first time he had been the one to do the choosing and the summoning, and he could not help but wonder if he had allowed his attraction to mar his reason...especially when the Andoran came out looking as if he had seen a ghost. At least he returned. That was true enough, though Jaryd wondered how much Jaren would appreciate that fact given the Amyrlin’s order.

The Asha’man pushed himself upright and reached for a stack of papers on the nearest side table. Research made a poor substitute for thinking about what Jaren might have seen...or the feel of the soldier’s lips on his own...but it had to be done. Reading through dusty reports from a century past to look for more information on the ‘First Blade’ had to be more productive than losing himself in that particular memory...and yet....

Five minutes later Jaryd realized he’d been reading the same page over and over and still did not know what it said. Before he could try again, someone knocked on the door. “Enter,” he called.

The door opened and a moment later Jaren came in. Jaryd looked up, studying the Andoran’s face with sober dark eyes. Stress and worry, fear, concern...those were common enough burdens for one with the memory of the Arches still fresh, let alone with the ball looming in his thoughts. And yet...there was also an odd touch of relief. What is that about?

“Come, sit,” Jaryd said, waving his hand at an empty spot opposite him on the wide ledge. As Jaren moved toward him he channeled, fingers flickering as he wove. Flows of Spirit and Air laced over the door, then tied off, leaving a Ward against sound and intrusion. It was not complex, and yet its presence made a silent statement of its own.

“Have you had a chance to sleep since your test?”
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False alarm- there's still a song for me; I'm just about around to sing it
There's still a chance for me...and I'm still here singing.

Elan
"Lord of Chaos"
Posts: 450
Joined: December 6th, 2016, 10:29 am
PC: Jaren Marle, Asha'man
SC: Mael Akashi, Asha'man
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QC: Valentin Akashi, Soldier
Location: Finland
Contact:

Re: Every action has an equal, opposite reaction... [attn: Marla~]

Post by Elan » March 18th, 2017, 11:03 am

Jaren
A sense of calm he hadn’t felt since before the ball settled upon Jaren as he entered the Master of Soldiers’ office. His eyes were immediately drawn to Jaryd, sitting on the window ledge, silhouetted against the view opening behind him. Alive and safe, he thought, a little wryly. Happy now?

He felt the channelling, and glanced over his shoulder to see the Ward forming, as he approached Jaryd and the window and took the offered seat. He smiled a little at the question, and though the smile was not all it could be, it was genuine enough. “Chance, yes, sure. Can’t say I slept much,” he added, in the name of honesty, “but I’ll be fine. Of course.” He hesitated a little then; though the room was Warded, a level of formality needed to be maintained and it was not his place to ask, but…

“What about you, sir?” he asked, cautiously, though he was sure concern was evident in his voice. He let his eyes take in the stacks of documents piled everywhere, including on the floor in some places, and he had to wonder if Jaryd had slept a wink since the ball. “You’ve been buried in research since the ball, haven’t you? Sir.” Was that certainty based on something he actually knew about the real Jaryd, or the… the other Jaryd, from the Arches? Jaren wasn’t sure; wasn’t sure he could ever be sure. Light, what a mess. “I would offer my assistance, if only with keeping the papers in order, but…” Another smile, brief and distinctly self-deprecating. “Somehow I suspect that’s not going to be possible, is it.”

Sunny
"Knife of Dreams"
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Joined: July 18th, 2014, 3:23 am
PC: Jaryd Kosari
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Re: Every action has an equal, opposite reaction... [attn: Marla~]

Post by Sunny » March 19th, 2017, 5:27 am

Jaryd
Jaryd couldn’t stop the smile that broke across his face when Jaren spoke, nor hide how his body relaxed when the younger man settled on the other side of the window seat. This is insanity! Four days before he would never have imagined acting on the feelings he had. Now… Would it be so terrible to step down? The fleeting thought brought him solidly back to earth, just in time for Jaren to finish speaking.

The Asha’man’s smile faded. He stared at Jaren wordlessly for a moment, then let his head fall back against the wall behind him with a gentle thump, staring at the ceiling as he sought for words. Jaryd had considered how to handle this conversation from every possible angle over the last day and a half, and now in the very moment he still had no idea what to say. Of course, as frequently happened when the Red was conflicted, his tongue made the decision for him.

“I would welcome your presence and your assistance, but you are right- that would not be a wise course of action,” he said. For many reasons beyond the obvious. “I have been given strict orders in regards to what...happened between us.” His eyes fluttered closed and he sucked sharply on his lower lip as that memory washed through him again. It would take two heartbeats to push the younger man against the wall and kiss him until their blood boiled and they both ran out of breath. No!

One breath. Two. Somehow the Red regained his composure and continued. “The Amyrlin informed me that I did nothing illegal. You, on the other hand, agreed to a much stricter set of rules, and as she was quick to point out, you broke them in front of dozens of witnesses.” He could not keep the bitterness out of his voice. You broke them because of me. I know it, you know it, she knows it. This is wrong.

“The truth is, I stand clear of physical consequence because she knows it would do little good. Instead, she insists that I personally give you a penance in full accordance with the law or she will send you back to your father- permanently.” Jaryd fell silent, his gaze meeting Jaren’s in unhappy acknowledgment of the injustice of the decision ahead.
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False alarm- there's still a song for me; I'm just about around to sing it
There's still a chance for me...and I'm still here singing.

Elan
"Lord of Chaos"
Posts: 450
Joined: December 6th, 2016, 10:29 am
PC: Jaren Marle, Asha'man
SC: Mael Akashi, Asha'man
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QC: Valentin Akashi, Soldier
Location: Finland
Contact:

Re: Every action has an equal, opposite reaction... [attn: Marla~]

Post by Elan » March 19th, 2017, 10:11 am

Jaren
Jaren watched Jaryd carefully as he listened, a dull ache settling in his chest after the initial rush of relief. He wanted to… what, exactly? Light, he wanted to reach out, close the distance between them, maybe kiss Jaryd like nothing else mattered, make all the mistakes and never look back… But mostly Jaren just wanted to hold him, to assure him that everything would be well in the end. He refused to think about how much he needed that comfort himself; it was easier to make it all about Jaryd.

When Jaryd finished talking, Jaren nodded slowly. “You did say she was creative,” he muttered. Then he flashed a wry smile. “And, of course, she is well within the letter of the Law in her judgement.” What a mess, he thought again, with more than a little resentment this time.

“Very well,” he said out loud. “Whatever it is, I can live with it. Am I to be deprived of my newly gained privileges of freedom as a Dedicated?” He snorted softly. “I never had a chance to grow used to them in the first place. Am I to spend my days scrubbing floors and doing laundry with the Soldiers? I’ve been doing that for the past three years, it’s nothing new to me. Being sent to a farm to plant potatoes—” Being sent away from the Tower, to a place where he couldn’t even catch a glimpse of Jaryd every now and then to reassure himself that the man was alive and well? His bravado faltered a little but he went on, “I might not enjoy it overmuch but I’d survive.”

He drew a deep breath, trying to predict how likely it was that he would be sent away from the Tower. If Ninya bloody Evoneigh caught wind that it was the worst possible option, then undoubtedly she would order it, but as she had no way of knowing that? A penance that took place within the bounds of the Tower was more public, therefore likely to be considered more severe. More people would notice a Dedicated scrubbing floors, than a Dedicated in absence. He might grow to care about his reputation before the penance was over, but right now he didn’t give a damn.

“Whatever it is, I can take it,” he repeated, holding Jaryd’s gaze steadily. He was a patient man. Well, he could be, when it mattered.

Sunny
"Knife of Dreams"
Posts: 3757
Joined: July 18th, 2014, 3:23 am
PC: Jaryd Kosari
SC: Dakson Torellion
TC: Finn
QC: Owen Andarin

Re: Every action has an equal, opposite reaction... [attn: Marla~]

Post by Sunny » March 19th, 2017, 11:40 pm

Jaryd
Every time Jaryd thought he had a grasp on how the world worked, something came along to show him otherwise. In this case, that something was Jaren’s stolid acceptance of Ninya’s decree. He isn’t going to leave. That had been the risk in offering the Andoran the freedom to choose his own fate, but Jaryd knew it had to be done. Why? Why would he stay?

After a moment of contemplation the Red let the Void fall. Jaryd stayed within the empty embrace of meditation so much he barely noticed its presence. In its absence his thoughts and feelings could be overwhelming and unwelcome, but...he owed his friend (Is that truly what he is, Jaryd?) a few moments of candor. He felt far from carefree yet in a way the rolling tide of emotion that swept through him reminded him of how he had felt at the ball. That line of thought had the potential to be quite dangerous, but… too late now.

“I am humbled by your integrity, Jaren,” he said quietly. “You have every right to take the opportunity to be free of this mess. I certainly would not blame you if you had.” He hesitated, then his face broke into a broad smile. “That said, I cannot deny I am pleased you’ve decided to stay. You- I-” He pulled himself short, color rising in his cheeks.

Rather than continuing that line of thought he pushed himself off the ledge and went to his desk. Slender fingers shuffled through papers as he spoke. “For the next year your days will be split- half in service to the Tower, half to the typical duties and studies of the Dedicated. Five days a week your service will be under the guidance of our head of household. I would expect to spend a great deal of time in the laundry and stables.” Jaryd shook his head. “It’s thankless work, Jaren, and you should be well beyond it. I apologize.”

A heavy book on the Forsaken had concealed the paper the Asha’man sought. “You will split the remaining five days between the Infirmary, the Warder Hall, the Vaults, the Library, and Mar’a’Mael,” he said as he settled back onto the window seat. “The work you do in those areas will be no less demanding, but certainly of greater personal benefit. I trust the people on this list to ensure you are given every opportunity to learn from them while you work.”

Jaryd handed the paper to his companion. “I was quite tempted to have you report to me one of those days,” he admitted with a self-deprecating laugh. “I feel I have made your life complicated enough as it is, however.”
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False alarm- there's still a song for me; I'm just about around to sing it
There's still a chance for me...and I'm still here singing.

Elan
"Lord of Chaos"
Posts: 450
Joined: December 6th, 2016, 10:29 am
PC: Jaren Marle, Asha'man
SC: Mael Akashi, Asha'man
TC: Delaine Taborwin, Novice
QC: Valentin Akashi, Soldier
Location: Finland
Contact:

Re: Every action has an equal, opposite reaction... [attn: Marla~]

Post by Elan » March 20th, 2017, 7:55 pm

Jaren
The change in Jaryd’s expression was subtle at first but it touched something in Jaren’s heart, and when the Asha’man smiled, Jaren returned the smile with full radiance though he was also a little confused. You can’t think I’d just leave, he wanted to say, or maybe to sweep Jaryd into his arms and entirely without words assure the man that he was not going anywhere; the impulse was so strong that if he hadn’t been sitting down, and Jaryd all the way by his desk, he might not have been able to resist.

This is ridiculous. I should be old enough to have more control than this. He leaned his head back against the wall, making himself focus on what Jaryd was saying. A year wasn’t so bad, he thought as he watched Jaryd rifle through the papers flooding the desk; over the past two days his imagination had come up with a myriad of much more severe scenarios. He’d be allowed to stay in the Tower, hell, he’d even be allowed to advance in his studies, if not at the rate that other Dedicated did.

He nodded as he took the paper Jaryd handed to him, and skimmed over the list of names quickly before looking back at Jaryd again. “It would be no complication.” The words escaped him before he could think better of it, and though he wasn’t going to take them back, he probably shouldn’t have spoken; he didn’t want to make things more complicated for Jaryd, either. If there even was any risk of that. That verbal stumble earlier… Jaren didn’t want to read too much into it, but it was difficult not to think it.

Pushing that thought aside, he leaned forward slightly, elbows on knees, trying to decide how to proceed. What he was going to say might also not be the wisest thing he’d ever done, but he had to. “I’m… aware this may be rather presumptuous of me,” he began… And the completely reasonable speech he’d sketched out in his head evaporated like mist under the midday sun. “Please,” he said, “don’t blame yourself for this. Don’t… try to take responsibility for my actions, or the consequences thereof. Maybe you should have known better, I don’t care. I should have, too, and here we are, and I cannot in all honesty say that I regret anything.”

Having said it, he leaned back against the wall again. A faint smile curled his lips slightly. Chances were he’d just made an even bigger fool of himself — if he’d misjudged anything about the situation, about Jaryd — but that was another thing he should be well used to, and could live with.

Sunny
"Knife of Dreams"
Posts: 3757
Joined: July 18th, 2014, 3:23 am
PC: Jaryd Kosari
SC: Dakson Torellion
TC: Finn
QC: Owen Andarin

Re: Every action has an equal, opposite reaction... [attn: Marla~]

Post by Sunny » March 21st, 2017, 5:27 pm

Jaryd
Jaryd’s mind drifted into a brief daydream in which Jaren was correct and it would not, in fact, be a bad decision to spend more time with him. The fantasy did not last long. The shadow of perceived or actual favoritism will follow you, he thought as his eyes traced over his companion’s face. And when the time came, I do not think I could trust myself to judge you ready. That last might be true regardless...a sobering thought.

Jaren’s voice yanked him out of the tangled brush of that possibility. “Please...don’t blame yourself for this...” The Altaran sat up straighter, brows drawing together as the Dedicated continued to speak. How can I not? He could not be held accountable for the effects of the ter’angreal, but once sobriety returned, no excuses remained. He was going to kiss you before the lights fell, a small voice reminded the Red even as Jaren said, “...I cannot in all honesty say that I regret anything.”

Slender fingers scrubbed through dark curls as Jaryd tried to organize his thoughts, but his search for words came to a halt when he realized Jaren had settled back and was watching him with a smile on his lips. No formality. No respectful deference. Simply a man watching another man, in a manner that took the Altaran’s breath away. “I can’t think when you look at me like that,” he commented ruefully.

He sat forward in unconscious mirror of how the Dedicated had been earlier, forearms across his knees and his chin resting in his palms. It kept his hands occupied, which could only be a good thing.

“I understand what you mean,” he said slowly. “It’s my nature to blame myself, but I will do my best not to.” He shook his head a little. “I cannot guarantee everyone else will do the same." It would be difficult to release his sense of responsibility, but...it truly was rather patronizing of him to assume all the blame belonged to him. Jaren was an adult, no matter how the Tower insisted on perceiving him, and he had been the one to pull Jaryd closer in the first place.

Amusement tinged his voice. “My only regret is that your advancement will be delayed because of what we did. That is not a regret based in guilt, I promise,” he admitted candidly, “I want-" He cut off, fought himself for a moment, and then simply let the words flow. He had Warded the room after all...and what good would it do to hide what they both already knew? "I regret it because as things stand I very selfishly want something from you that I can’t ask for, and you can’t give, without risking...everything.”

Everything indeed. Given how he had met Zeen he doubted the M’Hael would care in the slightest what he did with his spare time, but Ninya was another matter entirely. If the former Blue were willing to use his horrific experience with the Seanchan against him, he wasn’t certain there was anything she would not do. And there remained the issue of objectivity.

This is a mess. Even so, he found himself smiling.
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False alarm- there's still a song for me; I'm just about around to sing it
There's still a chance for me...and I'm still here singing.

Elan
"Lord of Chaos"
Posts: 450
Joined: December 6th, 2016, 10:29 am
PC: Jaren Marle, Asha'man
SC: Mael Akashi, Asha'man
TC: Delaine Taborwin, Novice
QC: Valentin Akashi, Soldier
Location: Finland
Contact:

Re: Every action has an equal, opposite reaction... [attn: Marla~]

Post by Elan » March 22nd, 2017, 6:54 pm

Jaren: the Sappy Romance Novel Edition
“I can’t think when you look at me like that.”

The words made Jaren blush — any 'look' had been entirely unintentional — but his smile widened a fraction… Though he did sober up a little as Jaryd kept talking. This would slow his progression towards the rank of Asha’man, that was a fact; there were only so many hours in a day, and only so much work you could cram into one. No matter how he might resolve to make up for the lost time once the year was over, catch up in his studies and prove himself worthy of the Dragon pin in record time… It was not entirely realistic.

“I regret it because as things stand I very selfishly want something from you that I can’t ask for, and you can’t give, without risking… everything.”

There it was; both what Jaren had hoped to hear… and the harsh reality that he hadn’t wanted to think about. He returned Jaryd’s smile and shook his head slowly. “Jaryd, I—” He gave a slightly breathless chuckle and busied his hands with folding the paper with the list of names, to keep from physically reaching out to the other man. That… might be a mistake right now. “I would say I can be patient— Light, I can, when it matters— But… even if I put on my best behaviour from this moment on, it will be years before I will be raised again. I know that.” How long would it be? Four years? Five? More than that?

He closed his eyes briefly and drew a deep breath. “Can I wait years to… to touch you, to hold you in my arms?” he murmured. “To feel your heart beat against mine? Light, to kiss you again…” A voice, probably that of reason, was screaming at him to stop talking while he could still try to salvage the situation. He wasn’t sure he felt like listening, not when his entire being ached to reach out and do something incredibly stupid… But he could see the point. He smiled, a little ruefully. “If wait I must, then wait I shall.”

Sunny
"Knife of Dreams"
Posts: 3757
Joined: July 18th, 2014, 3:23 am
PC: Jaryd Kosari
SC: Dakson Torellion
TC: Finn
QC: Owen Andarin

Re: Every action has an equal, opposite reaction... [attn: Marla~]

Post by Sunny » March 25th, 2017, 3:42 pm

In which Faramir, captain of Gondor, Jaryd shows his quality
“Can I wait years…” Jaryd drew in a deep, shaky breath as his companion went on. The years Jaren spoke of were a candle next to the sun in comparison to the years they would both live beyond that point. They would have centuries to live their lives in what manner they saw fit, to do the things the Andoran spoke of if they so desired. Light, to kiss you again. Jaren’s words echoed his thoughts in near perfect harmony and Jaryd felt heat creep up his face in response.

“If wait I must, then wait I shall,” Jaren finished. For a moment Jaryd was so distracted by his smile that he did not understand the words. ....You’ll what? One part of the Altaran’s mind insisted it couldn’t be real; nothing so perfect could possibly exist. His brain had finally cracked, perhaps, beneath the strain of all that had happened to him since he met Zeen. The ache in his chest felt real, however, distinct and far more real than a fantasy should ever be.

Jaryd had no memory of crossing the space, but he settled next to Jaren and gently tugged the list out of his grasp. Then he wrapped shaking fingers through the younger man’s. Somehow the touch relieved some of the tension that had risen; reassurance, perhaps, that the Andoran was real and not a figment of his imagination. “There are many ways to work around having to wait,” he said softly, his gaze fixed on their twined hands. “Ways to evade, protect, re-interpret the rules. I am master of such things...it could happen.”

He made a frustrated sound, his grip tightening. “Such actions would impact your ability to walk the path ahead of you,” he continued, “even without the Amyrlin’s interference. Training to become Asha’man is not safe, especially as one of the Dedicated. Distractions could be fatal.” Especially when the distraction was shaped like the person who called the shots.

“I have made many foolish decisions in my life; too many, some might say, for someone who is supposed to know right from wrong.” His lips twitched, but self-deprecating humor faded quickly. “I am not willing to add gambling your life and your future for a few stolen moments of passion to that list. Therefore...” Dark eyes were serious when he finally looked up. "Wait you must, but you won't wait alone."
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False alarm- there's still a song for me; I'm just about around to sing it
There's still a chance for me...and I'm still here singing.

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