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.